Monday, November 17, 2008

Grandmother's White Bread

In 3rd grade, my class made bread and butter at school. It was fun, I mostly remember licking the bowls and eating a lot of flour... That poor teacher must have had such a mess to deal with!
But she sent us home with the recipes - and nearly every Christmas eve day since then I've made the bread.

@solessence asked on Twitter today if anyone had bread recipes and I thought it was time to share, so here is the famous "Grandmother's White Bread" recipe:

1 envelope yeast
1/2c very warm water (I run tap until quite hot to finger and use that)
3 tbsp sugar
2c milk
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp salt
7-8c flour

1) combine all but 1/2tsp sugar, milk, butter, & salt in saucepan. Heat until butter melts. Pour into a large bowl and cool 'til lukewarm (until comfortable to dip finger in to bottom)
2) While cooling, sprinkle yeast into 1/2c water. Stir in 1/2 tsp sugar. let dissolve and stand until bubbly & double
3) Stir yeast mixture into lukewarm milk mixture.
4) Stir in 3 c flour and beat til smooth (I do all beating/ kneading by hand, but if you have a mixer you trust, go for it). Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough (about 4 cups)
(aside: I learned in a bread-making class recently that you really want to mix flour in until the dough is no longer sticky - you shouldn't need any flour when kneading)
5) Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (10 minutes). Add flour as needed to keep from being sticky.
6) Place in a buttered bowl. Turn dough to bring buttered side up. Cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place 1 hour (until double).
7) Punch dough down. Turn onto lightly floured surface. Knead a few times. Put bowl over dough. Let rest 10 minutes.
8) Divide dough in half. Knead each half a few times. Shape into 2 loaves. Place in buttered loaf pans.
9) Let rise again in a warm place 1 hour (until double).
10) Bake in a hot (400-degree) oven 40 minutes. Should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. If browning too fast, cover loosely w/ foil.

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