Caitlin’s Great Grandmother’s White Bread
So there I was, sitting on the floor of my dorm room: hair wild on the top of my head, crouched over my homework, a pencil in my right hand, an uneaten carrot in my left. I must have looked completely deranged when Caitlin walked in the room…
“Charli? …have you eaten yet?”
“I have this carrot. No time for anything else.”
I took a bite of the carrot for effect. She left. And came back a few minutes later, pasta in hand. She quietly set it in front of me and started with her own work.
As sanity slowly swept over my recently nourished self, I was actually able to make progress, and the homework assignment that once seemed so daunting was done in less than 2 hours.
Caitlin, who you may know better as the Engineer Baker, always took care of me. So I knew who to call when I was ready to bake my first bread.
She directed me to her great grandmother’s white bread – a good starter bread.
And I, of course, bombarded her with many questions.
Should use active dry or instant yeast. (active dry!)
About how long does it take to double? (You’re probably looking between 1.5-2 hours for doubling. Less if it’s 80 degrees, more if it’s 65.”)
Do I have to use a bread pan? (the first answer was yes, followed quickly by “on second thought…. Go ahead and give the free form loaf a try. Let me know how it goes”)
From across the country, she helped me through my first bread baking experience, and…
It worked! Of course, without the bread pan, the dough rose out more than up, but , I love the way it turned out! Very delicious! The crust wasn’t too hard, and the texture of the bread really was perfect. If you, too, want to try your hand at this recipe, you can find it here. You really should…it’s very good!
And I’ll leave you with just one final thought: If you find yourself with a sudden, unexplained hankering for an egg, cheese, and asparagus panini with this bread, do it! You won’t be disappointed.