For the life of me, I cannot bake a reasonable loaf of white bread. I've been trying for about 16 years and just can't get it. Oh sure, my loaves look great on the outside, but once cut the interior is a damp heavy mess. It doesn't matter what recipe I try, they always fail.
Husband's mother baked great bread so last weekend he decided to give it try. He emailed his sister for the recipe and went to work. Of course HIS bread turned out wonderful - light, fluffy and very tasty. Guess what he will be doing every weekend from now on!
The bread was so wonderful that I didn't even want to give the heels to the chicken, so I saved them up for bread pudding. I used a wartime recipe from The 40's Experiment and it really is the best bread pudding recipe I have ever made.
Here is husband putting this weekend's bread into the oven....
Here is my mother-in-law's bread recipe which I think may have come from a Purity cookbook:
Yield: 4 Loaves (use 8 1\2" x 4 1\2"bread pans.)
2 cups milk
Pour into a large bowl and add
1\4 cup sugar
4 teaspoon salt
1\4 cup shortening
1 cup water
Stir until the shorting melts. Cool to lukewarm.
Meanwhile, dissolve 2 teaspoons sugar in 1 cup lukewarm water
Over this sprinkle 2 packages active dry yeast*
Let stand for 10 minutes. Keep at a temperature of about 80 degrees. Then stir briskley with a fork.
Add softened yeast to the lukewarm milk mixture. Stir
Beat in 5 cups Pre-sifted all-purpose flour
Then add another 4 1/2 to 5 cups pre-sifted all-purpose flour
Work in last of the flour with a rotating motion of the hand. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead for 8 to 10 minutes.
Shape into a smooth ball.
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. grease top slightly. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk-about 1 1/2 hours.-keep dough in a warm place.
Punch down the risen dough and turn onto a lightly floured board. Cut into four equal pieces and form each into a smooth ball. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
Shape each ball of dough into a loaf. Place in greased pans and grease the tops. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/4 hours).
Bake in preheated oven 425 oven for 30 to 35 minutes.