Monday, March 25, 2013

grandmother bread.

As promised, the bread recipe for using your leftover ricotta whey (because its really silly to waste the whey since its perfectly wonderful milk and my parents raised me to never ever waste good food).  This is a tender sandwich style bread.  It makes amazing grilled cheeses, excellent peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and really good toast as a side to scrambled eggs!  It also freezes incredibly well so you can devour one loaf now and save one for later.   

Grandmother Bread
Adapted from Chickens in the Road

Makes two standard loaves

3 cups warm ricotta whey or warm water
1 tablespoon yeast (1 packet)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
7 cups all-purpose flour (or half white half whole wheat) 

In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Let sit five minutes until slightly bubbly. 

Stir in first three cups of flour with a heavy spoon. Add the next cup of flour a little at a time as needed, stirring until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate, I've used as little as 6-1/2 cups to as much as 7-1/2 cups depending on the temperature and weather conditions. Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. (About 10 minutes of hand kneading.  This can also be done in the bowl of kitchen mixer if you are lazy like I sometimes am.)

Let the dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled, about an hour. Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead a few more time. Form into an even ball and divide the dough in half. With floured hands, shape dough into loaves and place in two greased loaf pans. Tear off two pieces of waxed or parchment paper and grease with oil spray (to prevent it from sticking to the loaves as they rise) and cover loaf pans. Let loaves rise for about an hour until they are tall and beautiful. 

Bake for 25 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven. Recipe can be cut in half.

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