“When the girl returned, some hours later, she carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it; and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thick, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb. The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cosy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one’s ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender, of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries.” -The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Graham
The Wind in the Willows perfectly captures what homemade bread means to my family. Some of our favorite memories are made in the kitchen, standing around, eating bread fresh from the oven, slathered thickly with golden butter. Our recipe is from our Great-great-grandmother, and we’ve been eating it ever since we can remember. The aroma of baking bread fills the house, making our mouths water; and when it comes out, it disappears in less than twenty minutes.
We eat it in sandwiches, as french toast, in an egg-n-a-nest; sliced and baked with cheese and garlic on top- oh my. Toast and top with cinnamon and sugar, with jam or honey. There can hardly be anything more delicious and home-like. Before baking, you can roll it out, spread cinnamon-n-sugar, or cheese on top, roll it up, and plop it in the pan. When you cut it open, you’ll have a beautiful, tasty swirl inside.
The recipe is reasonably foolproof. Every time I’ve made it, it has always come out well.
In this last photo, the bread is ready to go back into the oven, (or any warm place) to rise again.
Make this recipe in a stand mixer, or mix it up by hand.
Makes 2 loaves
Homemade Bread 25 min. 350 degrees
- 2 Tbsp. yeast
- 2 c. lukewarm water
- 2/3 c. sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2-4 Tbsp. oil (or melted butter/margarine)
- 5-6 c. flour
Add ingredients in the order given. Knead into a soft dough, not stiff or sticky. (I’ve heard it said that if you can stretch it out and see light through it, it’s good) Let rise in a warm place until double- 45 min to 1 hr. Knead a few times. Divide in half and place in greased bread pans. Let rise in 45 min. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 min. Brush tops with butter, and let cool out of pans.
If you’ve never made bread before, don’t worry. It’s much simpler than it sounds, and the end result is worth it.