When we moved to Penn Yan, we soon were befriended by an elderly Mennonite couple, Harry and Mary Fox. They have been somewhat bemused, I suspect, watching a couple of city kids from California learn about winters and living in the country. Mary shared this bread recipe a few years ago, and it has been one of our favorites. I’ve halved the recipe from her original, and standardized the measurements from “small handful” to cups. This bread is, of course, wonderful fresh from the oven, and also makes great toast. It also keeps nicely, due to the bran and wheat germ.
Mary Fox's Bread
3 cups warm water 2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 teaspoon dry yeast (1 packet or cube packaged yeast) 1/4 cup warm water 1/3 cup wheat germ 1/3 cup wheat bran 5 to 6 cups bread flour
In a small bowl blend yeast in 1/4 cup warm water, let stand until bubbly. Pour the three cups of warm water in a large bowl. Stir in the salt, sugar, oil, wheat germ and bran. Stir in the yeast mix. Stir and knead flour in to make a soft dough that is not sticky. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled- punch down and repeat two more times (three fermentations). Shape three loaves and place in loaf pans. Let raise until nearly doubled, then pierce each loaf deeply several times with a fork. Heat oven to 375 ̊ F. Bake 30 minutes, reset temperature to 350 ̊ and bake 10 minutes.