To home-made miracles of bread?


We love homemade bread and I have been making it for as long as we have been married so I thought I would share my bread with you today.

Cover of

Cover of Joy of Cooking

I use the Joy of Cooking cookbook’s recipe for White bread but I use Whole Wheat flour and instead of sugar, I use honey. We received this Joy of Cooking Cookbook as a wedding present and the poor thing is really starting to look worn out. (but that was 30+ years ago and we are starting to look worn out too!) Ours is the Eleventh printing of the book that was done in 1978. I think they have since reprinted it and updated it but I don’t know what they changed in the new one so I am hesitant to get a new one. I need to also add that I don’t have or ever intend to own one of those bread machines. I use a kitchenaid mixer and a bowl and just let the dough rise on the radiator. Less small appliances, less electricity and no more work and by mixing my own ingredients, I know what I am putting into my bread, unlike the mixes that you don’t know what preservatives they may contain. And this bread is usually gone before it goes stale anyway.

So here is the recipe as it appears in my book:

WHITE BREAD

Wrote Louis Untermeyer:

“Why has our poetry eschewed
The rapture and response of food?
What hymns are sung, what praises said
To home-made miracles of bread?”

Two 5 x 9 inch loaves

Scald:

1 cup milk

Add:

1 cup water

1 Tablespoon shortening

1 Tablespoon butter

2 Tablespoons sugar ( this is where I add honey )

1 Tablespoon salt

In a separate large bowl, combine:

1/4 cup 105º-115º water

1 package active dry yeast

and let dissolve 3 to 5 minutes. If using compressed yeast, crunble 1 cake yeast into 1/4 cup 85º water and let stand 8 to 10 minutes. Add the lukewarm milk mixture to the dissolved yeast.

Have ready:

6 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour ( I use King Arthur’s Whole Wheat)

Stir in 3 cups flour, beat 1 minute, then stir or work in remaining flour by tossing the dough on a floured board and kneading well until it is smooth, elastic and full of bubbles. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn the dough over once and cover with a cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, at least 1 hour. Punch it down to its original size and, it time permits, all the dough to rise until double once more. Otherwise, skip the second bowl rising, shape the dough lightly into 2 loaves, and place them in greased pans. Cover and let the dough rise again until almost doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 450º.

Bake the bread 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350º and bake for about 30 minutes longer. Remove the loaves from the pans and cool on a rack before storing.

(I usually have to cover the tops of my loaves after a few minutes so that the tops don’t burn or get too brown, but you will have to get to know your oven and what happens in there)

So in a few hours, the house will smell wonderful with the smell of bread baking and for the next several days we will have bread for sandwiches for the rest of the leftover turkey, toast for breakfast and as it gets older we can soak it overnight in an egg mixture for a really great french toast. I hope you find time this week to bake a couple of loaves. It is really easy and aside from the mixing time you basically just wait out the rising times and the baking.

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