Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Most Favorite Bread Recipe!

I love baking bread. My husband and I moved around a lot when we were starting out. This meant that we were frequently having to sell our house. I would always get one of those loafs in a tube and put it in the oven before we showed the house because the smell was incredible. There is nothing more homey than the smell of bread baking. Needless to say, we never had a problem selling our house.

I finally put bread making on my to do list for a new year's resolution a few years ago. I bought my first bread maker on sale and looked for some good recipes. I didn't just want any recipes but some that others loved and preferably were family heirloom recipes. To this day, I google online for family recipes, and I really like to find those community cookbooks at thrift stores or flea markets, often hand written and photocopied. In those you will find recipes that families love and pass down to their children. I have one from a small town in Maine from the 1950's that has the best banana bread recipe I have ever tried. The following recipe for a sweet white bread was actually from a Dad (which made it unique to me anyway). I tried it and now have it memorized. Whenever I send it to work with my husband, it disappears quickly. If you want it a little more healthy, you can use half wheat flour.

Decadent Sweet Milk Bread

Description:
This makes a soft sweet loaf of bread. It can be totally made in a bread machine, however, I just used the machine to make the dough.

Ingredients:
1 cup of water
½ cup of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of butter
3 1/3 cups of bread flour
2 teaspoons of yeast

Directions:
Put ingredients in bread machine and set for dough cycle. When complete, remove and separate into three sections. Roll each out like snakes and mesh ends together. Braid and press ends together. Place in baking dish and allow to rise for 25-30 minutes. (Here's a little trick: before braiding your bread, heat your oven to 175 degrees and then turn off. Put your braided bread in the warmed oven to rise.) Brush melted butter or egg white on top after rising. Bake at 340 for 30-45 minutes, until top is golden brown.

Note: If you want a better crust, heat some water in the microwave in an oven safe dish until near boiling. Then put in the oven while your bread bakes.

One can of the sweetened condensed milk will make two loaves plus. The rest would be good in coffee. I made two loaves and froze one. The milk is thick stuff and hardly pours after being in the refrigerator.

Other great bread machine recipes:
Cinnamon Rolls
Amish White Bread
White Bread (you can see the before oven and after oven pictures)

17 comments:

Hallie said...

What do you do if you don't have a bread machine?

Dr. Mom said...

Here is a great explanation of the differences and suggestions on making bread by hand:

http://www.ochef.com/623.htm

Mommy's Kitchen said...

umm this sounds really good. I love sweet bread.

June said...

I want to thank you for this recipe. It is so good and the texture is fantastic. I make two loaves each time I bake and freeze one. But it doesn't stay in the freezer longer. My husband just can't get enough it and it's great with anything. I even gave some as gifts this year. I really appreciate you sharing this.
mmmmm so good!!!
June in Memphis, TN

June said...

This is the best bread I have ever attempted. The taste and texture is just unbelievable. I make two loaves and freeze one of them. I gave several as gifts this year. My husband wants this with every meal. mmmmm good!!
Thanks for sharing this recipe.
June in Memphis, TN

Dr. Mom said...

Glad you enjoy it! It doesn't stick around our house very long either.

Karyn said...

Came over from the Queen of Good Intentions- thank you for sharing the recipe. Sounds yummy!

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Mo 'Betta said...

I have made this bread twice, and we LOVE it! Definitely going to be a regular in our house.

coodymomma said...

I made this last night. I was so excited, but I do not know what happened. While the taste is good, the texture is rubbery. I set my bread machine to dough, but it did come out too overdone and was not easy to handle. Do you have any ideas?

I am new at the whole baking thing, so it is prolly just something I did not do.

Dr. Mom said...

Hi Coodymomma,

I am not sure what would cause the dough to be rubbery but I can tell you that generally whenever I have had trouble with my baking it was due to my yeast or my choice in flour. Try changing those two things and see if it makes a difference. If you still have problems, I would get the most basic white bread recipe, like Amish bread (http://frugaldrmom.blogspot.com/2008/08/baking-saturday.html), and try that in your machine. If it has problems as well, it may be your machine. I have had a machine in the past that nothing I cook in it worked out. I even tried cooking the exact same recipe with the same ingredients in that machine and another at the same time as an experiment. The other machine turned out perfect bread while my problem machine produced bad results again. Hope that helps!

Julie said...

I made this bread today and I have to tell you, it's amazing!!! I let it bake in my bread machine, it will definately be a staple at our house now! I do believe I have found our "sandwich" bread. Thanks for sharing!

Amy said...

This recipe looks wonderful and I'd love to try it, but I just wanted to ask what size bread machine it's meant for? I have a "mini" 1-pounder and would like to modify the quantities to suit it. Thank you!

Sharondipity Photography said...

Wondering if you posted the banana bread recipe?

Dr. Mom said...

I did post a banana bread recipe. It is one of our favorites. It came from a 1956 Yarmouth, Maine community cookbook that I bought at a flea market. It is hand written in the book. Here is the recipe: http://frugaldrmom.blogspot.com/2010/07/menu-plan-monday-71210.html

coffee2lace said...

I literally just pulled this bread out of the oven and it is almost COMPLETELY gone!! My friends and family love it...this is also my first attempt at bread baking..SUCCESS!! Thanks so much for posting this simple and delish recipe. Being a busy grad student, this is perfect!

Dr. Mom said...

Glad you like it! It doesn't last long in our house either.