Friday, August 17, 2007

Bread of an evening

I am baking bread tonight, using an old German recipe that has never failed me. It starts with 2 cups of scalded milk ...

... When I am done, when it has been kneaded 50 times and left to rise, I have a plethora of your comments to answer, from the last two days.


leslie said...

Oh, man! Your not going to answer blog comments...that bread is going to start smelling good in the oven, and you're gonna get out the butter, and open a bottle of wine, and find the cheese plane in the utensil drawer...unh-uh. Yer not gonna answer blog comments...I'll be right over.

eastcoastdweller said...

It takes three hours for the bread to rise before I can pop it into the oven but meanwhile, a certain someone wants me to watch a Bewitched re-run with Her, so I shall be absent for a while.

eastcoastdweller said...

I shall never buy flour for the bread the same day that I make it again. I had the feeling as I was kneading it that it was a little too cold. Yeast likes nice, warm flour, toasty as sun-warmed sand, and the grocery keeps everything cold.

At first, I was blaming Pillsbury, since I've never bought that brand before, always Gold Medal, but this store only had Pillsbury.

It took a long time for the yeast to wake up and it almost looked like disaster. But I set the dough onto the top of the oven with the temp on and the door cracked and it's swelling up nicely now.

Just wish that I could cut a crusty slice when it's done, to enjoy with butter and cheese as Leslie suggested. But I'm making it for a church Girl's Camp fundraiser this time.


leslie said...

You are a man of great will power to not cut into a hot loaf. I am an "end piece" person, and all my bread loses both ends right away.

eastcoastdweller said...


The end is the very best, so crusty and crunchy when it first comes out of the oven.

I have never understood those people who cut the crusts off a sandwich. Or who go for that mushy Wonder bread mess instead of a hearty, grainy loaf of real bread.

-Jeane Michelle Culp said...

You might want to add on your list of comments to be answered, what the old German recipe is for this delicious loaf! Ingredients, details, please!

eastcoastdweller said...

Okay, Jeane, I will -- it's quite straightforward and simple, based on "Uncle John's Original Bread Book.

You scald two cups of milk, then stir in 2 tsp sugar, 2 tsp salt and 1/4 cup butter. Stir that all together until the butter is all melted, then let it cool until it's nice like bathwater warm, not too hot. I usually don't have patience to leave it on the counter that long, so I cheat by sticking it in the freezer a few minutes.

Then you take your yeast packet and stir it into a tbsp or so of warm water. I always drop in a pinch of sugar to get the yeast going. Leave it for a minute til it starts to come alive.

Then comes the sweaty part. You blend the yeast mixture into the butter-salt-sugar-milk mixture and then stir in three cups of flour, one at a time. When it gets too thick to stir with a spoon, start working it with your hands. Gradually add three more cups of flour.

I usually knead the dough ball 50 times.

Then you smear butter on the bottom of a big bowl, drop the dough ball into it and then flip the dough ball over and let it rise in the bowl for 90 minutes, in a warm place.

I like to cover the bowl with a slightly dampened cloth.

Then you punch it down and let it rise again for 30 more minutes, at which point you cut it into two loaves, which you let rise again until they've doubled.

Then bake in a 400 degree oven about 30 minutes.

Then try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting.