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The Best White Bread Recipe Yet Written

photographs courtesy of Shannon
I don't know where she got it, but my mom had been making this bread recipe since I can ever remember until she got too sick to do it anymore. My brothers and I could polish off two loaves before she even got done baking the whole batch, so at the peak of our growing I think she had to double the recipe every time so there could be some left to actually use for a meal or two.

She passed it along to my best friend and my best friend once removed (her husband) and then I got it from my BFF because my mom was busy at work when I finally was ready to try making it. So anyways, by the time I got the technique down (after a few hands on trainings with mom and several calls in the middle of it) and could really make her bread well, she passed away. It is as if the bread tradition had to get passed down before she could go. I now have the privilege of passing it along to my children and sister-in-laws for them to make and taste something my mom made. It brings us closer to her even though she is gone. I love how a simple bread recipe can help bond us to our kindred dead. This is one of those flecks of brilliancy in life I have been noticing and want to point out and share with the world.

Something about this bread is that it is not something you make to be all healthy and stuff. This is the comfort food type of bread that tastes FABULOUS once cool enough to touch, but still warm enough to melt the butter right into it the second it touches it.
Best when sliced in big hunky pieces and once it is a couple days old--you'll get the best french toast you ever tasted out of your baking efforts as well.
the best french toast EVER
Debby's Bread

6 c. water 
(hot, not boiling)
4 packages 
(or 7 1/2 tsp.) yeast
8 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter
2 c. milk
approx. 15-18 c. flour

I use half whole wheat/half unbleached white flour, but if you want to get all uber authentic about the recipe, use straight up bleached, all-purpose white flour!

Mix water, yeast, salt, and sugar with a whisk  in large bowl.
Set aside until frothy on top (approximately 10-15 minutes)
While waiting for yeast mixture to froth, melt butter and milk together in a small pot until butter is completely melted, then turn heat off.
Gently pour milk/butter into yeast mixture when ready.
Next, slowly add flour.
Knead* until doughy (approx. 10 minutes)

Lightly coat clean, large bowl (or two if you don't own very large bowls) with cooking spray or oil and place dough in coated bowl.
Cover  with a towel until dough is doubled in size (30-45 minutes).
Separate and divide into pans.
Cover with towel and let rise again.
Once dough has risen to desired size, bake at 370 degrees F for approximately 35 minutes.
Tops of bread will be dark, golden brown when done. (as seen in photos)

Brilliant Bread

Makes 3-5 loaves, depending on size.
 and don't be surprised if they don't last long.

*I do it by hand as did my mom and probably her mom before her.

related links:
all things purple: Family: Amazingly Complicated
all things purple: My Hope for Eternity


  1. I am seriously having anxiety over this recipe. Haha. Hope Zach sees this as a testament to how much he is loved. ;)

  2. anyone who will sweat over making bread in the 21st century deserves a medal, in my opinion. it is a beautiful offering of love.

  3. Shannon JacksonTuesday, July 19, 2011

    And sweating I was. haha. Zach wasn't joking when he said his mom used to stand in the kitchen and sweat over the bread. haha. I had beads running down my forehead and my back. You are right...THIS is love! ;)

  4. I lam making bread and cinnamon rolls today, and I love that this recipe is here so I can refer to it when I can't find the one I printed out. I totally think of you and your mom every time I make this bread. <3


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