March 25, 2020 10:26:52 AM
There is only one type of bread our child with allergies can safely eat, so when COVID panic began setting in and grocery store shelves began to empty, I knew that it was only a matter of time before I'd need to begin making our own bread for daily use.
I've never given y'all a recipe for homemade bread before because I always assumed no one except me was making bread. I'm sure that used to be true.
But in the past few days, I've begun getting requests for bread recipes, as my friends' stores of sliced bread began to dwindle. I imagine that many of you face the same problem.
It would appear that this is the moment I've been waiting for.
The truth is, bread making is one of those fortunately/unfortunately things. Unfortunately, it is time-consuming. Fortunately, most of that time is hands off, so the actual effort you must put forth is pretty minimal, especially if you have a stand mixer or bread machine that can do the kneading for you.
Also fortunately, this particular recipe makes three 4 1/2 -by-8 1/2-inch loaves, and bread freezes beautifully. So you can make this recipe once and have enough bread for your family for a couple of weeks.
If you are a small household or you don't eat much bread, try slicing it into slices before you put it into a freezer-quality ziptop bag to freeze. That way, you can extract just as much as you need and thaw or toast it quickly for breakfast or sides.
I know that the supply of bread flour is dwindling in most grocery stores, so I chose a recipe that calls for all-purpose flour. It also calls for evaporated milk, which you likely have in your pantry because at some point it seemed like a good thing to have on hand. If you don't, though, you can substitute regular milk. The fat in the milk keeps the bread soft, which is nice for sandwiches. But it's not absolutely necessary, which means you can use all water if you need to.
This recipe is from the King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook. It appeared on the back of bags of King Arthur flour in the 1970s and '80s. I've given extra instructions here to help those who have not baked much bread.
Amelia Plair is a mom and high school teacher in Starkville. Email reaches her at [email protected]
NATURALLY GREAT LOAF OF BREAD
2 cups warm water
1 (5 1/2 ounce) can evaporated milk or 3/4 cup regular milk
1/3 cup oil or melted margarine
1/4 cup honey or sugar
2 Tablespoons or 2 packets active dry yeast
7 to 8 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
Spread some butter on a slice and relish the feeling of becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder for a day.