June 13, 2012

Home Made Bread

I absolutely love my grandfather's faith in my baking abilities. We were talking about food, and he asked if I could make him some bread like my grandmother and his mother used to make. I asked if he had a recipe. His response was along the lines of "It was a white bread, it was really good, it had eggs and was kinda sweet, too."

That gave me something of a starting point, but not enough to replicate the recipe exactly. I searched my grandmother's recipe cards and found two possibilities. I'm really hoping one of the two is what my grandfather remembers. (Note: This is pretty close to what he remembers, perhaps just a tad sweeter he said.)

I made one labled Home Made Bread today, with the help of my adorable son. I'm so glad I have this bread kneader, which can handle larger batches.

The challenge of following my grandmother's recipe cards is the vagueness of the recipe ... reminiscent of a time when everyone knew how to bake. Here's the recipe as I interpreted it:

Home Made Bread
3 cups milk (originally 3/4 quart)
1 Tbsp. yeast (originally 1 yeast)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (originally 1/4 lb. butter)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
8 to 10 cups flour (originally flour)

Scald the milk, and cool to about 115ºF. Add yeast, and let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat together sugar, butter and salt until smooth. Beat in eggs. Add yeast and milk mixture, and stir together. Gradually add flour, and knead until a smooth dough forms. Dough will still be slightly sticky but will pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Place dough in a greased bowl, and cover. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down dough, and divide into 3 loaves. Shape loaves, and place in greased 9 x 5 or 8 x 4 bread pans. (I used one 8 x 4 and two 9 x 5 pans.) Cover, and let rise again until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300ºF. Bake loaves until golden and hollow sounding, about 1 hour. Cool completely on wire racks. Makes 3 loaves.

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