2 cups milk (480ml)
¾ cups sugar plus 1 pinch (150g)
8 tsp. salt (32g)
¾ cups butter (86g)
6 cups (1.44lt) warm water – 110°F- 115°F (43°C- 46°C)
4 pk. yeast (9 tsp./28g)
24 cups flour (750g)
Olive oil for coating bowl
Add the milk to a 1 qt. saucepan (1lt), and heat until just simmering. Remove from the heat, and stir in the sugar, salt and butter. Allow the butter to melt and for the mixture to cool to slightly warm, above room temperature.
Place half of the warm water in a very large bowl (mine is 17”/43cm across) and sprinkle over the yeast along with a pinch of sugar. Once the yeast starts bubbling, stir in half of the flour. Pour in the melted butter/milk mixture and continue to stir.
Add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time. The dough will become too stiff to stir even though you may have remaining flour. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and continue to add the remaining flour while you knead the dough. As you knead, the dough will become more elastic. If the dough is still sticky, add a little more flour to the surface.
Wash and dry your mixing bowl well. Using a paper towel and coat the inside surface with a few spoonfuls of olive oil. Place the kneaded dough in the bowl and turn a few times to coat the dough in olive oil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, punch down. Prepare 6 loaf pans by greasing the inside of each pan with a paper towel and a spoonful of olive oil. Divide the dough equally among the pans. Weighing each pan will ensure equal sized loaves. Allow the bread to rise for another full hour, until they are doubled in size.
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake the loaves for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before removing from the pans. Allow to cool completely on wire racks before slicing.
In some cases, you may not need the entire 24 cups. What you are trying to achieve is an elastic “fleshy” dough that does not stick to your hands. Machine kneading the dough for this large batch size is difficult.
Keywords: 6 loaf bread