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Monday, June 25, 2012

Best Homemade White Bread Loaf and My First Tomato


Ahhh..... the aroma of homemade bread - what could be better?

I will tell you - fresh bread with my first fresh tomato from the garden!
My first tomato is always celebrated
and I honor the occasion by making a tomato sandwich with it.


Nobody in my family loves the homegrown tomatoes the way I do.
It is one of those childhood things!


In the past I have always tried buying one of the big tomato
plants in the gallon containers but they don't produce
tomatoes any quicker than the little ones.  

This year I kept the plant in the house in my big
curved kitchen window and it was like having it
in a greenhouse.

I had my first tomatoes in the second week of June.
Now for some of you that isn't early but for us, that
is at least a month if not six weeks early.


Fresh tomatoes have to have homemade white bread, so I had to
make up a batch in honor of my tomatoes.  


Speaking of childhood memories - 

This is what I used to bring to school for my lunch
in the fall.  I would bring a knife and cut my fresh tomato
at school.  Of course now I would have to bring a
 plastic knife.  
I didn't want the bread to get soggy so I cut it there at school.

It is still my favorite lunch in the summer but I have upped
the flavor with basil mayonnaise.  Wow, what a difference
a little basil makes.

Basil Mayonaise

Just put through your food processor 1/2 C. mayo and
2 T. fresh basil and grind until the basil is blended in.


Now for the recipe for the best homemade white bread I have ever had.

Best White Bread
(I received this recipe from a friend when our church youth were
going on a pioneer trek.  She was to make it in a dutch oven.  She 
didn't make bread so wanted me to show her how.  I told her there
was no way you could make this much bread in one dutch oven. 
I told her to cut it in half and bake two loaves.  She did and she
was the only one with successful bread on the trek. 
 Everyone else's was burned on the top and bottom and gooey in the middle.
  It pays to practice.  I thought it was the most amazing white bread
I had ever had and we have been making it since.)

11 C. all purpose flour
1 1/4 C. powdered milk (a great way to use up your food storage
of powdered milk)
1 1/2 T. SAF yeast (bread yeast)
3/4 C. vegetable oil
3 T. honey
1 T. salt
4 C. warm water
Place all of the above in the large mixing bowl of your Kitchenaid
or other mixer with a dough hook.  Let the dough mix and knead for
10 minutes.  Remove the dough hook and place in a large bowl lightly
sprayed with cooking spray.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 
until double - usually about 1- 1 1/2 hours.  Punch down and divide
into three equal portions.  Shape into loaves and place in greased
one pound bread loaf pans - 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches.
  Let rise until double - I like to get down on eye level and
make sure the bread is at least 1 1/2 inches above the top of the pan.

Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake about 30-35 minutes.
Take it out of the pan and let it cool on a rack.  If you bottom seems underdone,
put it back in the pan and bake it another 5 minutes or so.

Makes 3 loaves of bread.


Garden fresh tomatoes + homemade bread = a match made in Heaven.



I bought this handy Presto Bread Slicing Guide years ago.  Using an electric
knife, I can slice even slices of homemade bread quickly.  It makes for much
nicer sandwich bread. You can find these online by clicking on the above link.
(I think there are cheaper variations out there, but this is the one I have had for years.
I was surprised at the price.  Feel free to choose a different one.  It is a perfect 
gadget if you make your own bread.) 

 If you don't make your own bread, give it a try
it really is easy.  Yes, it takes a little time but fit the steps in between doing other things.

Tips:
Make sure your water is warm, not cold or hot by running it over the inside of your wrist.

Let the dough be sticky.  It should pull away from the bowl but don't put in
so much flour that it leaves the bowl clean.  The softer the dough, the softer the bread.

Take the time to let it rise.  If it over-rises, just punch it down.  It is fine.

Use a one pound bread pan to get a nice shaped loaf. A one pound measures about
8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 3/4.  Many loaf pans are one pound and a half and if you use
those, make only 2 loaves with this bread recipe.  You will probably need to bake 
it longer.

Take the time to let it rise in the pan.  Get down to eye level with the
bread and be sure it has risen above the pan a good inch and a half.
I think this is where most people fail and they get a small loaf.

Don't underbake.  You want it baked all the way through.

