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BASIC BREAD DOUGH - Brenda Promersberger from Mother of God Monastery
1-1/2 cups warm water, divided
1/3 cup and 1 tsp sugar, divided
1 tbsp dry yeast
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp salt
3-1/2 to 4 cups flour
In a small bowl, place 1/2 cup of warm water and sprinkle with yeast. Let is set for a few minutes and when it begins to bubble a bit, add 1 tsp sugar.

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of water, 1/3 cup oil, 1/3 cup of sugar, and 1 tsp of salt. Stir together.

Add 1 cup of flour and blend by hand. Stir the yeast mixture gently and add it to the batter. Stir in the second cup of flour.

At this point you should add any ingredients you desire to the dough (spices, seasonings, flavored oils, fruit, meat (such as pepperoni), onion, cheese, etc).

Stir in the third cup of flour. Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes (this keeps it from becoming too sticky).

Knead in another 1/2 to 1 cup of flour working out any creases that form so that it is smooth and elastic. Oil the bowl and place the dough into the bowl flipping the dough in the bowl to coat the entire surface with oil. Allow the dough to raise until double in size.

Optionally punch down and allow to rise again.

Divide the dough and form into into desired shapes and place into baking pans. Allow to rise in a warm spot without a draft.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, longer depending on loaf size. Makes three average size loaves of bread.