And So It Begins…

Over 15 years ago, I went to a Library book sale, and I picked up an old looking cookbook.  It really caught my attention, because it was a cookbook full of nothing but bread recipes!  I love baking and eating bread, so this seemed like the perfect cookbook for me.  I bought it for the bargain price of 50 cents, and took it home with me.

Over the years I have looked through the book with the intention of baking some of the bread recipes, but it just never came to be a thing.  After my separation and subsequent divorce, I had packed in a box and put it in storage, with some many of my other belongings.  It wasn’t until I moved to New Jersey, to live with my boyfriend, that the cookbook was once more unearthed.  Again, I looked through it many times, but nothing ever came of it; that is until, this past Wednesday…

I was really in the mood to do some serious baking therapy, when the cookbook popped up in my head.  So, with great determination,  I pulled the book off the shelf and started really looking at it.  It then came to mind that I should do like the lady in that movie did and bake my way through the whole book; starting with the very first recipe and then just working my way through, one recipe at a time.  I’m not sure how long this will take or how much weight my family is going to gain from eating so much bread, but I am determined to do this.

So here it starts with the first recipe in the cookbook, Best-Ever White Bread…

Now to start with, this is a very basic white bread recipe.  I have one very similar to this that I bake all the time.  However, this one calls for scalded milk, where as my more modern recipe calls just for warm water.  In case you were not aware, the purpose behind the scalded milk is to kill any bacteria that would have been present in unpasteurized milk.  Now, as most all milk bought from a grocery store these days is pasteurized, there is no need to scald the milk.  Just heating it until small bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, is enough.  Some little differences I made in this recipe, were for personal preferences only.  First off, I used almond milk, as my adopted daughter is lactose intolerant, and it is now the only milk in my fridge.  The other change I made was substituting 1 tbsp. of honey for 1 of the tbsps. of sugar that are called for; I just do this because I like the slight hint of honey flavor it gives the bread.  Another thing that was different about this recipe is that it has you rise the bread 3 times instead of the now more common 2 times.  I believe the reason for doing this is to make the loaves more light and fluffy, while also making them more dense and less crumbly.

As I have a bad wrist; from many injuries over a 10 year period, when I was in my late teens and into my 20s, I don’t do all the dough kneading by hand.  What I do is to keep adding the flour a little at a time, until the dough is starting to pull away from the sides of the bowl, but still a little sticky.  I then give the bowl and the job of kneading over to my KitchenAid stand mixer, Thor.  He does a fabulous job of kneading the dough for me, and I just have to stand there and occasionally add flour and watch him chug along.

for me, the whole process of bread making is very therapeutic.  It helps to ease any ache or sorrow I have in my soul.  It has the added benefit of having an end product that is very yummy. 😀

I’m attaching a .doc file of the recipe for you all to download and try for yourselves.

Have a great weekend and Happy Baking!!

 Best-Ever White Bread

 

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