Amish Bread

Several years ago, I went on a trip to the east coast. We visited New York, DC, Philadelphia, Gettysburg, and the Pennsylvania Amish country. We were shopping in Amish country one day, and we stopped at a little roadside stand and my cousin bought a loaf of bread. We all laughed at her for buying bread, until we tasted it. It was the softest, best tasting bread I’ve ever had. We had the whole loaf gone in minutes.

The first time I used this recipe to make bread, I called my cousin and told her she had to immediately come over and try a piece. It tasted just like that homemade Amish bread. If you haven’t been to Amish country, you have to go visit someday. And if you haven’t ever made homemade bread, give this recipe a try, it’s so much better than anything you buy in a store.

Start by dissolving some sugar in warm water. Then stir in some dry active yeast.

Allow to sit on the counter to proof. It will resemble a creamy foam.

Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer, (yes, you can just use that bowl from the beginning, I’m just a little slow.) Add in some oil and salt.

Dump in two cups of bread flour.

And start it stirring on low speed. (This recipe is much easier to make in a stand mixer, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry about it. The printable recipe has instructions on how to do it with a hand mixer.)

Keep adding dough one cup at a time.

The dough will start to form a ball.

Keep adding flour until the dough starts to clean off the sides of the bowl. Look at the picture before this one, and see how there was lots of dough still stuck to the side of the bowl, and this one there is less dough stuck on the bowl? We’re almost done just add about half cup more flour.

And when there is barely any dough stuck to the sides of the bowl, stop adding flour, you’ve added enough.

Just increase the mixer’s speed to 2, and let it keep mixing for two more minutes to knead the dough.

Place the dough into a well oiled bowl and turn it once to coat.

Cover it with a damp dish towel and set it on the counter to rise.

I was making a double batch. You want to make sure it’s in a warm spot, at least 75-78 degrees. If you need to, turn the oven to 200 for a few minutes then turn it off and stick the bread in there to rise. Just make sure to turn the oven off before putting the bread in there.

Let the bread rise until it’s doubled in size. It takes about an hour.

Punch the dough down then knead by hand a few minutes. I just leave it in the bowl and knead it in there.

Shape the dough into loaves and place into a well oiled bread pan.

I made a double batch, so I had lots of bread. But a single batch will make two 9×5 loaf pans. Or one loaf and 12 rolls. Or however you want to divide it up.

Allow to rise in the pan until it’s risen about an inch above the pan, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

If you can wait long enough, let it cool a bit before slicing it up and shoving it into your mouth.

It’s so perfect for a peanut butter sandwich with some homemade strawberry jam. Or just warm with a little melted butter. Or use it to make some homemade crostini…

Cut a few of the small loaves into 1/4 inch slices. If you don’t have a small loaf pan, just shape your dough into a baguette shape and bake it that way.

Combine some melted butter, olive oil, salt and pepper. You can mix in a little garlic salt, if you’d like, or some Italian seasoning. Use a pastry brush to brush on one side of the bread.

Then top with a little shredded parmesean cheese.

Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

Serve these up with your spaghetti, or your lasagne. Or serve them with some spicy spinach dip. 

Or just eat ‘em by themselves. Homemade bread is really versatile and you can make so much from just a simple recipe. The loaves freeze well too. Just wrap them in plastic wrap then in foil and pop ‘em in the freezer. So yum!

here’s the printable….amishbread

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