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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Grandma Bessie’s Homemade Bread


What to do on a cold winter day?  Crank up the oven and bake bread, I say!


Grandma and Bill at 4 years old


Not only does it put a little heat in the kitchen, the aroma of homemade bread baking in the oven is out of this world!  There is nothing else quite like it!

This great recipe belonged to Bill’s grandmother, Bessie.  Bill remembers like it was yesterday walking up to the back door at Grandma’s house and having the smell of fresh baked bread greet him before he even opened the door.  He knew that very shortly he would be eating a slice of her bread slathered with creamy butter! 

This recipe makes 4 loaves of bread and it freezes well, if you wish to.  Nothing says comfort like the aroma of homemade bread wafting from the oven.  Happy Bread Baking!


After punch down
After 2nd rising
Voila! Baked!

Ummmm!!!  Wish I could give you a slice!!!


Bessie’s 4 Loaves Homemade Bread

Ingredients:

3 packets dry granular yeast (I used the rapid kind)
2 cups warm water
2 cups scalded milk
7 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons salt
¼ cup shortening
About 11 cups flour
3-4 tablespoons butter, melted

Method:

Dissolve yeast in warm water.

(Using an instant-read thermometer, pour water into measuring cup and when water reaches 110 degrees, add yeast.  Let yeast stand in water for 5 minutes, then stir.)

Add sugar, salt and shortening to scalded milk and cool to lukewarm.

(Pour milk into saucepan, heat to just below the boiling point; do not boil.  Bubbles will form around the edge of the pan.)

Combine the milk mixture with the dissolved yeast.

Add 6 cups of flour and beat until smooth.  I use a KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook.

Add enough more flour to make dough easy to handle.

(It may not require all 11 cups.  Now, spread flour on work surface, grease hands and turn dough out on work surface).

Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. 

(Use a little more flour as dough becomes sticky.  Have dough in a ball, flatten dough and pull it to you.  Push away with heel of hands in a rolling motion.  Rotate dough a quarter turn and repeat the “fold, push and turn” steps.  It will be completed when it is smooth and elastic and when you poke the dough, it will spring back.)

Round up and place dough in a greased bowl.  Grease top of dough, cover bowl with a plate set in a warm place about 85 degrees.  Allow dough to rise until double in bulk from 1 to 1 ½ hours. 

(I turned oven on low heat and set the bowl on the stove, covered it with a plate and a towel.  I have an electric range; if you have a gas range, set it inside the oven as the pilot light should be warm enough.)

Punch down with your fist and let rest for 10 minutes then shape into 4 loaves and place in greased bread pans.  Brush with melted butter and cover with a towel, let rise again until double about 45 minutes.

Bake the bread in a hot oven 425 degrees about 40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom of the pan.  Remove from pans at once and cool on a rack away from drafts.  For crisp crust, leave bread uncovered on the rack.  For a soft crust, brush top lightly with melted butter and cover with a cloth while cooling.

(Mine bakes very fast, in 30 minutes.)



Oven fresh bread is irresistibly additively delicious!!!



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"It's the onions. They're only supposed to sweat, but they fell down exhausted."

~~~ Mrs. Patmore, Downton Abbey (about a failed broth)

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Pam