One of the unexpected benefits of owning a restaurant is becoming friends with some of your customers. I play a little game with my 4 year-old nephew in which he asks me to name all the people that love him. I go through the usual list of family and then ask, who else? He will begin naming off all the customers he knows and has grown to love as if they were extra grandparents. It is very sweet.
There is one family in particular we’ve grown to love that is so similar in make up and background to our own, it’s as if we were destined to become friends. That sweet family was so kind as to invite us over for a cookout this past weekend. I wanted to take something as a thank you gift and I knew I wanted it to be homemade. I show love thru food, it’s just who I am. I settled on this white bread recipe. The loaves are tall, and impressive while still light, and slightly sweet from the addition of powdered sugar. What better way to say thank you than with a loaf of heavenly white bread?
Heavenly White Bread
3 Tbsp. Active Dry Yeast
4 Cups Warm Milk (Warmed to 110 degrees)
4 Cups Warm Half and Half (Warmed to 110 Degrees)
½ Cup Powdered Sugar
½ Cup Butter
16 Cups Bread Flour ( I prefer Gold Medal, my Grandmother always used it and so do I)
3 Tbsp. Salt
In a very large bowl stir together the yeast and the powdered sugar. Stir in the milk and half and half. Let set until bubbles form. About 10 to 15 minutes. Add the butter and stir well.
Add the salt and flour until completely incorporated.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and kneed well. Patience and perseverance is key here. It will take time to get this big mass of dough whipped into shape. I knead for 12 to 15 minutes.
Once done kneading place dough back into large bowl that has been greased. Let rise until double in size. About one hour.
Punch dough down and shape into 4 loaves. Place loaves into greased loaf pans. Let rise until double. About 35 to 40 minutes.
Bake loaves in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove the loaves from the pans and let cool before bagging or wrapping in plastic wrap.