Saturday, February 4, 2012

Making White Bread Part 2

This is the second part of a two part bread post requested by a reader. She asked how I make my breads. For this post I am using Suzanne McMinn's Grandmother bread recipe found at  her website Chickens In The This is a good basic everyday simple bread recipe. Great to start out with because it has just a few simple ingredients yet makes a great simple white bread. This recipe is for 2 loaves although I make 3. Why? Because my family likes them smaller to fit in the toaster  better : )

Proofing the yeast

In a heat safe bowl add 1 Tablespoon yeast (1 packet) and 1/4 cup sugar

Take a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup and add 3 cups water. Put in microwave and heat to 100 degrees. Use a thermometer. Add hot water to sugar and yeast mixture and walk away. ( If water is too hot it will kill yeast)

In a few minutes you will start to see a foam on the top of your yeast.

As a few more minutes lapses your foam on top will get thicker meaning that your yeast is alive and growing. This is called blooming or proofing your yeast.

Adding the flour
Now add your first 2 cups of flour and your salt. I am just using an all purpose flour. Stir until smooth.
Add 2 more cups flour (4 total) you see that your dough is starting to thicken and pull away from sides of bowl.
Add 1 more cup and you see a dough form. You can no longer stir with spoon so use those hands and mix.
Keep adding flour until you get a good dough that is not sticky but do not add too much flour. Although the recipe calls for 7 cups I only used about 6 cups adding a small amount at the time at the end. Now knead that dough. I set my oven timer for 6 minutes and kneaded until the timer went off. As my mother used to say "It builds the bosoms " : ) Now let your dough rest and take a large oven safe bowl and put a dab of olive oil in the bottom (about the size of a quarter) and grease the bowl good.
Put dough in bowl and rotate dough and then turn over to get the oil on the outside of the dough. 

First Rise

Now take a clean dish towel and wet it. Ring out until just damp and place over the bowl of dough and set in the cold oven. Place a casserole dish beneath it and fill with boiling water that I have heated to boiling in the microwave.
Set the oven timer for 1 hour and walk away. The heat and moisture from the boiling water help make a warm moist atmosphere for the dough to rise. This is your first rise. 
With lightly floured hands knead dough down again to release all the air pockets. Now split the dough into three equal sections. Flatten one and roll with lightly floured hands on a lightly floured surface.
This is the seam of the dough where you rolled it. That will be placed on bottom of the pan. Basically you are shaping your dough like french bread baguettes.
Now take two of these shaped dough loaves and place in french bread pans. Remember they will be larger so allow room to grow. The pans can be sprayed with non stick spray or you can find a link to my homemade non stick coating at the bottom of this post.
Take the remaining third and place in a greased or sprayed loaf pan. I like glass so I can see when the crust is done

Second Rise

Place dough back in cold oven and replace again with fresh boiling water and close door. Set timer for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes your loaves should be almost doubled in size. Remove all loaves from oven and place small loaf to side to continue rising. It will take longer. Preheat oven to 350 leaving water pan in oven.
While oven is preheating mix 1 egg and 1 Tablespoon milk in small bowl
Now brush loaves with egg milk mixture


Place loaves back in preheated 350 oven with water pan in bottom.
Bake for 35 minutes or until loaves tapped sound hollow.Remove from oven and set on rack to cool slightly before removing from pans. Brush warm crusts with melted butter.
Take remaining loaf and brush egg milk mixture on top and bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until brown.You may have to cover loosely with foil to allow bottom to brown and the top not to over brown.
You want the bottom of your loaf to be slightly brown also and sound hollow when tapped. Let cool before trying to remove from pan. Brush crusts with melted butter


Allow bread to cool completely before attempting to slice. Best way to slice bread is with an electric knife. My husband slices my bread with his electric fish filet knife ; )
The french bread is sliced to make garlic bread rounds to go with pasta dishes and put in plastic bags to freeze. Half of the loaf was left out to go with a pizza casserole that night. Just spread with butter and garlic bread sprinkles and broil for a few minutes on a cookie sheet.
And I have plenty of garlic bread in the freezer for my spaghetti and lasagna this month.
The loaf of white sandwich bread was used for egg salad sandwiches for lunch the next day.
A couple of notes! Try painting my homemade non stick coating on your bread pans with a pastry brush it works great and is cheap to make and shelf stable. Find the recipe HERE
The reason you cooked the two french bread loaves first is because they rose quicker because the pan is lighter with holes in it so the warm moist air penetrates better. You can see the holes in the pan here. The solid glass loaf pan is thicker and therefore it took longer to rise so was allowed to rise a little longer and cook later.

This concludes my two part bread post and I hope this helps. 

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. You husband had a fantastic idea! My problem is always slicing the bread.

  2. Thanks so much, CQ! I always enjoy your posts. :)

  3. P.S. The link to your home made non-stick coating takes me to the Chickens in the Road bread post. ;-)

  4. I am starving Now! Have a blessed day!

  5. I have made yeast bread since I can remember and have always done the sugar/yeast thing but never knew it was "proofing the yeast". Granny told me when I started, it gave the yeast a head start...the things kids will believe!

    wonderful two part series. I use a simple recipe by Justin Wilson.

    1. Any recipe of Justin's is good in my book. Growing up in Southeast Louisiana he was a dear family friend and I have such fond memories of him visiting my parents home and my family visiting his home. He was a true southern gentleman and a great cook to boot.

  6. I love making bread. I miss it but now that I'm retired and have all this free time, ha! Maybe I can make some again.

  7. Made this yesterday using my new French bread pan that I got for Christmas. Sure turned out yummy!


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