My mom shared this recipe with me. It is very easy and good, but plan on about 2 1/2 hours for finished product. Beware: I made this recipe for a church gathering and have been requested to make it repeatedly since! It is a good one! :)
2 ½ c very warm water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp cooking oil
6 c flour, stirred and measured
2 pkgs dry yeast (2 tbsp = 1 package)
Into a large warm mixing bowl, pour warm water, then stir in sugar, salt, oil, half the flour, and yeast. Beat vigorously 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in remaining flour until all dry ingredients are completely mixed in, leaving spoon right in heavy batter.
Allow dough to rest 10 minutes, then stir down. Allow dough to rest another 10 minutes, then stir down. Repeat this process until dough has been stirred down five times.
Turn dough onto floured board, knead only enough to coat dough with flour so it can be handled. Divide into two parts. Roll each part of dough into rectangle about 9 inches x 12 inches and roll up like a jelly roll Rolling from long side. Pinch edge of loaf to seal the dough. Arrange lengthwise on large cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with corn meal, allowing room for both loaves. Cover lightly and let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes. With very sharp knife, cut three gashes at an angle on top then brush entire surface with slightly beaten egg whites. If desired, sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.
Bake immediately at 400 F or 350 F in convention oven for 25-30 minutes or until brown. Remove from baking sheets immediately and cool on racks. Makes two loaves.