I will be posting with
Foodie Friday
On The Menu Monday




20 comments:

Pondside said...

I've just had a lovely time catching up on your recent posts. That floral chair was beautiful!
We don't have any tomatoes up here yet, but when we do, I'll be following your lead. There's nothing tastier!

FABBY'S LIVING said...

Wow, that home made bread brings me memories of my childhood too! Mother always made home bread, she has two recipes for it with butter instead of oil, but I'd love to try yours..it looks gorgeous! How fun to have your own first tomato, they're also so sweet when they're home grown, how exciting! Thanks for sharing the recipe of the bread! Have a terrific week, sweetie!
FABBY

Barbara F. said...

Beautiful tomato and homemade bread looks divine. I want to make some basil mayonnaise now. xo

michele said...

delish! i baked bread yesterday and have been enjoying my tomatoes grown in a container. my bread is made from a starter, and is an old fashioned sourdough.

your mayo looks amazing!

michele

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

Another DELICIOUS post Jackie!!! I know I can smell that HOMEMADE BREAD aroma if I point my nose WEST! AHHHH! Life is good!!!
Have a fun week,
Big Hugs,
Donna

Gypsy Heart said...

I've been missing your posts so here I am finally! I cannot tell you how much I adore fresh tomato sandwiches! I'm like you, the first tomatoes deserve a celebration. Thanks for the bread recipe ~ looks and sounds delish. I'm going to try the basil in the mayo too.

Have a wonderful week!
xo
Pat

renee @ Singing With Birds said...

Oh this is such a fabulous combo and both are spectacular! Congrats on producing a prize-winning 1st tomato.

Shug said...

Now you've done gone and made me hungry!!!! That's what I call a good sandwich....Yummo
Shug

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I am so envious of your first tomato! I have 50-cent-sized green tomatoes so it will still be while. I am definitely taking a copy of your white bread and basil mayo for when I can do the proper celebration of my first, red tomato!

Love your flowers and floral chair!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Absolute perfection Jacqueline! Both the bread and tomato! How lucky to have homegrown tomatoes this early, your "greenhouse" was a great idea. Lovin' your pretty bread pans too-enjoy:@)

Marcellina said...

That is fabulous bread! I have just planted out my tomatoes and hope to harvest in a few months. Here in the tropics we grow our tomatoes in the winter. There is truely nothing like a homegrown tomato. Love the idea of taking a knife and a tomato to make your sandwich at school! Definately a foodie in the making!

Lavender Cottage said...

When our tomatoes come in, it's tomato sandwiches with mayo every day! I like the idea of adding basil to the mayo, I just sprinkle it over the tomatoes.
The bread recipe is simple to follow and look at the size of your loaves!
Thanks for sharing Jacqueline.
Judith

Dianne said...

Our tomatoes are big, but green. When they turn, I will be making some of your basil mayo for sure! Lovely photos and a delicious post. Dianne

Bonnie said...

There is nothing better and I mean nothing than a homegrown tomato. As children, we used to eat them like apples (only with a salt shaker on hand). I am jealous, my tomatoes are still green.

Shel said...

Nothing beats a tomato sandwich. All the better when from one's own home.
Your flowers in the previous post just pop right out of my screen....gorgeous!
Your blog has just made a tough day so much better:))
Shel

kitty said...

What a perfect Summertime treat! There's just nothing like a homegrown tomato and homemade bread. I'll have to give your bread recipe a try.

Sheila said...

I love home grown tomatoes. There is nothing better on the entire planet especially as a sandwich on homemade bread. I must have grown up like you. I didn't think there was anyone else out there who made and enjoyed tomato sandwiches. They are my absolute favorite.

Danielle said...

I can practically smell that bread baking...ahhh! It's the best ever! My tomatoes aren't ready yet (still green), but yours look delicious! What a great combo : )

Danielle xo

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Jacqueline, that tomato is picture perfect; and I can almost smell the bread and basil thru my computer! We've grown several this season; and I even had to give some away! I hope you get to enjoy many more!

Carole said...

Sometimes the simplest things are the very best. great post.

I found you via On the Menu Monday from Stone Gable
I have linked up a simple little cheese and cracker plate
Have a lovely week.

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