I don't always have time to make bread. It's a tricky business balancing life and breadmaking. Call me unpractical and old fashioned but I love the smell and the taste of fresh baked bread warm from the oven.
And there's something very fulfilling about baking your own bread. A sort of tribute to a time where every house was self-sufficient; a kingdom unto itself, if you will. I may not be able to grow my own vegetable garden due to lack of a backyard, but by gosh, I can certainly make my own bread!
Here is the recipe for a lovely bread - like a light french baguette. Please forgive the lack of credit, but as this recipe was handed down to me from my mother, I do not know its actual origin. :o(
CRUSTY WHITE BREAD
2 Tbsp yeast
2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup salad oil
6 - 6 1/2 cups white flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth and add remaining flour. Knead 8-10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise 45 minutes.
Punch down. Divide in half and roll into 18x9" rectanglee, or 4 longer rolls for baguettes. Roll up short side and press to seal seam. Place seam side down in greased loaf pan. Brush top with salad oil, cover and let rise until double (about 1 hour).
Bake for 35 minutes in oven at 400 degrees. Loaves will sound hollow when tapped. Remove and allow to cool until warm. Remove bread from pan and cool completely on rack. Enjoy warm with melted butter, homemade jam or melted cheese as desired.
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