Joyce’s BIG Batch of Dough
5 C warm water
1 C warm milk
6 T shortening
6 T sugar
3 T salt
3 pkg yeast – check the date! Do not use if expired.
½ C water
Flour – lots!
1 very large mixing bowl
Start by melting your shortening on the stove. Once melted, remove from heat and set a timer for 15 minutes to cool to the right temperature.
Once cooled, add shortening, warm water (you want this warm, but not hot – test it with your elbow!), warm milk (try to get it as close to the temperature of the water as you can), sugar, and salt to the large mixing bowl. Stir until dissolved.
In a separate small bowl, add the yeast to ½ C warm water. Again, check the temperature with your elbow. Do not stir. Allow to begin to foam up.
Add 3 cups of flour to the large mixing bowl. (Here I used a whisk to incorporate the flour because it was so wet. Later, I switched to a wooden spoon.) Once incorporated, add the yeast and an additional cup of flour. (Again, I whisked.)
From here, Connie’s recipe reads “Continue adding flour until consistency is ready to knead.” She admitted that she had no idea how much that was. For curiosity’s sake, I counted, and found that I needed an additional 12 cups of flour. All told, I used more than a five pound bag of flour. About two thirds of the way into the process of adding flour, I found it incredibly difficult to stir, and so dumped it out onto the counter to fold in flour until I reached the right consistency. You want to get just past “sticky” but don’t go too far or your bread will be dry and tough. Once you reach that stage, knead the dough for ten minutes, sprinkling flour only as needed to keep it from sticking to your hands and counter.
Place in a large mixing bowl spritzed lightly with cooking spray. Cover and leave in a warm area to rise over the edge of the bowl – about one hour.
Punch down. Let rise again.
Form into desired items. I made 2 loaves, 24 dinner rolls, and 16 cinnamon rolls. Let rise a final time, until doubled in size. Bake at 350. For loaves, about 45 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. For dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls, about 15 minutes.