Thursday, January 19, 2012

Grandma Bread...

Yes, you read right.

Not "Grandma's Bread", but "Grandma Bread."
No, it's not my grandmother's nickname (but it may as well be!)
It's what my cousins, brothers and I call the notorious bread my grandmother bakes.
She's been making it for well over 40 years now...for her 5 daughters, for her 7 grandchildren...and now I  (we!) are making it for W and the playschool children:)
It's known as "Grandma bread" in our family; it's best when eaten the same day it was baked. It makes delicious french toast and nice, thick sandwich bread, too. I've tweaked the recipe a little bit, but the texture and taste is pretty much right on. Friends keep giving me recipes for other breads to try, but I stay true to this one. I don't know why....I suppose because it's a part of me!

 Every Thursday is bread day here at playschool. The children arrive in the morning to find a piece of bread dough at their seat with a sprinkling of flour. They get right to work using butter knives, cookie cutters, and rolling pins.

Recipe for "Grandma Bread"

1 package of live active yeast (about 1 tsp.)
2 tbs olive oil
1 c. milk
1 1/3 c. warm water
2 tsp honey (or sugar)
1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients and mix. 
Then add...

6-6.5 c. flour, 2 cups at a time, mixing and scraping down the bowl in between.
Continue mixing in flour until the dough forms a ball and no longer feels sticky to the touch. Stickiness means you'll need more flour!
I use white flour for this recipe. Whole wheat yields a very tough and not too tasty loaf. I occasionally use white whole wheat flour, but white suits this recipe best, I think. I've been thinking about adding in ground grains, like flaxseed or the like...this a reminder that I really, really desire to find a quality grain grinder! (recommendations?)

Knead for 15 minutes or so. (It's good, hard work!) Place ball of dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a towel to rise for 90 minutes. I prepare the dough for playschool the night before. I place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight and consider this the first rise.

After 90 minutes (or overnight) punch down and shape into loaves or small balls (for adorable and delicious buns). This is the time where I give the dough to the children to play with. I work slowly on rolling out the buns as they play while the oven  is preheating to 365 degrees.

Allow the buns or loaves to rise for another 20-30 minutes. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Serve very warm with honey and butter for best results:)
I serve ours literally right out of the oven...

The children help prepare our snack table by bringing over utensils, cups, bowls. They know just what to do as I give them each a task after they are done washing their hands with lavender water. Everything sits at the edge of the counter for easy access. It is very special to see how our snack table comes together so beautifully with the help of every hand, big and small. The children take great pride in this.

We light our mealtime candle and sing W continues to make silly faces and  almost insane animal noises.  The older children are now learning that he tends to stop if they don't laugh or pay any attention to these behaviors. It's working....slowly.

By now, all mouths are watering, including mine. Each bun gets split almost in half ("like a butterfly!") and receives a liberal amount of room temperature butter (I'm loving this butter crock for keeping butter soft and fresh!) and honey (my favorite honeypot here)

We love our bread, we love our butter,
but most of all, we love each other!

Happy Bread Baking!

ps- Awesome giveaway coming soon:)
Visit Chagrin Valley Soaps and Crafts for a hint...


  1. Fresh bread and bread making with children is a must! Great for the finger muscles and great for the tummy!

  2. What a gorgeous post, and that bread looks delicious.

    I have a link up for people to share what they bake with their kids if you would like to add this post :-)

    Warmly, Kelly

  3. Wonderful, I will definitely give this a try. Thank you :)

  4. I love your apron, did you make it or where did you get it?
    Will def have to try this bread, sounds yummy

  5. Mmmm- can't wait to try this recipe. I love fresh homemade bread! :)
    So sorry to be a pest, but did you get my recent email?

  6. we do bread making day on Wednesdays ... the children love it -- this week we tried making a honey cake too -- what fun ! happy baking :)

  7. What a beautiful ritual you have created. Thank you for sharing such a precious recipe. I would like to try it, however I wonder what kind of flour you use (bread flour or regular)...

  8. Thank you for sharing this recipe and the story behind it. My beloved Grandma baked buns on Monday. We called it "Bun-day." We always ate one straight from the oven. I miss that, and I dearly miss Gram!

  9. This looks and sounds really yummy! I'll have to try it. We also have a Grandma's bread recipe in our family. They're pull apart dinner rolls that we all call Grandma's rolls. Love the verse! I'm stealing that one!

    Thanks as always for your inspiration!

  10. this is the sweetest post, thank you x

  11. That looks so delicious. I think I am going to borrow your "We love our bread ..." saying for my family.

  12. This is why I love reading blogs. I love the idea of sitting with the children and slowly forming the dough as they play with it. We tried this out the other day and it worked out great, the kids loved it! Thank you for sharing your ideas, tricks and of course recipe!

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  23. I made this recipe for the first time on Friday in my Pre-K classroom and the children loved it! I had a small group of helpers who helped make the dough and later shape the balls but they all enjoyed eating the bread right out of the oven with butter and honey. I also made some Mexican Hot Chocolate for them to drink with their bread. I will definitely be doing this again! :)


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