What Grandma used to make! Our family's favorite. The recipe was never written down (that I know of) until she shared it with me when she was in her 90's.

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Ingredients

36
Original recipe yields 36 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast, salt, oil, sugar, and 4 cups flour. Mix thoroughly, and let sponge rise until doubled in size.

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  • Gradually add about 4 cups flour, kneading until smooth. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn several times to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled.

  • Punch down the dough, let it rest a few minutes. Divide dough into three equal parts. Shape into loaves, and place in three 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch greased bread pans. Let rise until almost doubled.

  • Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 to 45 minutes. The loaves may need to be covered for the last few minutes with foil to prevent excess browning.

Nutrition Facts

137.1 calories; 4 g protein; 25.2 g carbohydrates; 0 mg cholesterol; 195.5 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (941)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
03/11/2005
Great recipe. I made it like Grandma Van Doren probably did, using regular flour, because I'm sure "bread flour" did not exist when Grandma was feeding her hungry family. Hint: Double the yeast to halve the rising time. It's a real time saver. Read More
(501)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
11/06/2003
I tried to make this recipe and the dough was like water...is there a missprint somewhere ...I followed the directions and it wasnt a good sight :( Read More
(28)
1128 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 961
  • 4 star values: 116
  • 3 star values: 25
  • 2 star values: 9
  • 1 star values: 17
Rating: 5 stars
03/10/2005
Great recipe. I made it like Grandma Van Doren probably did, using regular flour, because I'm sure "bread flour" did not exist when Grandma was feeding her hungry family. Hint: Double the yeast to halve the rising time. It's a real time saver. Read More
(501)
Rating: 5 stars
02/05/2006
Yummy bread and so easy in a mixer. I like to put the loaves in disposable bread pans and throw them in the freezer before they rise. Then I can have home baked bread any day I want. Just leave the frozen dough out on the counter in the morning to rise all day and bake it in the evening. This Bread tastes good with everything, but be careful, it goes quick! Read More
(408)
Rating: 5 stars
09/22/2006
Oh My!! This is a very good recipe. I love to bake bread and hate it when it comes out dense, not so with this one! Nice and light dough, soft chewy crust! I ended up using 4 packets of Rapid Rise Yeast because that's all I had. All purpose flour worked fine as well. I let it rise for an hour in between each step and the cinnamon rolls rose an extra 35 minutes while the bread baked. Made 2 nice loaves and a big batch of 18 cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing. YUM! We ate a whole loaf with Peasant soup for dinner and had a cinnamon roll for dessert! I am so full! Nice tangy taste and wonderful texture, don't miss out TRY IT!!! Read More
(340)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/07/2009
This is an update for my review. I did finally make it right and this is a wonderful recipe just as is. But if you add 3tbl of gluten flour, a tablespoon of vitamin c and an egg, they act as preservatives and keep the bread soft and fresh for longer than a week. I never buy bread anymore, and the daycare kids LOVE this recipe. I did just about everything wrong with this and it still is the best bread recipe I've ever made. I didn't let it set a sponge, I added 1/4 cup oil (reading too fast) didn't let it rise until double and it made the BEST ever cinnamon rolls and pizza. This is fool proof, as I have proven. Read More
(145)
Rating: 5 stars
07/23/2003
This bread was delicious. There are only two of us so three loaves was to much. I cut the dough in thirds like the recipe says and used two for bread, and the third for pizza dough. I spread it out on a pan greased lightly with shortening, and let it rest for about fifteen minutes. I put my toppings on and baked it for 30 min. at 375F or till the crust was browned. It was awesome. Definately use this again. Read More
(121)
Rating: 5 stars
09/28/2005
This is a delicious bread but the best part about it is how fast and easy it is. It rises so quickly - I got up early this morning to make this for a work lunch party and could have slept in another hour - start to finish takes about 2 1/2 hours. I use regular all-purpose flour and butter the loaves before and after baking. Delicious! Read More
(93)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/16/2010
I have orders from the kids: "we will not eat that stuff from the store anymore". My son loves to cook and was amazed at the process and simplicity at making the perfect homemade white bread-think I have a budding chef! I have been looking for this recipe all my life! I wanted an EASY bread -not from a breadmaker -(there's nothin' like the feel of kneading fresh dough!) I am sooo pleased! As others have said it freezes so well (I am going to attempt freezing dough, after 1st rise, so we have fresh from the oven...!) If you want a simple, delectable and versatile bread (rosemary/thyme, cinnamon/raisin, cheddar, etc..), the possibilities are endless-this is your bread!! I actually got four good sized loaves!! There should be 10 stars for this one! P.S. to Ms. Sim-I met a lady a long time ago who had a 'secret' family recipe from her grandmother for the most delicious homemade olives I have ever had (and I DON'T LIKE them!) Anyway, she would be a little self centered w/ the attention whenever asked for the recipe (many did). She died a few years ago along w/her family olive recipe. She had no children or siblings. So her grandmothers wonderful recipe is lost. I am TRULY grateful to you who share these family treasures. I hope Grandma Van Doren is pleased w/ all the VERY happy children she is feeding!! My best to you! Read More
(88)
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2002
My Dear...thank you for sharing your family's recipe....it was EXCELLENT!!!.... I was so excited ..... I made bread...that looked & tasted like bread...FOR ONCE! I baked one loaf (divided the recipe by a third) Just before putting it in the oven I brushed the top with egg wash (1 egg + 2tbsp water - beaten).......thanks again! Read More
(78)
Rating: 5 stars
02/18/2003
Absolutely incredible! We make this in the bread machine with the dough setting and it disappears within an hour out of pulling it out of the oven. We generally only make a third of the recipe so it fits in the bread machine. Read More
(72)
Rating: 2 stars
11/06/2003
I tried to make this recipe and the dough was like water...is there a missprint somewhere ...I followed the directions and it wasnt a good sight :( Read More
(28)