Thursday, March 27, 2008

My Great Grandmother's White Bread

Otherwise known as the bread recipe I jealously guarded as a family heirloom. And then I realized that it was silly. This bread? It can brighten a bad day, start a day off right, or serve as (for me) a comforting reminder of childhood. Yes, it's "just" a white bread, made with crisco (probably lard originally) no less, but it is serious white bread. Not your squishy wonder bread, but definitely not the type that's currently in vogue - no whole wheat, no ground flax seed, no nuts, and definitely not "no-knead." Nope, it's the standard, run-of-the-mill white bread that my mom and grandma grew up on. It's just as good toasted with butter as it is in a sandwich, and incredibly addictive. Just look how far I've gotten through one of my loaves since I made the bread on Saturday:

I'd call that quite a sign of approval, wouldn't you? So here it is, my favorite white bread.

My Great-Grandmother's White Bread

2 c. scalded milk cooled to lukewarm
2 c. warm water or potato water
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. Crisco
1 T salt
1 egg, beaten
2 packages yeast

Mix yeast and 1 c very warm water. Add sugar. Proof. Mix in all else and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl and let rise until double. Punch down, knead, and shape into four loaves. Place in greased bread pans. Let rise to double. Bake at 350 degrees 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.


Di said...

Caitlin--The bread looks fabulous! But how much flour?

Engineer Baker said...

Haha, that's the funny part, and what freaked me out so much the first time I made it. Ya know that line about enough flour for a soft dough? Yeah, that's as specific as she got. I honestly don't know how much flour I put in mine, it varies so much from day to day and season to season. I'd guess it's somewhere around 3-4 cups per loaf. I made a half recipe so I probably used anywhere from 6-8 cups of flour.

Karina said...

What a beautiful loaf of bread! I am so jealous that you have a family recipe that has been passed through so many generations. That's really cool.

Di said...

Gotta love recipes like that. =) I have one from my husband's grandmother for ravioli filling. She obviously made it with whatever was left over from Sunday dinner (beef, chicken, whatever). It turns out different every time I make it.