White Bread

All week I have been fielding a craving for my Grandma’s homemade strawberry jam on her white homemade bread.  I have been chalking it up to an ongoing craving for Spring, which has still been eluding us in these snowy northern environs.  I generally do not make white bread, if fact, I can not remember the last time I made a no frills loaf of white bread, probably in college (Yes. I was the kind of person that would bake bread alleviate the strain of having to stay up all night paper writing).  It has also been years since I have had my Grandma’s homemade bread and jam.  She past away about four years ago, but even before that, it had been years since she had last baked bread.  There was a period of time, when I was growing up, that she would make bread regularly in her bread machine, and there would be fresh bread on the table for every meal along with some of her homemade fruit jam.  My grandparents also maintained a large strawberry patch, along with several fruit trees, which provided the fruit for a lot of the homemade jam… yum…

Anyways, I caved to my cravings, and baked a couple loaves of white bread and made a quart of strawberry jam yesterday.  The strawberry jam recipe will eventually follow.  I do not own a bread machine so the bread is not quite like my Grandma’s, but I was still highly satisfied with the recipe I used from the Bread Bible.

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Recipe makes two loaves of bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup warm Water
  • 1 tbsp dry active Yeast
  • pinch of Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm Milk
  • 3 tbsp melted Butter
  • 3 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 6 – 6.5 cups Flour

Directions:

  1. Combine the yeast with 1/4 cup warm water and a pinch of sugar.  Set aside for about 10 minutes, or until the yeast mixture is frothy.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the remaining water, milk, butter, honey, salt, and 1 cup flour.
  3. Beat these ingredients together for a least a minute.
  4. Pour in the yeast mixture.
  5. Continue to beat the dough adding 1/2 cup of flour at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  6. Knead the dough for 5 minutes.
  7. Place the dough in a greased and lidded container to rise for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until doubled.
  8. Gently remove the dough from the container, and divide it in half.
  9. Roll a dough half out into an even rectangle the length of your loaf pan.
  10. Take one of the long sides of your dough rectangle and tightly roll the dough into a log.
  11. Pinch the dough seams together.
  12. A place your loaf into a greased loaf container, seams side down.
  13. Repeat with the second half of dough.
  14. Cover the pans with plastic wrap, and allow your dough to rise for another hour, until it has once again doubled and has risen above the edges of your pan.
  15. Preheat your oven to 375 F (~ 190 C).
  16. Use a sharp knife or bread lame to make a long cut along the top of each bread loaf.
  17. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
  18. Remove the loaves from the pans and onto a cooling rack right after you pull them from the oven.

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