Thursday, November 20, 2008


This is a family recipe. My Grandmother made this bread daily for her husband & 6 kids when my Mom was a kid. My Mom has always made it for holiday meals & on those chilly winter days when fresh baked bread is the only thing that can make you feel truly warm. I started making it when I was about 10. My Mom would buy a jar of yeast & 20 lbs of flour, then several times a week I would "practice" making bread. It really is one of those trial & error things that you have to make over & over to get the feel for. I don't make it as often as my family would like, but I do make it for all holidays & randomly through out the winter.

This recipe involves getting messy. Plan to have dough up to your elbows & flour all over the place.

2 cups very warm water
1 packet regular yeast (2 1/4 t )
2 T sugar
2 T vegetable oil
2 t salt
5 lbs flour (you won't use the whole thing, but it is best to have a full bag to start)

It is important to use a large glass bowl....I sometimes use the 5 quart stoneware insert from my round crockpot.

Read the instructions on the back of the yeast packet. The water should be 90 to 100 degrees. Pour water into large glass bowl. Add sugar, yeast, oil & salt. Mix around with your fingers to dissolve.

Start adding flour 2 cups at a time & mixing in well with one hand (keep one hand out of the mixture to use in getting the flour out of the bag or canister). It can also be helpful to have another person pour flour for you. You will know you are close to enough flour when it starts to get hard to mix the flour into your dough. The dough should have an elastic feel & when you knead it, there shouldn't be any stickiness.

Put the dough back in the large bowl & cover with a towel. Let it rise in a warm part of the kitchen until it doubles in size. Punch it down, sprinkling flour on it anywhere it is sticky. Cover & let rise again. The second rising will be faster.

Punch it down again. Break off a piece about the size of a racquetball. It should fit nicely in the palm of your hand. Knead the dough by pulling the edges out & folding them firmly back into the center. Continue kneading until a solid firm ball is formed. Place into a greased 13X9 baking pan. Repeat until the pan is full. Be sure to leave about 1 inch space around each roll. Cover with a towel & let rise until the rolls are touching each other.

Bake in the oven @ 400 for 20 minutes or until they are golden. Remove from oven, rub the tops of the rolls with butter for a soft crust or shortening for a firmer crust. Remove from pan & allow to cool slightly before serving. DO NOT cut into hot bread with a knife!!!!! Cutting with a knife will cause the bread to get gummy. Break open by hand to butter.


Shynea @ Penny Pinching Diva said...

I have never made homemade bread before, but I have vowed to try it one day soon. This recipe sounds so good, and everyone that I talk to says that homemade bread is so much better then store bought bread.

Denise said...

Good luck with it. Let me know how it turns out. We LOVE homemade bread at our house.