Barefoot and hungry? There are some wonderful smells and experiences we keep with us from our childhood. One of mine is the smell of fresh bread. It brings back simple memories of a kitchen with no dishwasher and a window that looked out at the chicken house. Mom had three of us running around and life wasn’t always sure, but her fresh bread sure was. Every week it seemed, she would put her wedding rings in the wooden bread drawer on the counter. Away from little hands and sticky dough. She took out her frustrations kneading the dough into submission. Occasionally, she would allow us to “spank” the bubbles out of the bread. After a long wait, we watched the oven. Why does bread smell so delish but take so long to bake? A half hour of smelling the bread baking, I am sure we drove our mother crazy asking if it was done yet. Finally, it was sliced and we would each get our warm piece of heaven smeared with butter.
Drooling yet? You should be. This is not my mother’s bread but even she agrees this is the best. A family friend gave it to me as part of a wedding gift. The recipe came with these awesome stoneware bread pans. Can you call them pans still? Interested in purchasing your own? You can find them at Salmonfalls.com in their baking collection.
With this large recipe I generally make 4 loaves of bread and 2 pans of rolls. Go ahead and grease your pans that you will be using. You can always reuse the same pans if you don’t have enough. Feel free to grab the PAM spray to do this. I prefer to use a stick of butter and rub it across the bottom and sides of the pans. The kids like to spread it more evenly with their fingers.
Take off those wedding rings! You forgot, didn’t you? (haha) I do nearly every time.
Best Bread and Roll Recipe
Rolls with a dollop of Honey. Mmm so good.
- 2 1/2 Cups Milk
- 1/2 Cup Butter (melt in microwave – 30 secs or on stovetop)
- 2 1/2 Cups warm water
- 3 Tbsp Yeast
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 5 tsp. Salt
- 5 Eggs
- 12-15 Cups of White flour
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Warm Milk in microwave for 1 1/2 min. You can warm on stove but careful not to scald or boil it.
- Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water with 1/4 cup sugar. Set aside. During this time you prove the yeast. If the water is the right temp a foam will form on the top as the yeast feeds on the sugar. If the yeast stays flat, you need to throw it out, adjust your water temperate, and try again. Water that is too hot will kill the yeast and water too cold will not allow yeast to grow.
- In large bowl, mix warmed milk, melted butter 1 1/2 cup warm water, 3/4 cup of sugar, salt and eggs. Mix well.
- Add proven yeast mix.
- Add 8 cups of flour. Keep mixing. Add a few cups at a time. Start using your hands to mix the remaining flour.
- Once the dough is firm. Place on floured surface and knead for 3-5 mins.
- Pour olive oil into a large clean bowl.
- Set dough in bowl and flip the dough to grease the surface of the dough. Cover with tea towel. Do not use a heavy towel as it may stick to the fibers.
- Let rise one hour or until doubled in size.
- Grease bread pans or 9×13 pans for rolls.
- Punch dough down and “spank” it to remove bubbles as you form loaves. To form dinner rolls, take small chunks and mold into balls with your hand.
- Bake at 350. Bread 30-35 mins. Rolls 20-25 mins.Bread should be slightly brown on top.
Slather with butter and jam. Enjoy!