Grandma Nola’s World Famous Sheepherder Bread

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.

The Recipe:

(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

salad oil

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.

Why am I so fascinated with yeast?

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.

before

after

Punch dough down, divide into thirds, and knead each third on a floured board to form smooth balls.  Place each into a loaf pan and let rise in a warm place for about 1/2 hour.

Not pretty, but it'll do the job.

Cook at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.  Let cool and enjoy slightly warm!

ohhhh, yeah

(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.)

The Results:

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.

If it's not world famous, it should be!

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16 thoughts on “Grandma Nola’s World Famous Sheepherder Bread

  1. Oh wow Courtney! I haven’t ever had beautiful bread and I am so trying this recipe as soon as I move. There was no misadventure in your kitchen, maybe this is your calling. Thanks for sharing the love and I can’t wait to see what you post

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  2. Those are very impressive looking loaves! If I could have flour, I’d try this out for sure! I agree with Kate, you may have to change the name of your blog…!

    Like

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  10. Thanks so much for this recipe. Our three girls ages 5,3 and 1 year all helped their daddy make this bread. It’s awesome. We’ve made it twice and it came out perfectly both times. We have an amazing recipe for a blueberry bread called loyalist bread that we could share with you. If you’d like this recipe or pics of our girls making your bread recipe and the final product, please email me.
    Jeff

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