Author: Mrs Butterfingers
Prep time: 3 hours
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 3 hours 45 mins
I started baking this bread more than 50 years ago. It is so good it can hold its own against all comers. It's not difficult to make and it makes the best toast and sandwiches.
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 2 oz (1/4 cup) soft shortening (butter, margarine, lard or vegetable shortening)
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 packages fast-rising dry yeast (4½ tsp)
  • About 10 cups unbleached all purpose flour.
  1. Scald the milk. To do this bring the milk just to the boil then remove it from the heat. Stir in salt, 4 tbsp sugar, soft shortening and ½ cup cold water. When the mixture has cooled to lukewarm add the two beaten eggs.
  2. Into the warm bowl of your stand mixer put l cup lukewarm water and stir in the 2 tsp sugar. Sprinkle with yeast. Let stand 10 minutes, the stir until well blended.
  3. Add the lukewarm milk mixture and 5 cups of the flour. Using your K blade beat until smooth and elastic. This should take around 6-8 minutes. Change to the dough hook and add about 4 cups more of flour. Continue beating and scraping down the sides of the bowl. If the dough climbs the dough hook scrap it down and continue beating for about 5 minutes. The dough should be a little sticky.
  4. Turn out on to a floured board or table top and knead until smooth and elastic, adding more of the last 1 cup of flour if needed. This should take about 5 minutes. The dough should be on the slack side, and feel smooth and silky.
  6. To knead dough, fold outside edge of dough over on itself toward you, and push the dough away from you, using the heels of your hands. Turn dough quarter way round, fold over, push, using heels of hands. Repeat and continue using steady rhythm. If dough should stick a little, sprinkle a tiny bit of flour on the board.
  7. Put the dough into a lightly greased large warm bowl. Grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean cloth.
  8. Let rise in a warm place (75°F to 85°F) , free from draft, until double in bulk - 1½ to 2 hours. Punch down dough.
  9. Turn out on to lightly greased board or table top. Cut into 4 equal pieces with a greased, sharp knife or bench scraper. Form each piece into a ball, turning cut surfaces under. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.
  10. Grease 4 loaf pans (about 8 x 5 inches top inside measure. Shape balls of dough into loaves, place in pans. Grease tops and cover with clean cloth.
  11. Let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until dough fills pans and centres are well above tops of pans - about 1½ hours. About ½ hour before rising is finished preheat oven to 375°F.
  12. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes until bread is done. The tops should be a rich dark brown and firm to the touch,
  13. Remove from pans onto wire racks. Cool uncovered. It is tradition, she who bakes the bread gets to cut and eat the heel.
Recipe by Mrs. Butterfingers at http://mrsbutterfingers.com/?p=704