Whenever I have a hankering for heavy-duty, delicious, homemade bread (which is often!), I don't hesitate to reach for my grandmother's recipe. Not only is her bread the perfect blend of crisp crust and a soft, bread-y center, but the aroma in the kitchen while it's baking is enough to make you drool an inappropriate amount. xoxo Lexy Ward Of Proper
Her recipe is super simple to follow and yields two giant loaves or four small/medium ones! And when you're done, you can pat yourself on the back for being all domestic and what-not!
Grandma\'s Homemade Bread
|1/2 cup whole milk||3 Tbsp sugar|
|2 tsp salt||3Tbsp butter|
|1 pkg active dry yeast||1 1/2 cups warm water|
|5-6 cups flour|
In a small saucepan, scald the milk over medium heat. (Her recipe actually calls for scalding the milk because she made hers with milk that wasn't pasteurized. Most milk is pasteurized today so you can just get your milk really hot and bubbly, but don't burn it!)
Stir in sugar, salt, and butter. Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm.
In a large mixing bowl that has been warmed (using either hot water or a microwave), dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Once dissolved, add the lukewarm milk mixture and 4 1/2 cups of the flour (1/2 cup at a time). Mix for about two minutes or until well-blended.
Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until mixture resembles a sticky dough and cleans the side of the bowl. You can mix this by hand or with a stand mixer with a dough hook attached. My grandmother kneads all her breads by hand, and I was raised to knead by hand as well, so that's the way I do this. But feel free to cut that work out! Knead for 7-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. It may be slightly sticky to the touch.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and turn the dough to grease the top. Cover, and let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size (about 1 hour).
Punch it down and let it rest for 15 minutes. Divide the dough in half or fourths (depends on size of bread pans) and shape each piece into a loaf.
Place in greased bread pans.
Cover and let rise for another hour until the loaves have doubled in size.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.
Remove from oven and immediately rub a stick of butter on the top of each.
Cool on wire racks - if you can wait that long to cut a slice!
Add some creamy butter and a dollop of homemade strawberry jam and devour. You can also wrap these loaves up in some flour sack towels and wrap in twine to deliver as gifts!