Friday, January 22, 2010

My dad's crusty white braided bread:

Ok- here's the recipe. My dad used to be the baker in the family for holidays/special events. He died suddenly 6 years ago. I love making this and remembering him. I also have fond memories of him singing along with Johnny Cash and any other oldie on the radio. Maybe I should start playing dad's music while I make it. :) This picture is of him laughing really loud after A grabbed my dad's glasses off his face...

Makes 2 large loaves

5 cups flour
2 pkgs yeast
2 cups warm water (115* is ideal, I think)
1/4 cup oil
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour and yeast. Add water, oil, salt and sugar. Beat 30 seconds on low and 3 minutes on high with bread hooks on your mixer (or stir it by hand and make your hand go really fast like on cartoons). :) Stir in enough flour to make a stiff dough- usually another 3 cups on top of the 2 you started with.

Turn onto a clean surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, dusting with flour if it gets sticky. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with an oil-sprayed pc of plastic wrap and put a damp towel on top of the plastic wrap and let rise for about 60-75 min in a warm spot (until doubled).

Let your aggression out and punch it down. Divide it into 6 balls. Cover with the sprayed plastic wrap and damp towel again and let it rest for 10 min.

Roll each ball into a 16 inch rope (or a little longer). On a greased baking sheet, laugh while you attempt to braid the pcs together into two loaves. Tuck and pinch the end pieces under so they don't break open while baking/rising. Make sure to leave space between the loaves so that they can spread out and fully cook.

Cover again and let rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes. Bake at 375* for 30 minutes. They're done when you thump the top lightly with a wooden spoon and it sounds hollow. :)

Just typing it makes me want to make it again- but I'm already having a hard time buttoning my fat jeans- so I think I'll lay off for a while. Speaking of fat jeans, I highly recommend eating this bread warm with a smear of nutella. But don't blame me when your fat jeans get tight too... :)


Aimee said...

Thank you for sharing this. I need to copy it into Word to save.

I love this picture of your dad. It's so spontaneous, fun and natural.

Peter and Nancy said...

Wow -- I am really happy to see a bread recipe with no eggs! One of my sons is allergic, and I'm always looking for baked goods that he can eat. Thanks!

Terra said...

if it makes you feel any better. Your fat jeans are my skinny jeans. :) Love you.