Then one day, the men decided that they too, could make the bread. One good brother said to another good brother, "Have no fear, Brother, I will show you how to make the bread". And the wives snickered. (No...not really...but it makes for a good story) Each wife, being a good pioneer Church-lady-type-person, armed her husband with her best bread recipe as she kissed him on the cheek and sent him off to
SO the men met and they made the bread. Such grinding of wheat and kneading of dough had not been seen before in the small town, and the Church folk anxiously awaited the outcome. When the loaves emerged, they were golden, aromatic works of art, each moist and delicious, yet different from each other. One brother's bread was simple, rustic, and required few ingredients. The other brother's bread was a symphony of grains and adaptability. As men-folk are wont to do, the two men merrily clapped one another on the back and went out into the garage to discuss how to build a faster Pine-wood Derby car. But the women stayed behind. They poked the bread, they smelled the bread and they politely tasted the bread. Each of the women secretly decided that her husband had indeed baked the better loaf of bread.
From that day forward, the families of the two women baked the bread for the people in the Church. Whenever there was a new member, a sickness, a baby born or a cheering up needed, they would run to their kitchens, and bake their special bread. Then, while the pans were yet warm, they would wrap the loaves up and throw them into their mini-vans (OK, it was a gigantic blue 15 passenger van and a Suburban...it was the 90's...), burn rubber out of their driveways and race to the home of the person in need. When the people tasted the bread, they always asked for the recipe, because they had never tasted such remarkable bread.
To this day, each Sister will declare the wonderful qualities of the other's bread, but she'll ALSO tell you why she loves her own bread better. Through the years, many people have been the recipient of a loaf from each sister, (these sisters really know the meaning of service!) and all agree: Both of the recipe's are wonderful. And no one will admit to using one recipe over the other. So...without any further ado, I give you the two recipe's, made famous by the showdown. (Unfortunately, my own notes are included...since I've long since forgotten where the recipe ends and my notes begin)
***In the interest of full disclosure, I took extreme creative liberty with the story. Sandy's exact words were "I would probably drop over dead if Robert ever made bread, but who knows, maybe if I have 7 more kids..." And if I'm not mistaken, the Payne's bread is a family recipe. Anyhow, it made a good story and no matter what, they both make a dadgum good loaf of bread!***
Payne's Brown Bread
5 1/2 cups hot tap water
1 cup of sugar plus 1/2 cup oil OR
1 cup honey
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
3 Tbsp rapid rise yeast, (she says not to use regular Fleishmans, but I do. I'm sorry Kris)
1 Egg (optional Glen says it makes it brown better)
Approx 5 lbs flour. Half wheat half white or any combination you like.
Combine water, sugar or honey and a bit of flour. Then add yeast and enough flour to make a batter, then mix for 3 min in mixer. Switch to dough hook and begin combining rest of flour, then knead for 8-10 min. Add salt during last few min of kneading. Turn into bowl and let rise in a warm place for about an hour. Punch down, shape into loaves, let rise again for about 40 min. Cook at 325 for 30 min. or until loaf makes a hollow thump when tapped. You may also skip first rise and just shape into loaves, let rise and then cook. They keep the crust nice and soft by buttering while still hot and placing loaves in paper bags.
Sandy Johnson's Bread
6 cups hot water
2 Tbsp yeast
2 Tbsp salt
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup dry potato flakes
2/3 cup dry milk
1 cup cracked wheat
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup oat bran
8-10 cups flour, white and wheat in some combination.
I also add about 1/2 cup wheat gluten, a handful of flax seed meal, some dry malt and some wheat bran. This recipe is very flexible on what you add for grains. I have never used oat bran in it, I use 10 grain cereal though! The less wheat flour you use, the less the bread will rise. So you need to keep your non-wheat grains around three cups of the total amount of wheat to ensure a good rising bread. Follow basic method above to assemble ingredients. Sandy's cooking directions are to cook at 400 for 15 min and then 350 for 30 min.