Got Yeast? Make this Bread

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I have written about this cookbook before along with its partner, the original Private Collection.  It’s because I can’t say enough about it.  I’ve made just about everything in both books, so I’m sure there will be even more blogs about them in the future.

Junior League cookbooks have a reputation for offering great recipes.  When my daughter Kristina and I were rearranging and shelving cookbooks in The Culinary Cellar, I had forgotten how many Junior League cookbooks I have.  So many great ones, and I love them all, but the award-winning Private Collections are my favorites. They are edited by Bonnie Stewart Mickelson who founded the Les Cheneaux culinary school in beautiful Upper Michigan.

One recipe from Private Collection 2 that I have made for years is simply called “Homemade Bread.”  It makes four big, beautiful loaves that don’t even require kneading.  They turn out perfect every time I have made them and we can never get enough.  However, in the last couple months yeast packages have been very hard to find due to the pandemic.  When my daughter Kristina finally found some we both agreed that the only bread to make was the “Homemade Bread.”

Look at this beautiful huge loaf, and there are three more!  It’s fluffy white on the inside and golden on the outside.  You will not be able to resist having a slice while still warm.  I hope it is easier for everyone to find yeast because I don’t want you to miss making this bread.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Bread
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup powdered non-fat milk
  • 4 cups unbleached flour
  • 4 cups lukewarm water
  • ⅓ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 8 cups unbleached flour
  1. Combine yeast, sugar, and the ½ cup lukewarm water in a small bowl. Let it sit until it foams, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a very large bowl, put powdered milk, 4 cups of the flour, and 4 cups lukewarm water. Add yeast mixture, Stir with a sturdy wooden spoon until well-blended. Cover and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.. Cover and let sit until double in bulk, between two and four hours.
  4. Turn out onto a floured work surface and divide into four parts. Dough will be sticky. Shape each part into a loaf, working out any air bubbles. Put into four greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Cover and let sit until double, about one hour.
  5. Bake loaves at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until golden and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove bread from pans and cool on wire racks.


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8 Responses to Got Yeast? Make this Bread

  1. May 18, 2020 at 5:36 am #

    I think this called Japanese milk bread. I have had a recipe for it for a while and I think since you and Kristina gave it your stamp of approval this week I’ll make it. I’ll halve the recipe to only make 2 as I only have 2 loaf pans and I don’t think this can be made “free-form” without a pan.

    • May 18, 2020 at 7:18 am #

      Barb, I have never halved the recipe before, although the cookbook says you can but then you will wish you made all four because it’s so good! I always freeze one or two as Bill loves it as French toast at a later time. I also guess it wouldn’t work as free-form.

  2. May 18, 2020 at 5:43 am #

    My recipe I have is for Japanese milk bread rolls and it’s made in a 9″ round pan so I probably could make your whole recipe and make some as a loaf and the others as rolls. My recipe also has an egg in it–it’s a King Arthur Flour recipe. I knew the flour/water/milk/yeast mixture had a name–it’s called tangzhong. Which I guess means starter in Japanese.

    • May 18, 2020 at 7:19 am #

      Barb, if you make rolls I would love to hear how they turn out. I’ve never tried rolls before.

  3. May 18, 2020 at 8:28 am #

    I also remember those Private Collection Jr league books. You can NEVER go wrong with Jr league cookbooks that’s for sure. I just found a good buy on ebay for a Zojurishi bread maker. I had given mine away when I downsized (oops one of those things I should have kept LOL) but love the new bigger loaf addition to my kitchen. I am a big fan of the Tangzhong method. I think it makes the bread last a little longer with no additives???

    • May 19, 2020 at 4:23 pm #

      Elaine, do you remember any of your favorite recipes from the Private Collection books? I was so happy to see yours in the boxes, as mine are falling apart with years of overuse. I keep those in my kitchen because I use them all the time. The Kona Banana Bread is a favorite of Bill’s.

  4. May 18, 2020 at 6:35 pm #

    Debbie! I’m so happy to see a new recipe and to read your thoughts again! I hope you and Bill are doing well. I’ve watched and enjoyed all (I believe) of Kristina’s videos and TV appearances. Seeing her made me feel that things with you were okay.

    Since I found your blog (some years ago), I’ve begun to look for Junior League cookbooks, and have purchased a few on e-bay.

    During the time we’re quarantined (by choice) I am staying w my mom. We’re enjoying trying new recipes from the local cookbooks from my hometown, as well as family recipes and old favorites. It’s wonderful to reminisce: sharing stories and memories of friends, family and aquaintances.

    Tonight’s recipe is an artichoke appetizer that we served w roasted asparagus. The asparagus is a very generous gift from my sister-in-law. The recipe is from the Ottumwa Service League Cookbook.

    Mom is baking bread weekly. I’m going to share your recipe with her. Thank you!

    • May 19, 2020 at 4:19 pm #

      Hi Denise! It’s so wonderful to see you here again! Thank you for all those kind words. It’s good to be back. I agree how great Junior League cookbooks are to have and enjoy. Your appetizer and asparagus sounds delicious. But of course it is – it’s from a Junior League!

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