Friday on his way home from work the Commander decided that he wanted to have some home made bread so he called my mother (1) and asked what ingredients were needed for her bread recipe. Now I'm not sure what he was thinking, because the last time we had home made bread around here was during my mothers last visit. Anyone who knows me understands that I don't cook, in fact I'm required by law to give the Fire Department 15 minutes notification prior to attempting anything in the kitchen.
So after I finished laughing I informed the Commander that if he was looking for volunteers to make bread he needed to go look in the mirror. So he broke out my mom's recipe and got to work:
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/4 cup shortening
3 tbs sugar
1 tbs salt
1 1/4 cup water
1 1/2 pkg dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
9 cups flour
First he needed to scald the milk (I am and expert at that) so not understanding what that meant he called my mom (2). Once the milk is scalded add the shortening, salt and sugar. While that is going on add the yeast to the 1/4 cup warm water so it can start "yeasting".
Once the yeast is doing its thing add in 2 cups of flour and start mashing. Once you have a good doe going add in the milk mixture and gradually blend in the rest of the flour. The Commander thought that the doe was too dry so he called my mom (3) to ask what to do, she told him to keep working the doe and it will get more moist over time.
Once all the flour is worked in and the doe is moist cover the bowl and place it in a warm area for 1 1/2 hours. The warm area in our house was a coffee table down by the wood stove. Nice and toasty there.
After 1 1/2 hours the doe should have risen to about double its original size. The Commander didn't think the doe had risen enough so he called my mom (4) to ask what to do - she told him to proceed and get on with the next step.
The next step is to rework the doe and divided it into two portions. Each portion needs to be placed into its own greased (the Commander use olive oil) bread pan. The Commander thought that the doe looked clumpy so he called my mom (5) to ask her what to do, she told him to continue on with the recipe. The stress seemed to be getting to the Commander at this point so he needed a bit of "bracing", hence the Mikes Hard Lemonade. The pans were dutifully covered and brought back downstairs to sit by the wood stove.
After an hour the bread was brought back upstairs, it once again didn't seem to double in size so the Commander called my mom (6). As you probably guessed she told him to continue on and follow the instructions. He preheated the over to 400 F and then thought that it may be better to have warm bread in the morning for breakfast - so he called my mom (7) and asked if he could just stick the uncooked loaves in the refrigerator and cook them in the morning. She told him it would be best to cook them now.
After 45 minutes of tense anticipation the Commander pulled the bread out of the oven and rubbed butter across the top of the warm loaves - that isn't in the recipe.
The outside of the loaves is crisp allowing it to set unwrapped if one so chooses. The Commander took the warm bread and sliced each of us a piece and smothered the slices with butter - it was delicious.
The next morning I called my mother and told her that the bread making experiment was a success. She deadpanned that her and the Commander had had a unique bonding experience.