Friday, August 15, 2008

Grandma Thorn's Basic White Bread

My grandma made bread every week. I never thought much of it growing up because it is just what she did. I loved to eat it hot out of the oven. She always gave my dad a loaf who also loved her bread. Once I got old enough to appreciate the difference between homemade and store bought bread I asked my grandma if she would teach me how to make her bread the next time she made it. Unfortunately she passed away before she ever made bread again. For years I have wished that I was able to learn from my grandma the art of her bread. She had made it for so long that the recipe wasn't written down. Every reunion and family gathering I would ask around for the recipe and nobody ever had it. Then, a few years ago I was talking to my aunt and longing for that recipe and she said "I've got it." I couldn't believe my ears! She sent me the recipe as soon as she got home. Problem was, she only sent me the ingredients. I am such a novice when it comes to making bread and I didn't even know how many times to let it rise! I set out to figure it out. This is my 3rd batch and I feel it turned out pretty darn good. My husband doesn't like a dark crust so this crust isn't as dark and chewy as my grandma's but it is pretty darn close.

What you will need:

4 1/2 tsp. yeast
1 tlbs salt
4 tlbs sugar
1/4 cup oil
3 cups hot water
Enough flour to make a soft dough

What you do:

Mix the water, yeast and sugar and let sit for a minute or so. Add the salt, oil and a couple cups flour. Let sit for 10-20 minutes or overnight in the fridge. Add the rest of the flour to make a soft do that won't stick to your hands. Don't add too much flour. Kneed in a mixer for about 5 minutes or by hand for about 15 minutes. Make sure you kneed it well to get the best bread quality. Add about a tablespoon of oil in the bottom of a large bowl. Put kneeded dough in the bowl on the oil then turn dough over. The oil helps to keep the dough from drying out. Let rise until double in a warm spot covered with a clean dish towel. After the first rise, punch down and let rise again until double. After the second rise roll the dough out and get rid of all the air bubbles. Shape into 3 loafs and put in loaf pans. Let rise again until almost double. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven until crust is deep brown, about 40 minutes. Turn out of loaf pans immediately and let cool on a cooling rack. Let cool at least 20 minutes before cutting or the bread will squish and basically be ruined.


smithtrek said...

This bread sounds delicious and I'm planning on making some. I absolutely love homemade bread!
Brandy,could you tell me what size loaf pans you use for this recipe? Thanks! Annette

Brandy said...


I just use the standard size loaf pan. The loaves are a little wider than the ones my grandma made and I think it is because my loaf pans are made out of silicone and so they expand a little on the sides. This recipe would work well with no loaf pans also. You could just shape it into a bagguette shape and bake directly on a sheet pan. The bread turns out to be like a french bread style bread. Yummy! Hope it turns out well for you.