Bread

My neighbors call me ‘the bread fairy’. It’s a title I wear proudly. They call me that because I typically make two to four loaves of homemade bread every week. As much as we like and eat bread, it’s way more than we can consume. I build up a supply for my dad and deliver 4-6 loaves to him at a time, and I give it as gifts. But our freezer gets full, and our neighbors take really good care of us. So we pay them in bread. It’s a great arrangement for everyone.

I started making this bread years ago when my friend Sue gave me a sourdough starter. It was the second happiest day of Matt’s life.

jar

It’s such an easy recipe to follow. Just leave the starter in the refrigerator until you are ready to make bread. That morning, pull it out of the fridge, feed it with ¾ cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons instant potato flakes, 1 cup hot water and stir. Leave it on the counter all day.

Then after dinner mix 1 1/4 cups of the starter with 6 cups bread flour, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 cup oil, and roughly 2 cups of hot water. Turn the dough into an oiled bowl and leave it on the counter overnight. The best place I’ve found is on the stove under the hood light.

in bowl

The next morning turn the dough onto a floured board, kneed a few times, divide in half and kneed a bit more. Place each half in a greased bread loaf pan. Put it back on the stove to rise all day. Late in the afternoon, bake the loaves at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

cooked in pans

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

This is seriously the best bread I’ve ever had. Folks ask to purchase it. There are so many fantastic ways to enjoy it. Matt likes it hot from the oven with real butter (please do not defile my bread with the fake stuff). My dad likes it toasted with peanut butter. My sister says it makes the best grilled cheese. I too like it warm with butter, but this is how I like it best –

nutella french toast

As crunchy Nutella banana stuffed French toast with real maple syrup…….

 

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