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Home Baked Bread — How To

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Fresh homemade bread made by my mother

I am considered a tall woman. I am 5 feet almost 10 inches. My mom is average height 5 ft  6 inches, my “father” is way above 6 ft tall.

My paternal grandmother was a whopping 4 ft 11 inches tall!

I can recall I was petite until the age of 17 yrs. Before that age it was often foretold that I would be as petite as my grandmother.

During my ‘petite’ phase, we lived with my maternal grandmother and every Saturday she would bake breads and pastries.

The oven was one she crafted in the yard as all the other women of her day did.

Since Guyana is located below sea level, most homes are built on stilts, so the oven is situated under the house, usually towards the rear and ventilated on one side.

GT
A typical old-world style house in Guyana
Social Distancing (1)
This Oven is made of mud infused with cow patties over a brick frame ( a relic that no longer exists)

Being my smaller self back then, us kids would sit comfortably on that oven, when it was not in use and talk.

That was not the primary purpose of that oven.

It required constant care as consistent use of heat often left it cracked as in the image above and needed to be daubed often.

So my grandma lovingly tended to her oven and she would put dough in there and magic emerged after a while.

Each Saturday afternoon we would eagerly wait eat the hot bread dripping with salted butter and/or cheese, deliciousness in a roll.

This was grandma’s recipe.

My mother is now the “grandma” and said as a little girl she would watch her mother intently then ask for a small amount of ingredients to practice. Now she is quite skilled.

With social distancing and everyone doing more in their kitchens, I thought a recipe or two would help.

This is the way the bread was made.

Bread Making

Ingredients:

  • 2 packs self-rising yeast (Rapid rise yeast)
  • 2 lbs all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lb margarine
  • 1/2 lb shortening
  • 2 cups water

Directions

  1. Add 2 packs yeast to 1 cup tepid water along with 1 tbsp flour, stir well and allow time to develop.
  2. Add dry ingredients to clean dry bowl and mix together, using our hands (you can feel for any lumps) or a whisk.
  3. Add developed yeast and mix until all wet and dried ingredients are completely incorporated.
  4. Knead dough to smooth consistency and allow to rest and rise.
  5. Approx 1 hour later, dough has risen.
  6. Make small round shapes and cut a 1/3 inch cross at the top of each roll.
  7. Place on baking sheet and allow to rest a further 30 mins.
  8. Bake at 350° for approx 45 mins, until they are nice and brown.
  9. Allow to cool.

The pan on the right side are the formed rolls that were resting for approx 30 mins and has now risen and will be ready for baking.

Once they are brown, place on a cooling rack and you can base the tops with a light amount of butter to enhance their appearance and the eating experience.

The smell of freshly baked bread cannot be rivaled by much, you can decide how to eat and enjoy its yeasty goodness.

Bon appetit!

Be well, be safe, blessings!