One of my favorite memories is my grandma's homemade bread, it was absolutely delicious, and it smelled sooo good! She would save old bread bags and then use them to give away her homemade loaves to her children, which meant that I had one of grandma's yummy loaves in my own house! I never had the chance to make bread with her. She cooked with all her grandkids, but you had to be a certain age before you could make bread. At the time, I didn't mind not being able to make bread with her; I thought of it as such a priviledge and I anticipated the day when I would be old enough. I wish now that I could have at least observed her while she prepared her famous bread. This isn't her recipe, I still have yet to get my hands on it and give it a try. My aunt has tried to make it but said it never turns out the same. My grandma swore by her old-fashioned bread mixer; someday we'll see if I can make it just like her.
I have so many wonderful memories in my grandma's kitchen, and I am starting to make new ones in my own kitchen. I never had anyone teach me to knead bread or the best way to mix it, but I am learning along the way, which I think is one of the best ways to do so. Then someday, when I'm old and have grandbabies, I can pass on all of my learned wisdom to them. And I will sound very smart, even if I'm not there yet. To get to my point here, this is a relatively easy bread to make. And if you are willing to follow my novice, self-learned advice, you can make it too!
3. Mix in the flour, one cup at a time, until a soft dough forms. I used 4-1/2 cups but probably should have used 5 because it was pretty sticky when I first started kneading it. If you're not sure how much to use, go with 4 and you can add flour while you are kneading. When you have enough flour, the dough will start to pull away from the sides of the bowl (see photos). The first cup or two of flour will be lumpy, don't worry about that, it will smooth out. The easiest way I found to mix the flour is to stir the spoon around the edge of the bowl; the dough will sort of mix in the flour itself. Trying to fold the dough over to mix in the flour is more difficult.
|1 cup flour, don't fret over the lumps.|
|2 cups flour|
|3 cups flour|
|4-1/2 cups flour, notice how the dough pulled away from the side of the bowl.|
|After the first minute|
|After the second minute, notice how it's smoother|
|My very imperfect rectangle|