Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Golden Cake Bread

I collect old recipe booklets, often the kind printed by appliance and food manufacturers to promote their products. Some of the covers are barely hanging on, some of the pages are splattered from use by their earlier owners. I love the little notes that cooks of yester-year thoughtfully included.

And so, as good fortune would have it,  I happened upon a wonderful recipe, in the 1958 Pillsbury's BEST 10th Grand National Bake-Off Cookbook, called Golden Cake Bread.  Let me tell you, it was a winner then, and it is surely a winner now.  Mrs. L. M. Jehlik earned second prize ($5,000 in 1958, a fortune, surely), but this takes first prize in our house for its sweet flavor and tender crumb. It's not quite a cake, and it's not quite a bread; I can say with certainty that it is delicious and a recipe I will refer to again. Mrs. Jehlik stated that the recipe was brought to America from Russia by her mother, and 50 years later, there are families who still enjoy and appreciate this thoughtful sharing.

This takes a little time as there are three rising times, but there's no kneading involved.  

Golden Cake Bread
(Mrs. Lillian Jehlik, $5,000 Second Grand Prize Winner in Pillsbury's 10th Grand National Recipe and Baking Contest) (1958)

1 package Active Dry Yeast
1/4 cup warm water

1 cup hot scalded milk
1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar

2 slightly beaten eggs (reserving 1 tablespoon)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt

4 to 4 1/2 cups flour

In a small bowl or measuring cup, proof the yeast in the warm water.

Combine the milk, butter and sugar in a large bowl and allow to cool to lukewarm.

Stir in 2 slightly beaten eggs, the vanilla, salt and yeast mixture.

Gradually add the flour to form a stiff batter, beating well after each addition.  Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until light and doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Beat down the dough and let it rise again until doubled in size, about 3/4 hour.

Divide the batter into two well-greased 9x5x3 inch pans.  Let rise in warm place, about 3/4 hour.  Brush with reserved egg.

Bake in a 350*F oven 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.