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Recipes: Mabel's White Bread

My great aunt Mabel McManus is a larger-than-life figure in my childhood. Technically, she is my second cousin twice removed; however, my mother's fondness for her, her proxmity to my grandparents house, and the Southern tendency to make every older relative an aunt or an uncle ensured that she would hold a large and fond place in my early memories. After she passed away in 2002, I went looking through my grandmother's recipe book for some of the dishes Mabel was known for. Her bread recipe is one that I thoroughly enjoy making.

Ingredients and Measurements:

  • 5 1/2 - 6 1/2 cups plain flour

  • 1 pk yeast (use two)

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 cup water

  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon salt


Combine wet ingredients and heat to luke warm. Then, add to about three cups of flour combined with yeast in a large bowl. Beat until smooth. Add enough flour to make a workable dough and knead til the dough forms a ball. Place ball of dough in a greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise until dough has doubled in size.

Remove dough and divide into two ball of equal size. Forms loafs, place in greased pans, cover, and allow to rise for around 20 minutes.

When risen, place loafs in a 375 degree oven and bake until loafs have browned on top. Brush tops with butters and allow to cool before slicing.

*- I add 6-8 tablespoons of Vital Wheat Gluten when I can find it. I also use White Lily flour and whole milk.