Monday, June 18, 2012

What to Make Monday...Bread!

I LOVE bread.
 I have a beautiful cousin who has a scar on her chin because of my love of bread. 
It was a fine day in a quiet inlet.
4 little girls, 3 sisters and a cousin, were playing like all little girls play on fine days.
The little cousin with bouncing brown curls gets a sudden longing for her auntie's delicious, warm, soft and light homemade bread.
Auntie, being the good auntie that she is, graciously rewards her little niece with her heart's desire.
What cousin and auntie were too busy to see was... oldest sister falling off the deck...
True story.

So, for years, I have stayed away from making my own bread.  I think I felt that there was some kind of bread making intuition that I didn't have.  Also, the thought of making bread even close to the same caliber of Aunt Wanda was intimidating.  I had watched my mom make bread too.  It looked pretty tricky to me.  "How much flour mom?"  "Oh...just enough to make it look like this..."  I needed cold, hard facts.  You know?  Actual measurements.

Well, I finally got up the courage and decided to give it a go.  I looked to a favorite website - and found this recipe of cold hard facts.  Samuel (my sous chef 3 year-old) and I followed it exactly and IT WORKED!  I was ecstatic.  My husband was delighted.  And we chowed down those 4 loaves in just a couple days (just cause' it was the first time...) ;)

Here's the recipe folks.  Let me know if you try it. 

2 packages of active dry yeast
(or 4 1/2 tsp of yeast)
4 1/2 cups warm water
6 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted, cooled
12 cups flour

In large bowl, dissolve yeast in water.
Add sugar, salt and butter, stir until dissolved.
Add half the flour, beat until smooth with a spoon.
And remaining flour (enough to make soft dough).
Turn on to floured surface.
Knead 8-10 minutes (it will seem like a long time...but it's worth it.)
Place in greased bowl.
Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).
Punch dough down and allow to rise for another 30 min.
Divide into 4 parts.
Put in greased loaf pans and allow to rise until doubled (about 30 min).
Put in 350 degree preheated oven for 30 min or until nicely browned.

"Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."  Matthew 4:4


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