The amount of water is very important, so the only thing you need to measure is the water. The amount you need is printed on the label on the bag.
Water quality and temperature can have an effect on the bread or more precisely the yeast that causes the bread to rise. If your water has too much chlorine in it, it may kill the yeast and the bread won’t rise. If that is the case, use bottled water or boil your water for 5 minutes, then let it cool, as water over 140 degrees Fahrenheit will also kill the yeast.
To start, pour the contents of the flour bag in to the large bowl, and then pour the warm (80-130 degree F.) water in to the center of it. If it is the Cranberry Orange Bread or Chocolate, Chocolate Chip bread, put the extra bag in now. If it is the Cinnamon Raisin, wait till the last few folds of kneading, so there are swirls of raisins in the dough.
Using the big spoon stir until the dough starts to form. Next you can continue working in the bowl or pour the dough on to your counter. Scrape out all the mix that is stuck to the side of the bowl. Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes. Kneading is the art of folding and pressing the dough together again and again until it is soft and smooth. This is what forms the gluten that gives bread its texture.
Lightly coat the inside of the loaf pan with the cooking spray, oil or butter. I like to use small metal bowls for the Chocolate, Chocolate Chip bread to make giant muffins. Cover loosely with Aluminum foil or a tea towel and put it in a warm place to rise. It should rise to two to three times its original volume. It can take 30 minutes to over an hour depending on the temperature and humidity.. If you forget or the dough rises to high, you can “Punch it Down” by poking it to break some of the bubbles. If you punch it too much, you can just let it rise some more. You can also slow the rising by placing the covered pan in the refrigerator, but you will need to let it warm up completely before baking.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. then uncover the dough and put it in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes. The bread should have a nice golden top.
Take the bread out of the oven, remove from pan and let the bread cool on a wire rack before slicing it or it will be too soft to slice. You can also rip off a hot piece and eat it. If you let it cool in the pan, the sides will become sticky.