My Mama’s Homemade Bread

My mother, Joy, has made this bread ever since I was a little girl. I have proof of that, because years ago I drew a lovely picture on her recipe! She’s even laminated it to keep the little drawing from getting ruined. Isn’t that sweet?

This bread smells like home. I can remember coming home from school smelling a roast cooking…and this bread. There was no masking the smell of this wonderful bread. It’s my favorite. Eat it with honey, butter, apple butter, soak up a stew…the possibilities are deliciously endless.

It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. And it also makes me want to eat!

Even today with my own family, when I make this bread, everyone comes running from all directions. My little boys love it so much they’ll eat almost a whole loaf while it’s still hot. (Maybe I help a little.)

My mother says that you can freeze this bread. That would be fabulous, but I never have leftovers. I did actually freeze it once. This bread was my choice for toast after I gave birth…both times we had our home births. So when I had our third son, making this bread and freezing it was on the top of my before-birth to do list. After he came into the world (after all the baby cuddling and joyful crying) my husband prepared my toast on this bread. The best toast I ever tasted.

All this background information to say…I love this bread so everyone should make it and love it too.

Here’s how:

1 cup boiling water

½ cup honey

½ stick butter

1 package yeast

½ tsp sugar

¼ cup warm water

2 eggs

½ tbsp salt

4 cups bread flour (I use Gold Medal)

Directions: In a large bowl, combine the first three ingredients. Let the butter melt and let the water return to room temperature.

Meanwhile, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let the yeast start bubbling.

Mix up the eggs with the salt. Now, combine the first set of ingredients with the egg mixture. Add the yeast mixture. Combine it all well.

Add the bread flour one cup at a time. Mix it until all the flour is incorporated. Cover the bowl, and let it rise for 2 hours.

After the two hours is up, turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead it a few times. Divide the dough in two. Put the two balls of dough into two prepared loaf pans. (To prepare pans: I always butter the pans, then sprinkle them evenly with flour.) Cover the loaves in the pans and let rise another hour.

After this hour is up, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the two loaves with melted butter. Put in the oven for 10 minutes.

Take loafs out of the oven, and turn the oven down to 250. (Around this time a heavenly aroma will begin to fill the house.)

Brush with more butter. Put foil over the loafs, and put back in the oven for 25 minutes.

That’s it! If I can control myself, I let the bread cool slightly before slicing it. But if I don’t care about self-control, I’ll go ahead and slice the end off and try it out with some butter or honey. Burnt fingertips will not keep me from slicing piping hot bread!

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