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As you have have probably figured out by now…I have a carbs problem. Especially homemade bread. Especially homemade by my mother. And of all of the many and wonderful types of bread that my mommy has made for me though the years, this is my absolute, all-time, hands-down, favorite bread-Egg Bread. Or as it’s officially named: Country Fair Bread.
I remember as a little girl wanting to “help” my mom make bread, and so she would always give me the job of “getting out all the flour lumps”. It was years later before I realized that this step is more of a “getting the little girl to sit still and be quiet” step than strictly necessary. But you know what.. we had lump-free bread dough, by god!
This bread is almost challah. And when you warm up the butter and milk and pour that into the yeast and flour.. that is the perfect smell from my childhood.
You can either braid the bread or, as we did here in the name of ease and speed, just roll it up into loaf pans and it will make a beautiful, delicious loaf perfect for butter or jam, or… if you have any extras… delicious toast.
Country Fair Bread (Egg Bread)
5 - 51/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1 package yeast
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 stick butter
In a large mixing bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, salt and dry yeast. (This is where you give it to the little girl to beat out all the flour lumps.. preferably with a look of intense concentration and her tongue sticking out a little.) Heat the milk and butter in a saucepan, just until warm; you don’t want to scald the milk.
Add the eggs and the warm milk mixture to the flour mixture (and be sure to breathe deeply the transcendent aroma).
(Side story about this step. Once my mom was making this bread for a church function and was just going right along. She poured in the milk, she added all the flour and turned out the dough to start kneading… and then noticed the eggs still sitting on the counter. The eggs that give the bread its name… sitting nice and room temperature and waiting on the counter. Surprisingly, you can knead in the eggs at this step and it will turn out almost right… but the kneading-in process is a little gross and highly not recommended!)
After mixing very well you want to stir in the remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Turn out onto a board and knead until the dough is smooth, elastic, and springs back when
Form the dough into a ball and place into a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch the dough down and divide into either two equal parts (at this point you could divide it into six and braid into two loaves. In the future there will be an entry all about braiding dough, promise.)
Roll into two long rectangles and roll up into two cylinders. Place each into a greased loaf pan.
Cover and let rise again for another 1 1/2 hours. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when you tap the bottom.
Allow to cool to warm, slice, and try not to eat it all in one sitting.