This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.
Milk, 2 cups
Shortening, 3 tablespoons
Sugar, 2 tablespoons
Salt, 2 1/2 teaspoons
Yeast, 1 package
Water, warm, 1/4 cup
Enriched flour, sifted, about 6 cups
Bring milk to a boil; add shortening, sugar and salt; cool to lukewarm.
Sprinkle yeast over water; after 5 to 8 minutes, stir and combine with cooled milk mixture; add enough flour to make a stiff dough; mix thoroughly.
Turn out on lightly floured board and knead about 10 minutes or until smooth and satiny.
Place dough in a warm greased bowl; brush surface very lightly with melted shortening to prevent crust formation; cover lightly and let rise in a warm place (80 to 85 F.) about 2 hours, or until dough is doubled in bulk and remains indented when pressed with the finger.
Punch dough down thoroughly in the bowl; fold the edges in toward the center and turn over so that the smooth side is on top; cover and let rise again about 1/2 hour or until dough has almost doubled in bulk.
Turn out on board; divide in two equal portions and mold into balls; let rest, closely covered, for 10 minutes. Shape into loaves.
Place in two greased loaf pans (about 9 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches); brush tops with melted fat; cover and let rise about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
Bake in a hot oven (400 F.) for 40 to 45 minutes. Makes 2 1-pound loaves.
Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.