Artisan Breads are those mixed and formed by hand. No machine is used. The result is a superior bread because you get to know the texture and feel of a proper bread dough. My sweet MOL gave this reicpe to my wife. It can be used either for white or whole wheat bread. Just make the dough a bit stickier by adding extra water to the whole wheat version. All I can say about this bread is YUM!
Oh, and be aware, this recipe makes 5 loaves. So you can use some of the dough to make fry bread, some to make bread loaves, and some to make pigs-in-the-blanket. Now how can you go wrong with that?
Grandmas White Bread
This is the bread from my childhood. My mother made a version of this. It was a rare treat to come in from a cold winter day, with snow banks taller than I was, into a warm house filled with the aroma of fresh baked bread. Sadly, my Mom worked and didnt often have the time to make bread. But when she did...
My wife, Debbie, is a pretty good cook in her own right. She taught me the bread basics, including the right dough texture, how to bloom yeast, the importance of using the right amount of salt and oil, etc. When I first got married 25 years past, she was the best cook in the house. And she was a good teacher. I was an eager student.
Debbie didnt have the same opportunity to fill her tummy with fresh bread on a cold winter day. She grew up in Southern California - no cold winter days. Nevertheless, her mother baked a rich white bread every bit as good as my Moms bread. I never got the recipe my mother used. But I did get my Mother-in-Laws recipe. And I have to tell you, there is no better. So with her permission, I share it with you in its unadulterated, original version.
For 5 loaves
1 1/2 quarts scalded milk
3 tbs. Yeast
2 tbs. Salt
7 tbs. Canola oil
1 cup honey or sugar
15 cups all purpose white flour
Warm liquid to tepid. You should be able to touch it without burning yourself. Add the sugar and yeast. Stir with a wire whisk to dissolve. Let sit until the yeast forms a layer of bubbles on top. Add the oil, then the salt and remaining ingredients. Stir until mixed with a heavy wooden spoon. The dough should be sticky. Pour another cup of flour over the dough and knead by hand until the flour is completely blended into the dough. If the dough still sticks heavily to your hands, add another half cup of flour and knead it into the dough. Continue this process until the dough is smooth and elastic, and doesnt stick to your hands. Then knead another five minutes to develop the gluten.
Lift the dough from the bowl and rub softened unsalted butter over the surface. Place the bowl in a warm place and cover with a damp clean towel. Let rise for hour, or until doubled in volume. When the dough has finished rising, fill greased loaf pans 3/4 full and let rise in lightly warmed oven until again doubled. Remove from the oven and heat the oven to 350'F. Place pans in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Test bread by tapping lightly on top with a knuckle. If the loaf sounds hollow, its done. Remove from the oven and remove the bread from the loaf pans by inverting onto a cooling rack. Brush with softened butter. Let cool completely before slicing and storing in plastic bags.
Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…
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