February is one of the most difficult months to get through. Too much snow and too little sunlight activate my SAD. So what's a Jersey Girl to do? Bake bread, of course.
Here’s a recipe that says good bye and good riddance to February. It’s for a traditional country white bread that is often called “Grandma’s Country White Bread,” most likely because someone, perhaps generations ago, was kind enough to share their grandma’s secret for delicious bread. It’s an easy recipe that the entire family can create together. Two 1-hour rises are needed, so plan another family activity for the “down” time.
Family fun, a great-smelling house, and delicious warm bread for dinner. Now that’s one great way to say good-bye, February, hello, March!
Grandma’s White Bread
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Makes two loaves
1 package active, dry yeast
½ cup warm water
3 T sugar
2 cups milk
2 T butter
1 T salt
6 cups sifted, all-purpose flour
1. Place warm water in a small bowl. Add the contents of yeast package and 1 T of sugar to the water. Stir until both yeast and sugar are dissolved. Let stand until mixture turns bubbly and doubles in size, about 10 minutes.
2. Combine remaining sugar, milk, butter, and salt in a small saucepan and heat until butter melts. Pour into a large bowl and cool to lukewarm. Then stir in the yeast mixture.
3. Using an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir in about half the flour and beat until smooth. Gradually stir in enough flour to make a soft dough. (All six cups of flour might not be needed.)
4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Use additional flour, if needed.
5. Place in bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray, cover with a a clean towel, and let rise 1 hour.
6. Punch down dough, knead again, and cover with a clean towel for 10 additional minutes.
7. Divide dough into two loaves and knead each loaf separately. Place each loaf into a loaf pan and let rise one hour.
8. Bake for about 40 minutes.
A variation of this article also appeared in my food column on Examiner.com. You can view it here.