Is there anything else that says “home” like the smell of bread baking? The smell is so comforting, so mouth-watering, that even if you didn’t grow up with home made bread, I can’t imagine the smell conjuring up any other thought for someone.
When Rocky & I were first married, he wanted me to learn 2 things from his mother: how to make her fried chicken and bread. When Maggie was born, she showed me how to do both. Now the chicken was easy. The bread, well, for something with so few ingredients, it takes a LOT of practice!!
Our Memorial Day weekend plans changed with all the rain and flooding. We had originally planned to go to Luccock and help the park get ready for summer. Then the rain rain rain came down down down and I 90 got flooded. It was closed for a while and when it opened back up, we debated going, until we heard it was snowing! The idea of spending a weekend at camp in the snow with a 1 year old did not appeal to us. So we stayed home. When I got up yesterday, I thought home made bread sounded really good. I checked to be sure I had everything [which I did, but I didn't have ENOUGH flour, whoops]:
A big spoonful of salt (and you must have the right sized spoon – Bonnie actually gave me the proper one – it’s a large serving spoon)
2/3 cup sugar
A big spoonful of lard
8 cups lukewarm water (I heat in the microwave and check the temp to be sure between 110 and 120)
3 packages rapid rise yeast
Lots of flour – it’s probably around 5 lbs total.
Mix salt, sugar and lard in a large bowl – I have an old metal bowl that a pizza place in Watertown SD used to make pizza dough. Add water and stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Add yeast, stir gently and let sit for 10 minutes to allow yeast to proof.
Add about 3 cups of flour and stir until the dough starts to look like dough. Let sit for 30 minutes. Add more flour and stir until you can no longer stir with your spoon. [Yesterday, I didn’t have enough flour to get to this part and had to run to Wal-mart to get more flour.] Continue adding flour and knead in until the dough is no longer sticky [this is the part I always, always get impatient in and I always always think I’ve added enough flour, but I never have]. Let the dough rise until double in size. At this point, Bonnie would tell you to check it, pay attention, etc. We went to the zoo and lunch and Sam's Club while the dough rose. It got big, but still is very taste (as Maggie would say).
Form dough into buns or loaves, or whatever you want, and let rise another 30 minutes.
Let the bread cool and enjoy. I prefer my bread with real butter and peanut butter and/or jelly and coffee! The bread freezes very well, which is good, because this recipe makes A LOT of bread. I think I have 3 dozen buns in the freezer right now.
This was the first time I’ve made bread since Jessie was born. I’ve been meaning to for quite some time, but it’s one of those things that you do have to plan a little bit for (and I wish I had planned a little more for so I wouldn’t have had to make that run to Wal-Mart)