I have a little secret. I rarely pay full price for a cookbook. Oh, I ohh and ahh over the newest books at the B&N and thumb through them at the market, but buy a new one? I'm way too frugal (nice word for friggin' cheap) for that. No, I get my many, many, many books from what passes as "antique" stores here in Dahlonega... They're junk stores, and they sometimes have the most amazing finds in the cookbook department.
Take me to The Recipe
|The Heritage of Southern Cooking|
by Camille Glenn / 2007
The other week, I picked up Camille Glenn's "The Heritage of Southern Cooking" for pocket change! A totally satisfying act in it's own right - but this is actually a very good cookbook - with some truly classic recipes and some great twists and unconventional takes on other deep south favorites.
To test out a new book, I'll usually look at 3 things: Chicken Recipes, ratio of protein to side dishes, and breads. Here in the South, if you're going to write about bread - you better be damned sure your recipes work... and work every time. Nothing flips a good southerner's wig worse than throwing out perfectly good White Lily Flour. Her biscuit recipe was the same as mine, There's a spoon bread, corn bread, a couple of fruit loaves... and then there was Old Fashioned Loaf Bread
Loaf Bread - I hear ya, it's probably not the most exciting recipe you'd expect to come out of a cookbook. But - I grew up in the South, and when I was in Grade School, we took field trips to the Colonial Bakery and got those little mini loaves of Colonial Loaf fresh out of the oven. Packed neatly in their very own mini little bread bags. Loaf Bread Love is ingrained just as firmly and deeply as biscuits... or grits... or gravy.
1). She suggested either lard or shortening - I've used shortening
2). The ratios for flour / baking soda / salt are the exact same as for Self Rising Flour - I've used White Lily Self Rising
3). I halved the recipe for my loaves and made smaller ones - but it it halves perfectly - then I have no doubt it will double and triple just as well.
Makes 2 loves
1 Package Rapid Rise Yeast
1/4 Cup Lukewarm Water
6 Cups Self Rising Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Shortening
2 Cups Buttermilk
Large Mixing Bowl
Extra Shortening for Greasing
Stand Mixer with Dough Hook
2 - 9.5 x 4.5 x 3" Loaf Pans
- In the small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water and allow to bloom
- Sift 5 cups of the flour and place in the stand mixer with the shortening
- mix on medium low until the flour begins to resemble meal
- Add the yeast, buttermilk, sugar and blend well
- Add in the remaining flour and mix into the dough
- Turn the mixer to medium high and knead for 5 to 10 minutes - until the dough forms a smooth ball that will hold a hand print when pressed.
- Grease the large bowl and turn the dough into the bowl
- Turn the ball over to coat completely with the shortening (Do NOT use oil. Oil tends to soak into the dough too much, producing a heavy, dense loaf)
- cover with plastic wrap and allow to double in size (about 1.5 hours)
- Lightly flour a working surface, and turning the dough out, knead for another 2 minutes
- Divide the dough in half
- Roll out each half flat to press out any bubbles
- Roll each piece of dough (jellyroll style) and tuck the ends under
- Place in greased loaf pans, cover with plastic and allow to rise until doubled in size again - about 1.5 hours
- Preheat the oven to 425
- Bake on the center rack of the over at 425 for 15 minutes - lower the temperature to 375 and bake another 20 to 30 minutes (depending on your area). The loaves are done when nicely browned on top and sound hollow when thumped
- Turn the loaves out onto a rack and allow to cool Completely before slicing or storing - Remember to turn the loaves over occasionally while cooling to keep the crusts crispy