Meredith wanted to make bread for some friends who were coming over for dinner one evening, and she had all day to make it. It was pouring outside and Jeremy was feeling a bit under the weather as well.
For Christmas, Meredith's mother gave her a copy of the Five Roses cookbook, knowing it's the same book that her grandmother used (an earlier version, at least). In my opinion, the recipe for white bread is quite a task. There's lots of punching and kneading, and even more waiting. I guess that's why I don't bake.
The bread itself turned out great. We used it with our dinner that evening and shared some with the neighbours (who's going eat four loaves?!)
White Bread (makes 4 loaves)
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp sugar
2 cups milk (we used 3.5%)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp vegetable shortening
2 tbsp salt
2 cups water
10-12 cups flour
- In a small bowl, dissolve 1 tsp sugar in 1/2 cup water. Sprinkle yeast on top and let stand for 30 minutes, then stir.
- In a saucepan, scald the milk, add 1/4 cup sugar, 2 shortening and salt. Stir until the shortening melts and add 2 cups water. Make sure milk mixture is lukewarm.
- Add yeast to milk mixture and using a standing mixer, mix in 6 cups flour until smooth.
- Gradually add the remaining 5 or six cups until the mixture no longer sticks to the board or mixing paddle.
- Remove dough from mixer and knead by hand for 8-10 minutes.
- Grease a bowl with shortening and place the dough inside, turning it around so it's also covered in shortening. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm room (approximately 80 or 85-degrees Fahrenheit) for about an hour, until it doubles in size.
- Punch the dough down and let it rise again for about 45 minutes.
- Punch the dough down again and divide into four equal parts.
- Cover the portions and let them rest for 10 minutes.
- Shape into loaves and place in four 8.5" x 4.5" x 2.5" bread pans, cover, and let rise again for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400-degrees and bake loaves for 30-40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack before removing from pan.
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