Thursday, February 23, 2012

White Bread

Food is one of those things that has a way of evoking memories.  It can be the look, smell, taste or all of the above.  I know I have been taken back to my childhood after the first smell or bite of many foods.  This bread is one of those things that took me back to a special place in my childhood.  When I was young my parents had a friend who among other things, made bread.  This bread was out of this world good.  It was so light and fluffy but rich and buttery at the same time.  The bread had such a distinct flavor, texture and smell and everytime I was able to enjoy a piece of this delicious bread I was instantly taken to a happy place. 
I was never lucky enough to get the recipe from my parents' friend so I have been on the search for a bread recipe that was even half as good and fluffy as hers.  I think I've come pretty close with this recipe.  It is rich and buttery as well and fluffy.  Even from their raw state, once all of the ingredients were combined the buttery, yeasty aroma instantly took me back to my childhood.  I had to excersize true patience to allow the bread to rise the proper amount of time.  I can honestly say it was worth the wait.  When I pulled the bread from the oven it looked just like the bread I remembered.  The true test was still to come, the test of taste and texture.  Would this bread resemble that delightful, buttery, fluffy treat I enjoyed as a kid?  Let me say, it was pretty darn close.  I was so happy with the way this bread turned out.  Although a little more dense than I remembered that buttery goodness was there.  Enjoying a piece warm and fresh from the oven is like nothing else, but since you can't eat a whole loaf of bread at one sitting (or can you?) just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds and smear a smidge of butter on it and this too will take you to your happy place!  
How exactly did I excersize patience so the bread could properly rise?  By spending time with Spencer and this cute, little man.  We had a blast enjoying the pretty weather we've had lately.  Isn't he a cutie?

 White Bread
Ingredients:

2 2/3 Cup flour
1 Tsp salt
2 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 Envelope (2 1/4 tsp) yeast
2 Tbsp butter
1 Cup milk

Directions:

Melt butter and heat milk to luke warm.  Combine butter, milk, yeast, salt, sugar and 1 cup of flour in a medium bowl and stir gently to combine.  Slowly add the remaining flour and knead for 3 minutes, until dough has come together and forms a ball.  *If dough is too sticky add more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time.  Place oil in a large bowl and coat lightly.  Place dough in the bowl and turn 2 to 3 times, cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until dough has doubled in size.

Remove dough from bowl and place on a well floured work surface.  Knead dough 2-3 times, form dough into a rectangle the same size of a loaf pan (9x5).

Recipe source: adapted from All Recipes

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