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Grandma’s White Bread
From Dorothy McNett's Recipe Book at www.dorothymcnett.com.
2 cups warm water, milk, or potato water (110-115 degrees, no hotter!)
Warm the liquid in a glass measuring cup in the microwave oven about 20 seconds. Use an instant thermometer to check for the proper temperature. Measure the yeast into large bowl, add the warmed liquid, the 4 cups of flour, the sugar, salt, and soft shortening. Using a wooden spoon, beat until the mixture is sticky, about 2-3 minutes. Add remaining 3 cups flour and mix with spoon, then switch to your hands. Dump the mixture onto work surface. Cover with towel. Wash out the bowl and lightly grease it with butter and set aside. Now knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic like. Round it up and place in greased bowl, brushing some of the butter over the top of the dough. Cover. Let rise in a warm place (85 degrees) until double in size, about 1 hour. Press 2 fingers into dough. It will leave indentation when dough is doubled. Punch down. Let rise again until almost double, about 30 minutes. Divide into 2 parts. Round up and cover. Let rest about 10 minutes. Shape into loaves. Let rise, covered, and then bake in a preheated 425 degrees oven for 25-30 minutes. It will sound hollow when done, if not, bake the loaves a few minutes more. Immediately remove bread from pans. Place on wire cooking racks and allow to cool, away from drafts. For soft, bright, and tender crusts, brush loaves with soft butter after removing from the pan.
Recipe created 1995-10-31.