This is the recipe I got from my mother-in-law, faithfully transcribed onto a 3x5 card. Some systems just can't be improved, and a kitchen drawer filled with family recipes on 3x5 cards, along with recipes cut out from magazines and newspapers or the back of a box, is one of them.
- 5 1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups warm milk (120-130 degrees)
- 1/2 cup warm water (120-130 degrees)
- Grease two loaf pans and sprinkle with cornmeal.
- In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda. Add warm milk and water; beat on low speed until well mixed, scraping bowl as needed.
- Stir in remaining flour (batter will be sticky).
- Spoon batter evenly into the pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks. Slice and toast.
- Microwave Version: Reduce flour by 1 cup. Follow above directions. Cook in microwave for 6 1/2 minutes on high. Finished bread will look pale and moist. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing, a process that will require some degree of patience.