Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My 200th Post: Dad's Bread

Those who know me realize the title of this post is an impossibility. More so, that my sister gave me the recipe.

See, I never knew my father, nor do I have any siblings. I tell you this only as background for this:

About a month ago, I received an email from a woman who said we might be related. And she was right - she's my half sister. Since we connected, she has taken over my thoughts and changed my world. So when she emailed me this recipe yesterday, I knew I had to make it.

That my father liked to bake bread is a bittersweet discovery. I've been making bread for about eight months, and I've loved it. How much more special it is as I feel the connection with that man who is half of me yet unknown to me.

This is my father's recipe, although I tinkered with it a little, replacing some of the white flour with white whole wheat. Otherwise, this is the recipe he Dad used to make. I'm sure I'll hear more about it, and him, when I visit my sister at the end of this month. Until then, I savor forming the words my Dad.

Dad's Bread - makes 4 8"x4" loaves (mine are a bit stubby as I used 9x5 pans)

In a large mixing bowl, combine:
2 ½ cups lukewarm water
½ cup sugar
1 package active dry yeast

To the above add 2 C flour, mix then slowly add another 2 cups flour.  Add 1 stick of butter, melted and cooled.  Mix. Add 2 more cups of flour then add 3 eggs one at a time, mixing after each.  Add 2 cups flour and mix thoroughly.

Flour hands, counter surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.  Lightly grease a large bowl and transfer dough to the bowl.  Cover with a towel and let rise till doubled.  Remove the towel, punch down and knead.  Cut into 4 equal portions.  Spray 4 8x4 loaf pans with non-stick spray.  Place dough in pans and cover with a towel.  Let rise till doubled.  Remove towel and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

How was it? I cautiously tasted the first piece while still slightly warm. I wanted to like it because of its provenance, but I was prepared for it not being my thing. I needn't have worried. It was light, fluffy, and slightly sweet, a beautiful enriched loaf.  And yes, there were a few tears for what wasn't and now can never be. But I have a sister, and that makes everything all right.


Kayte said...

What a heartwarming post, how special all this is for you! The bread looks wonderful, and even more so as a family recipe. Congratulations on your 200th post! We are so happy you are blogging! Hugs for sharing such a wonderful story and best thoughts for your visit at the end of the month!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

What a wonderful surprise! To visit here and find this story about your newfound family history and a cherished recipe from your father. I know you are savoring both the bread and your relationship with your sister! Lovely way to celebrate 200 posts, Leslie, please keep it up for another 200, and then another...

Hanaâ said...

What a beautiful story, Leslie. And how amazing that your sister found you and that you'll be meeting soon! Keep us posted (to whatever extent you wish to share of course!!).
Congratulations on your 200th post. I'm not even at a 100 and I've been at it for almost 18 months now :o)

Imafoodblog said...

Wow! Well the bread looks great, clearly there is a gift for bread baking in your blood.

Tracey said...

Congratulations on your 200th post Leslie! What a wonderful surprise to find that you have a half sister - you must be so looking forward to meeting her.

The bread looks wonderful and is all the more special since it's a family recipe.

Mary said...

What a nice story--and great-looking bread! Thanks for your kind comments on the caramel sauce (TWD) and, yes, Montreal. I'll definitely be getting some bagels there, but luckily they are available here in Ottawa. More difficult to resist will be the FANTASTIC bakeries and restaurants, especially since I'll have no real kitchen while I'm there.

lakegirl said...

What a wonderful story! How great is that to find that you have a half sister! Baking bread is heartwarming and so is your story!

Your bread looks delicious, too. Nothing better than homemade bread.

natalia said...

Leslie, I would like to hug you ! What incredible and beautiful things happened to you ! How nice to get to know your half family now !!
This is not as important but congratulations and I love the bread !!!!

Mimi said...

What a wonderful story. How exciting that your sister found you and that you are going to meet up. I'm so happy for you.
The bread looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

How cool that your sister found you and you have a change to learn more about your family. The bread looks wonderful.

Michele said...

How lovely that you connected with someone that you didn't even know was out there!

I think the bread looks great.

Di said...

Congratulations on 200 posts, Leslie! And thanks for sharing this wonderful story.

Sweet and Savory said...

I have tears in my eyes. This is an wondrous event. I hope you will find extra happiness by discovering your family or your sister discovering you. Thanks for sharing this.

Sam said...

Wow. This is a special recipe, indeed. Interesting that you love to cook and so did/does your Father. I love that kind of story. I'm baking bread today as a matter of fact, but not this kind. Will have to post it on sandwich for you to see. Take care, Keri (a.k.a. Sam)