I grew up in a family with really good cooks; my momma, both of my grandmothers, my aunts, even my daddy. Their food may not have been the healthiest but it was always yummy! Growing up my Momma made homemade bread every single week. I can still recall her large ceramic crock barely containing the white sticky dough expanding as it rose. I half expected it to explode all over the house like a balloon would do if pushed passed its capacity. Momma would always cover the dough with a dishtowel and often the bread rose so far that there was a gap between the towel and the top of the crock.
Occasionally as Momma prepared the dough for the oven, she would pinch off small pieces and fry it for us. It was my favorite! When she called us into the house to present the fried bread, my brother and I knew we were in for a treat! She fried those small pieces of dough in butter and served it with jam or honey. Every single bite was a mouthful of buttery soft bread that melted in your mouth.
Momma always made bread-making look easy but I recall making homemade bread in high school foods class. My group was less than successful. Bread making became something I felt too intimidated to make until a few years ago I decided I wanted to perfect homemade cinnamon rolls.
I won't call myself an expert but I am no longer intimidated.
Many things have changed since we were little. Momma no longer makes homemade bread every week. In fact, she recently told me she is not even sure when the last time she made it at all. She visited my home one day when I was making a batch of cinnamon rolls. Momma remarked that she might have forgotten how to make bread! We laughed and agreed it was probably like riding a bicycle. You might get rusty but you do not forget!
We visited Momma's home recently and I was excited to see she was making homemade bread. Giant bowls of dough covered with a tea towel were found by the furnace (the warmest place in her home) completing their second rise. But instead of preparing the dough for the oven, Momma made enough fried break to feed a small army!
Momma found an eager helper to prepare the Fried Bread. The Short Chic could not wait to assist. As she showed The Short Chic how to prepare the dough for frying Momma told her how her how her own Momma made fried bread for her when she was a little girl. She told me her favorite bread recipe was actually my daddy's grandma. She calls it water bread because it uses water and not milk. I am planning to try it the next time I make cinnamon rolls.
Are you a bread maker? If you are, the next time you make bread, consider pinching off a small ball of dough and stretch it out well, then fry it up and enjoy a treat I grew up with.