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Fr. George's Polish Bread - March 24, 2002

Use whole milk, real butter, sugar and eggs!
Father says, NO SUBSTITUTIONS!

1 qt. whole milk
¼ lb. butter (1 stick)
1½ cups sugar
2 yeast cakes
Flour
2 eggs

In a saucepan heat the milk, butter and sugar. CAUTION: DO NOT SCALD THE MILK. Too hot and you will kill the yeast. Fr. George usually tests it with his finger (and yes, he says he washes his hands first). When the milk is heated pour this into a larger pan.

Add the 2 yeast cakes dissolved in water as per package instructions. Add enough flour to make a mixture which resembles a heavy pancake batter. Fr. George uses a whisk. Don't worry if the butter is not completely melted, it will melt in the batter. Cover and let stand in a warm place until it forms a sponge (1 to 1½ hours).

When the sponge has formed add the 2 whole eggs and begin to knead adding flour as you go along (Fr. George can't tell you how much, it’s just a feeling). Continue kneading until the dough comes away from your hand and is smooth. With your hand, apply some vegetable oil to the dough and the sides of the pan to prevent crusting, cover with a cloth and let stand until the dough triples in size.

Pour it out on a floured surface, divide into three parts and place in baking pans which have been greased with Crisco (oil burns too easily). Cover and let rise till the dough is even with the top of the pan.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 1 hour. Actually, you should check the bread after 20 minutes and if it has started to brown, turn the oven down to 300 degrees. Remove from oven and cool on rack. After cooling on a rack, brush with sugar water which gives it sheen.

Good luck,
Fr. George Ziezulewicz

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