Grandmother Bread: My Current Go-to Homemade Bread

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There’s a reason why I have not been posting about my bread-making escapades of late.  I started out making and perfecting that loaf of bread with the milk loaf, and ever since, I had been using that.  Hence, no reason posting the same recipe over and over again, right?

I did make variations on the milk loaf sometimes, for instance with the whole wheat bread and the honey/maple oatmeal bread, but the main recipe remained the same for the most part.

However, in the recent months, I wanted to bake bread which was dairy-free.  My littlest one is currently in the process of trying new foods, and since I want to avoid the risk of allergens, I searched for a good bread recipe that was dairy-free AND tasty to boot.

It was then that I found the recipe for Grandmother Bread.  With many recipes, I have had to try several times before I got the texture right, but with this Grandmother Bread recipe, it was spot on from the very first time.

With only 5 simple ingredients, it is no wonder that the author of that site called this Grandmother Bread “deliciously simple and simply delicious”.  It uses no eggs, no milk and no oil, and I always like to knead 2 loaves’ worth of dough.  I would then bake one loaf and store the other half of the dough in the fridge in a large bowl covered with cling wrap.  The portion in the fridge keeps for 2-3 days, after which I would take it out, let it proof and the shape it into the loaf pan and bake it.  Saves me a whole lot of time!

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I almost always bake this Grandmother Bread as is, sometimes substituting some of the flour with ground oatmeal and wholewheat bread flour.  I’ve also tried this recipe making buns and it turned out fabulous.  The original recipe actually calls for all-purpose flour, but I used bread flour with no issues whatsoever.

For my most recent loaf, I decided to add some flaxseed meal and a generous helping of dried cranberries.  The loaf of bread turned out better than I’d expected and the addition of cranberries brought out the taste even further.  I love my homemade bread which tasted sublime with oh-so-delicious butter!  Usually I also add some orange marmalade … and oh, I don’t know…maybe some homemade kaya? 🙂

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Grandmother Bread (from Chickens in the Road)
(Yields: 2 loaves; recipe may be halved if required)

Ingredients:

3 cups warm water
1 tablespoon yeast (1 packet)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar (I used molasses)
7 cups all-purpose flour (I used combination of bread flour, wholewheat bread flour, ground oatmeal, etc…depending on my mood)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Let sit five minutes.
  2. Stir in first three cups of flour with a heavy spoon.
  3. Add the next cup of flour a little at a time as needed, stirring until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily.
  4. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary! My KitchenAid came in really handy again!
  5. Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  6. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about an hour.)
  7. Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again before dividing in half.
  8. With floured hands, shape dough into loaves and place in two greased loaf pans. (I use the swiss roll style of shaping bread loaves.)
  9. Tear off two pieces of waxed paper and grease with oil spray (to prevent it from sticking to the loaves as they rise) and cover loaf pans. Let rise till loaves are tall and beautiful! (About an hour, depending on the temperature in your kitchen.)
  10. Bake for 25 minutes in a preheated 350°F/175°C oven.  Be sure to adjust your oven temperature if it tends to be hotter or colder than the temperature.  I know my oven’s temperature reading is on the high side, so I always adjust it to about 20°C less than the recipe.
  11. Makes two loaves. Recipe can be cut in half.
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