You cannot live in a small farm town and get by without knowing how to make a decent loaf of bread–not only because it will come in handy when you run out of bread and the nearest decent grocery store is 60 miles away! But because home-baked bread seems to be the 6th language of love in a small community!
I know this because last year I was sick all day every day for nine months straight, and one of my dearest lifelong friends brought me and my family countless loaves of home baked bread with honey butter and I will never forget her kindness. In serving me, she taught me how to serve others.
So today I had the opportunity to pay some of that kindness forward with a family in need, and went to make my mother in law’s awesome simple white-loaf recipe, and the dough was SO tough it almost broke the kitchen aid! (Why do things always go wrong when you’re making them for other people?!) My fabulous sister in law ended up coming to my rescue, and we figured out that I added WAY too much flour. [My mother in law sabotages her bread recipes so no one can make them as good as her!] It’s our inside joke.
So, here is the REAL, legit, white bread recipe that I will use time and time again to feed my own family when I run out of bread (which happens way too often!) And to help others feel the love here in our small little farming community.
3 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp Salt
1/2 cup olive oil
8 cups bread flour
3 pkgs yeast (7 1/2tsp)
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the water, sugar, salt, olive oil, and 3 cups bread flour to make a slurry. Add 3 packages of yeast and enough bread flour to make a stiff dough (approx. 5 additional cups). Knead 6-8 mins. Cover, let rise in warm place until doubled in size, (about an hour).
Preheat oven to 350degF and grease/flour bread pans (if using non-stick).
Punch the dough down. Divide into 3 equal loaves, and let rise again until 1″ above the bread pan. Bake on center rack for 30 mins.
My awesome sister in law not only made this perfect loaf of bread, but modeled it too! She’s the best! As always, I hope you love this recipe, and that whoever you share it with does too!