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
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.
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.
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
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
On The Menu Monday