I love to bake when I have time, which is not as often as I like now that I have a six year old and a nine month old. But one of the things I do get a chance to make is my white bread, because it has few ingredients and except for mixing and punching it down, it takes care of itself. Plus my older son can help!
My son started to make white bread with me when he was little. He loved to knead the dough. Alas when you are little and knead like a crazy man, accidents do happen. Like the time he kneaded so hard his pants slipped to his ankles reveling he had put his undies on backwards. We all had a good giggle that day and now have a memory to carry with us besides the yummy food in out tummies.
My white bread has become a tradition at holidays and no one ever asks what I am bringing. In fact I fear if I turned up without there might be heck to pay! So here is the simple recipe that has brought joy and memories to my family and now I hope to yours.
- 2 packets of yeast (dry active)
- 3 1/3 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 3 Tablespoon Shortening
- 10 cups of flour
(This makes 2 loaves)
In a bowl dissolve the sugar into the warm water. This is what is going to “feed” your yeast. When the sugar is dissolved add in your yeast, gently mixing it in. You want the yeast to eat and grow thus rising your bread, so be nice to it! Let that sit a few minutes so the yeast can get going.
Next add in your salt, shortening and flour. Add the flour in a few cups at a time so you don’t end up with a big old mess. Once everything is combined in the bowl, the fun starts. It is time to kneed that dough (which is both a workout and stress reliever!) Divide the dough into two balls and kneed each until they become elastic (not sticky) but don’t over do it or your breed will be tough.
Shape them back into balls and leave them in a warm place to rise for an hour. Kids love this next step, which is punching down the dough. You just punch it with your fist and it deflates! Now at this point you can either let it rise again (some times I do if I have time because I think it makes it just that much better) or you can roll each ball out into a rectangle with your rolling pin or anything else you might have around that is long and round. I have been know to grab a can of cooking spray and use it when I can’t find my rolling pin!
I spray my bread pans and dust with a little flour to get them ready. One you roll up the dough so it is a long log, you tuck the ends under so it fits in the pan. Plop them in the pans and put them some where warm to rise an hour.
Now it is time to bake them up at 425 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes. I promise your family will eat this bread up! That is why you make two loaves at once so it lasts more then a day!