I am cooking dinner this week. But, sorry, you don’t get to see the recipe until early May – when I’m guest posting here…
But it’s good, I promise!
So, I couldn’t leave my own little blog without some sort of recipe for the week. And I was inspired by Calamity Kate’s post about family traditions and recipes. Soooo, I decided to make my Grandma’s incredible bread (and I’m a bread virgin – seriously, never made real bread before.)
A little background on my Grandma, she worked in a diner for years and years supporting her family and is now a farm wife. One of the best ladies I know in the whole world – and she is an amazing cook (even Hubs agrees whole-heartedly on this one). Every time we make the trek to the farm, she makes this bread. I have dreams about it, it’s so good. And, surprisingly, after perusing the recipe, easy to make.
(adapted for our kitchen) from Grandma Nola
Makes 3 loaves
3 c very hot water
1/2 c butter, margarine, or shortening
1/2 c sugar
2 1/2 t salt
2 packages active dry yeast
approx. 9 1/2 c all-purpose flour, unsifted
In a large bowl, combine water, butter, sugar, and salt. Stir until the butter melts and let cool to warm. Stir in yeast, cover, and set in a warm place until bubbly, about 15 minutes.
Add 5 cups of flour and beat with a heavy-duty mixer or a wooden spoon to make a thick batter. With a spoon, stir in enough flour, about 3 1/2 cups, to make a thick dough. Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. Turn dough over in greased bowl, cover, and let rise until double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Cook at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Let cool and enjoy slightly warm!
(Side note, Grandma’s original recipe calls for baking one giant loaf in a dutch oven and is slightly more complicated. If you’d like that recipe, leave me a comment and I can send it to you.)
This was remarkably easy overall. The only really hard part was the kneading for 10 minutes. I mean it was a lot of dough to knead, and I’m not the tallest person in the world, and it was an odd angle to be kneading on our counter… so let’s just say my arms were really sore afterwards (and blame it on all the previously mentioned reasons, not that I’m out of shape, okay?)
(Oh, and I learned from Hubby when he got home, that I could’ve left the dough in the mixer and it would’ve kneaded if for me – nice tidbit to know now.)
Because my arms were a tad sore, the second set of kneading may have been a bit lazily done – and the bread-loave-shapes may have been a little misshapen (notice I didn’t show a picture of two of the finished loaves – they looked kinda strange, oops! – still tasted good, though).
And BONUS, my house smelled SO good for hours. I adore the smell of freshly cooking/cooked bread – one of my favorite smells ever!
The bread itself was de-lic-ous! (Maybe not quite as good as Grandmas, which I can accept, but still darn tasty.)
So tasty that between Hubby, myself, and the oldest, we may have eaten a whole loaf in one day (it was the smallest loaf, really). I’m not admitting to anything, but that might have happened.