The Fresh Loaf

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Bricejacob's picture


 I started baking bread about two years ago.  My grandmother had passed away shortly before that, and I realized that my children (all three!) were not ever going to have the simple pleasure of having her white bread as toast.  So I dug out her recipe and decided to start trying to make it.  This began my current journey so I thought it might be a good starting point and introduction for my blog here on The Fresh Loaf.  As a side note, I have *no* idea who Mr. Dugan is.  I have no idea where my grandmother got this recipe and no one in my family can recall either.  So if any of you *have* heard of this, I'd love to hear from you.

 Mr. Dugan's White Bread  

  • 1.25 cups Milk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbl butter
  • 0.25 cup honey
  • 5-6 cups unsifted white wheat flour
  • 0.25 cup granulated white sugar
  • 0.5 cup lukewarm water - 125 degrees
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 packages active dry yeast. 


  1.  Place the milk, salt, butter, honey and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until butter (use real butter) melts.  Pour mixture into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients.
  2. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and turn the dough out onto a floured board or counter top.  Or use an electric mixer with a pastry hook.  Knead until dough is smooth and elastic.  If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.
  3. Turn the mixture into a greased mixing bowl and cover with a towel.  Let stand in a warm place until double in bulk.  (One trick is to put it in an oven with a pan of boiling water on the shelf below.  Want a temperature of about 85 to 90 degrees.)  This takes about 45 minutes to one hour.  Divide the mixture into two parts and flatten each into a rectangle.  Place each rectangle into a 9.25 x 5.25 inch lightly greased Teflon bread pan.  Let stand in a warm place until dough rises to the top of the pan.  About 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Bake 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Now, this isn't the way I make this recipe today.  These are the instructions as my mother passed them to me.  I'm certain my grandmother didn't initially use Teflon bread pans, for example.  Also, when I started doing this, I had no concept of a preferment, so I've adjusted things a bit.  However, starting with this recipe, I've begun (over the past 6 months of so) experimenting with varying different parts of it, usually with pretty tasty results.  I'll share some of those (hopefully with some pictures) in the next couple of blog entries. 


manuela's picture

Bread Baking Day #05, hosted by Chelsea at Rolling in Dough . The theme is "Filled Breads": this is my entry: Kuchen Roll with a prune-cinnamon filling

Full recipe is Here

TheTimeLord's picture

I remember a few years ago when I discovered the Fresh Loaf. I was overwhelmed with the wealth of information and friendly comments and created an account immediately. For the most part I've been silently watching from the sidelines, jealous of anyone making the time to try new things and post their foods. Oh how it looked like so much fun!

Inspired by many of the challenges people have given themselves, I've decided to challenge myself as well. My New Years resolution, and first one ever, is to try a new recipe every single day for the whole year of 2008. So far I'm off to a wonderful and fun start. I plan on baking on the weekends as that will be the only time I really have available to do serious baking and, of course, I plan to use many wonderful recipes from this site! Ones I've always wanted to try. I've had great success with the bagel and pizza recipe, I can't wait to try more.

If anyone is interested in following me on my journey, I'm posting all of my progress at Any comments, critiques, suggestions, support or advice would be greatly appreciated. When I bake anything, I'll post that here too! I'm so glad to have a chance to do this. I hope I can do it!



Floydm's picture

I applied a bunch of system patches, did a server reboot, and upgraded to the latest version of Drupal today. The server took about 5 minutes to come back, which is longer than usual, and just long enough to make me worry that I was going to have to spend the rest of my day emailing back and forth with tech support. Happily, it looks like everything came back fine.

Please let me know if you run into any problems.

TableBread's picture

Happy New Year everyone!  Here's to a great 2008!



GlindaBunny's picture

I've been lurking on this site for awhile and decided to register so I can start keeping a log of what I make.  My husband loves when I make the Italian bread listed under the Favorite Recipes, so here's how my first batch came out.  I melted a little butter on the top after removing it from the oven.

Italian Bread 

 closeup of crumb

Sorry about the poor picture quality.  I'm lazy and use my husband's camera phone so I can email the photos to flickr as soon as I take them.

hey's picture

I have recently begun a yeast starter.  I would like to bake panettone tomorrow and the recipes indicates

2 pkg dry yeast.  How much starter should I use to equal 2 pkgs?  Should I also include some dry yeast?


THank You

bshuval's picture

I've been doing quite a bit of baking this weekend. In addition to the Grape Harvest Focaccia I've blogged about yesterday, today I made the potato pizza from Maggie Glezer's "Artisan Baking". The recipe calls for a very wet dough -- more water than flour, actually. You knead the dough using the paddle on your stand mixer for 20 whole minutes. In the process it miraculously transforms from this:

Kneading the dough

To this:

It really is a quite unbelievable transformation. However did anyone figure it out? This dough, albeit wet and sticky, passes the windowpane test:

 I liberally oiled (although, in retrospect, not liberally enough, as a bit of pizza stuck to the pan) a half-sheet pan, and shaped the wet dough onto it, carefully as to not burst any bubbles. I had to let the dough rest several times in order to stretch the dough to fit the entire pan. Each time, using some more olive oil. I added the potato-onion-rosemary topping (the potatoes were thinly sliced using a mandoline, and then salted and squeezed from the liquid before mixing with the onion and rosemary). I added some more olive oil on top of the topping. 

I put the pizza into a preheated oven for 40 minutes. Shortly after the pizza began baking, the house filled with a wonderful aroma of onions and potatoes. It really got those gut juices going! Halfway through the baking I took a peek to rotate the dough, so I used that occassion to take a picture of the partially baked pizza:

40 minutes later, the pizza was ready:

 The pizza is done

I removed it from the pan (as I said above, I didn't oil the pan well enough, so it stuck in a couple of places.) The crust rose nicely; here is a side view:

This was a fun baking project!  

bshuval's picture

Today I decided to bake the Grape Harvest Focaccia from Daniel Leader's new book, Local Breads.

Since I prefer my doughs to be lean where possible, I decided to make it without the 1/3 cup of olive oil in the dough that the recipe calls for. I only used about half a tablespoon of olive oil for spreading over the dough before baking. I also increased the amount of red grapes. The amount called for in the recipe didn't seem to be enough. 

I was very happy with the result. I don't miss the oil at all, and the focaccia is moist and flavorful. The rosemary gives a delightful taste (and fragrance) to the bread. This bread is recommended. 

I am including three pictures:

The whole focaccia, just out of the oven:

  Grape Harvest Focaccia, whole

 Here is a close-up of the focaccia:

Close-up of Grape Harvest Focaccia

And here it is, sliced: 

Grape Harvest Focaccia, sliced

Floydm's picture

A couple of recent things I baked

Some french bread I put together quickly for a pot of black bean soup. Not world class bread, but great for mopping up the soup.

My Christmas Stollen. I used the Peter Reinhart recipe. I changed a few things, like using Amaretto instead of Grand Marnier and dried cranberries instead of raisins. I was very pleased with the results.


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