Thursday, December 11, 2008

Egg Bread

I'm warning you, I'm on a baking/ cooking binge and I want to share all of it with you. But it's an integral part of Homesteading. I once told someone how I make my own bread and she was appalled. "Why don't you buy it at the store?" I tried the best I could to explain that just because I CAN by it at the store, doesn't mean I HAVE to... She was just horrified that I would do something like that, when you can just go buy it... (I'm stopping here or I might go on a full, all-out political rant.) Besides, I enjoy baking my bread. It's fun and it smells amazing!

With about half of our ladies laying everyday, we have become overrun with eggs. There's only a just so many eggs that two people can eat for breakfast! Then I remembered, every Christmas, my mother used to make egg bread. After a call to her, I copied down the recipe and tried it out. And of course, I had to make some changes- this is me after all!!!
There's family history behind the recipe. When my grandmother was young, she followed her mother around with a bowl. Everytime my great-grandmother went to dump an ingredient into the dough, my grandmother would catch it in her bowl and measure it so she could write it down. My great-grandmother, like most of our great- grandmothers, never exactly measured everything- it was always "A handful of this and a pinch of that" for them. So now when I make this bread, I get this visual of Grandma running around with a bowl trying to catch the eggs and flour.

Egg Bread

*In a small/medium saucepan (whatever's clean), warm 1 1/2 cups of milk to lukewarm. Then whisk in 1/2 cup of sugar and 1tbs. of salt. (It does seem like a lot of salt, but it works.)

*Next, you know the drill, get out 1/2 cup of warm water and sprinkle 2 pkgs of yeast on it.
(I do this right in my mixing bowl, but Grandma's recipe says to do it in another bowl and then pour it into the mixing bowl. Oh and pay no attention to the paddle in picture, it's not time for the dough hook yet. Use a mixing paddle or just stir by hand which I found easier right now.)

*Once that's had a minute or two to proof, pour in the milk mixture and give a quick stir.
*Add in four beaten eggs. That's right I said four- I told you this was a "use up the eggs" recipe.

I know I'm just bragging now, but can you SEE that color. I'm so proud of those girls!

*Add 1/2 cup of softened butter
*Add in 1 tbs. of Cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. of Nutmeg. Do not let this throw you, it doesn't come out "spicy" tasting.
*Now here's where I made this my own. I introduced the stand mixer. Add in around 4 cups of flour and stir until moist. Then decide what's easier, getting out the dough hook or just doing it by hand. Your call. Me, I tried the dough hook with mixed results.

*Mix in another 2 1/4 cups of flour. If you aren't using the mixer, you may have to knead in the last cup or so. If you are using a mixer keep the hook going until the dough starts to pull away from the sides and form a ball.

*Now I had to turn the dough out onto a floured board. Knead it until it becomes manageable. Seriously, that's the best description, as soon as you can make it into a ball, put it into a greased bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a damp towel and let rise 1 1/2 to 2 hours until doubled in size. (Use a giant bowl or it will stick to the towel. And that's okay but who needs more laundry?)

*Once it's doubled in size...

...punch down the dough in the same bowl...
*Now is a good time to take a look at your loaf pans. But don't take long or it'll be like that scene from Lucy where the dough starts going everywhere. At least I think it was I Love Lucy. Anyways, if they are the 5 inch wide pans, great! You can make two nicely sized loaves. If they are the 3 inch ones, then make three respectable sized loaves- better for French toast! While they're out you might as well grease them.
*Cut the dough into equal parts, one for each loaf. Roll into loaf shapes and make sure they are big enough to fill the loaf pan end to end. (Not necessarily side to side.) Pour melted butter on top (usually 1 to 1 1/2 tbs.) and then sprinkle a bit of sugar on top.

*Cover again, and let rise for another hour or so until it's fully risen. Meaning it looks like a loaf of bread.

*Pre-heat your oven to 350. I let my bread rise in the oven with the light on, so I have to wait until the bread is risen. Put loaves in and bake for about 50 minutes or until they sound hollow when you thump the top.
*You know the rest. Turn out onto wire racks, let cool, don't slice for an hour.

*And If you're anything like me, remember to put your rings back on...


Chris W said...

I love home baking, Lisa makes bread and other things all the time. Actually she plans on a big bake-a-thon this weekend after we all get back from Lehmans. At Christmas, we give out goody baskets to everyone instead of gifts. Baskets full of breads, cookies, fudge, jams, jellies...all made at home. There is absolutely nothing like the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven....mmmmmmm.
The "ring" comment is hilarious. Lisa won't take hers off for anything...not baking, not garden work, nothing. When something breaks or gets loose, the jeweler we've known for years always has the same remark...take them off when you go mining next time!!! hahaha

DivaHick said...

Yes, now I realize why pioneer women wore a plain gold band...

Anonymous said...

You need to start making some quiches. Yum.

The one I've been making has a tater tot crust and you use 4 eggs, a cup of milk, any spices you like and either ham or bacon with american cheese. Super Yummy.


Train Wreck said...

Ha hahahaha!! I just saw your comment on PW site. I love your name, so I had to come over and "meet" you. Ok Girl, you have to check out my "Trainwreck in the Kitchen!" lol! We could be bread making buddies. I use my "paddle" too. This recipe looks great, I will have to try it. Thanks, nice to meet you, come on over.