I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day Weekend. I spent mine mostly relaxing and exploring more of New York. I’ve decided to explore this magnificent city neighborhood-by-neighborhood, one each month. I usually feel overwhelmed when I’m out and about, because there’s so much to see and do! I know that I’m missing the true essence of the neighborhoods by just popping in to eat somewhere or going to a specific event, and then heading back home. This way, I explore one neighborhood, learn and understand the history of it, and visit places that bear some importance or significance to that particular area. On Saturday, the Lower East Side was the neighborhood for May, and it was wonderful! Still to be determined which one I’m choosing for June’s, but looking forward to discovering more of this beautiful city I now call home!
Having an extra day off of work due to the holiday left me with ample time to get all of the necessary details to make this bread from my Grandma Teodora. After making a few loaves of bread now through this project, I’m not as intimidated by it, but bread still scares me a little with how precise it needs to be. With that said, I think this one turned out pretty good!
And oh how I have the BEST memories from this bread. I remember my grandma would make tons of loaves and lay them out on top of the washer and dryer covered in blankets to keep them warm! Such a funny visual, but I remember that so vividly, and the best part was when we would cut into it, slather butter on the hot slice, and top it off with a hunk of cheddar cheese. Ugh, so good!
I am happy with how this recipe turned out, and it does remind me of how my grandma’s bread tasted, BUT it’s still just not the same and not exact. I will encourage anyone to use this recipe for a great loaf of bread, but I need to practice to get it exactly like my grandma’s, and I may never get it to that point, but I can keep trying!
I hope everyone has a great rest of the week. I’m not making a recipe this weekend as I’m going out of town tomorrow for a wedding, but I have something yummy coming up the following weekend!
Yields: 2 loaves
2 cups warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
Note: My oven bakes more slowly, and I baked the bread for about an hour and half, so the bake time will depend more on your own oven. The outside of the bread should be golden brown and crispy, and the inside soft and fluffy.
1) In a small bowl, lightly whisk yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to become foamy.
2) In a large bowl, add flour and salt, and form a small well in the center. Pour in yeast mixture along with the remaining warm water, and mix together really well. Keep mixing until the dough becomes soft. Keep flour and additional warm water next to you, in case you need to add as you’re mixing. Add butter, and continue kneading dough until it becomes smooth and elastic. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and keep in a dry and room-temperature area. Allow it to rise for two hours.
3) Punch the dough down, kneading for several minutes. Then fold a couple of times over, and cover the bowl again, allowing it to rise for one more hour.
4) Preheat oven to 400°. Split dough in half, and place in two lightly greased 6-inch bread pans. Cover and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
5) Bake for 20 minutes, and then lower temperature to 300° and bake for another 40 minutes, until golden brown.