Home made bread began for me the minute I was able to eat solid foods and there really is nothing like it, the aroma when it is in the oven and that heavenly taste while it is still nice and warm.
It was my maternal grandmother’s recipe and many of her children then baked it but a funny thing happened, everyone had a different recollection of the actual recipe………so, I use the recipe my mother used and I think it’s pretty close to the real thing.
My mother never ever used a bread machine or a mixer but I am all about modern conveniences and have no problem using my Kitchenaid Stand up Mixer with a dough hook. I also found it much easier to cut the recipe in half, that was the only way it would fit in the mixer.
Lukewarm water is maybe THE most important part of the bread making process. Remember when you are putting the water in the mixer bowl it may end up being almost cold so you have to take that into account. I always dip my pinky finger in to make sure it is actually lukewarm. The yeast when it meets the water won’t foam up and activate the way it should if it is too hot or too cold, Hello Goldilocks!
Here are the Ingredients:
3 1/4 Cups LUKEWARM Water
2 1/2 pounds of UNBLEACHED Flour
1/2 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Tablespoon Salt (fine)
3 Tablespoons Bacon Grease
Crisco Shortening to grease bowl for rising and bread baking pans
Step 1: Combine Lukewarm water with 1 1/2 packets of yeast.
Step 2: Add Sugar
Sep 3: Let sit for 5 minutes while the yeast activates, you will see it begin to foam
Step 4: Gently pour in the salt and begin to add flour.
Step 5: Turn the mixer on low and allow the mixer to do the work while continuing to add the rest of the flour.
Step 6: Add Bacon Grease.
Step 7: Go ahead and get that mixer moving a bit faster. You will to stop the mixer every so often and using a spatula push any of the ingredients from the sides back into the mixture.
Step 7: Your bread is combined when it begins to climb up the dough hook.
Step 8: Remove the dough hook and grab the dough out of the mixing bowl transferring it to a large wooden bowl that has been greased all over with Crisco Shortening.
Step 9: Place bowl in a warm, dark place in your kitchen where there will be no draft and cover with tee towel. Set time for 2 Hours.
Step 10: The dough should have more than doubled in size, punch down and gently push the dough, fold a few times getting rid of any air holes. Your dough should not feel tough but should be soft and pliable. Shape int a ball and push back down into the bottom of the bowl, cover and set timer for 1 Hour.
Step 10: Prepare 2 Bread Pans by greasing them with Crisco Shorteming (you really can’t overgrease).
Step 11: Once the hour is up for the bread to rise again punch back down and fold over a few times. Split the dough into 3 different sections trying to get them as even as possible. Gently roll them each and shape into a ball then put each on into the bread pan. Take a fork and poke the top 3-4 times. Cover the 3 bread pans and set timer for an hour.
Step 11: After the hour is up preheat the oven to 350 – DO NOT WAIT FOR IT TO PREHEAT TO 350 DEGREES. When the oven reaches 175 go ahead and place the bread pans in the oven. Set the timer for 50 minutes.
Step 12: After 50 Minutes remove pans from the oven and carefully turn over, the bread should come out fairly easily then place on cooling rack.
Step 13: Let cool at LEAST 1 hour and using an electric knife cut and ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Baking Bread requires some time, the waiting kind so it’s best if you are going to be home a solid 5 Hours. I’m a big believer of getting this deal going early in the morning and then it’s no big deal.
SIDE NOTE: Fresh Baked Bread can be a part of a quite interesting and fabulous dinner! Make Meatballs with Marinara and pour it on!! Grilled Cheese with the Sharpest Cheddar possible – OH MY! French Toast will take on a whole new meaning.
Seriously, once you master the art of bread baking you have gifts for your neighbors and a gift for your family any time you make it.