I'm a little obsessed with fresh bread. So obsessed that I've been know to buy a loaf fresh from the bakery and eat most of it in an afternoon. There's nothing like fresh, chewy, yeasty bread. A little butter or, even better, a little brie and I am one happy gal. Chubby but happy.
I've had to trim the budget recently (quit my job and all) so I'm trying to use what we have in the pantry and still eat well. One of the things I've been doing is experimenting with baking bread. Because bread. I love it. That's all.
So on a rainy and cold summer afternoon (Oh hey, Canada! Thanks for another winter summer!) I was digging through my recipe box, downsizing my collection and came across this recipe that I copied from my grandmother before she passed away.
I vividly remember sitting in her kitchen when Emily was tiny (and she's 24 now) while she made this bread and she dictated the recipe to me. Dictated because, like everything she made, she kept the recipe in her head and just added a pinch of this and a pinch of that. Now when I do stuff like this it equals baking disaster. But for her, it always came out perfectly. I tried to make the bread a couple of times but I couldn't get it and I gave up.
I have a couple of decades of cooking under my belt now and I thought it might be time to attempt this again. The best part of this whole scheme is that Aiden was indulging in his daily three hour snooze and Liam likes to help in the kitchen. He doesn't nap. That makes me sad sometimes but not today. I asked if he wanted to help bake some bread and we had a grand old time.
In tinkering with this recipe, I switched from using regular flour to bread flour. I'm not even sure we got bread flour in Canada all those years ago but I know from experience that it does make a difference. The recipe that I'm sharing here has my altered (and slightly more specific) directions and measurements. I also used my Kitchen-Aid instead of mixing my hand like my grandmother. Yeesh, women were tough back then.
Liam was pretty excited about getting to add ingredients and use the Kitchen Aid.
He had a seizure the day before and we spent most of the night at emerg. He has refused to take off his hospital bracelet. It's his ultimate fashion accessory. I don't argue over small stuff. I'm just planning to snip it off in his sleep tonight ;)
Liam was so excited that he grabbed a hunk off the corner when I was putting the laundry in. I didn't even get mad. Just told him to wait until I could add some butter to the experience. And then I moved the loaves up high.
Here's the recipe from Grandma with the addition of my obsessive need for details and measurements.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to clean bread crumbs out of my keyboard. And pry the dough hook from Liam's grip. He thinks he's a pirate.
Sharing this recipe here and over at Serenity Now, Finding Silver Pennies, Home Stories A to Z, Cedarhill Farmhouse, Fluster Buster, Coastal Charm, Bloom Designs, From My Front Porch to Yours, Pieced Pastimes, Tabler for Two, A Life In Balance, and Savvy Southern Style.