Today I made Amish bread! From the cookbook Stephen got me for my birthday – The Amish Cook’s Baking Book by Lovina Eicher. I modified the recipe only slightly and as my first time making bread like this, I think it turned out pretty well. It was extremely yummy. I kept pulling pieces off after I’d already had a couple of slices.
Lovina’s Homemade Bread (modified only slightly)
- 1 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast (or 1 package)
- 2 1/2 Cups Warm Water
LardVegetable Shortening (amount the size of a large egg)
- 2 Tbsp Sugar (I used light brown sugar)
- 1 Tbsp Salt (I used 2 teaspoons, but mine turned out a little sweet – I liked it)
- Enough bread flour to make a soft dough
I think I used about 4, maybe 5, cups but I really have no idea. I was too focused on adding 1/2 cup of the flour at a time and watching how the dough looked to see if I was doing it right.
Grease a 5 by 9 inch loaf pan.
In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup warm water with yeast to soften. In another bowl, combine 2 cups warm water, softened vegetable shortening, sugar, and salt. Incorporate the yeast mixture. Stir until combined. Add bread flour 1/2 cup at a time “mixing until the dough is elastic and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl.” I was a little unsure of myself with this step because I haven’t made a lot of bread in my life but I did my best at guessing how it should look.
Once combined, cover and let rise in warm spot until doubled. Takes from 1 to 1.5 hours. Preheat oven to 325 Degrees Fahrenheit while the dough is rising. Once risen, punch down dough and form into loaf shape (for me this required a lot of extra flour but perhaps I didn’t add enough to being with). Place in greased loaf pan and allow to rise an additional 30 minutes until the dough fills out the pan and is about level with the top.
Bake for 45 minutes. Lovina suggests coating the dough with oil before baking to keep the bread soft or brushing with butter when it’s finished for similar effect. I brushed the top of mine with honey before baking.
NOTE: My vegetable shortening didn’t really start to combine until I added the flour but the warm water eventually made it melt (sort of) into the mixture.