Clark’s Egg Bread, revisited


This bread recipe is one my husband’s mother made. Mable Kilby was quite a cook, and I’ve heard all Larry’s siblings talk about her exploits in the kitchen. I found this recipe in a cookbook she owned, written in her own hand. It is easy to make, fast, and always turns out perfectly. She named it after Clark Bradley, who loved it. (Clark was a little boy at the time. I’m sure he still loves this bread.) Here’s the recipe:

1-½ cups scalded milk, cooled to lukewarm
¼ pound butter (one stick)
2 packages yeast dissolved in ½ cup lukewarm water
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 beaten eggs
7 cups flour

Scalding the milk is easy – you do this to make sure there is nothing in the milk that will interfere with the yeast. This was a must before pasteurization, but now is just as good an idea. You can do this carefully in the microwave, but beginners might want to do it on the stove in a double boiler, over boiling water; you can add the butter along with the milk and also put the sugar and salt in this mixture. Cool this down to lukewarm before proceeding. You can proof the yeast while the milk mixture is cooling. For a fast cool, suspend the pan in a bowl of ice and water; in about 10 minutes, voila! After proofing the yeast, add to the milk mixture, then sift in the flour, first putting four cups in and mixing, then adding the rest until it comes away from the sides of the bowl (I confess I cheat here and use my KitchenAid® mixer, with the dough hook, and skipping the kneading.)
If you decide to do it the old fashioned way, and knead, turn out and knead for about 13 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Then put in a greased or buttered bowl and let rise until doubled, about 1-½ hours. Punch down, let rise again, then turn out on a floured board, make into three loaves, and let rise until above the edge of the pans. Here’s how I do this: I weigh the dough with a digital kitchen scale, and then divide into three equal pieces. Then I take one piece at a time and flatten it out, using a rolling pin, then roll it up, fold in the ends, and place in the buttered pan.
Bake at 375 for about 25-30 minutes, until golden, lowering the heat to 350 after 15 minutes. Yesterday, I turned the heat off at 28 minutes and let the bread stay in the oven for another 10. Worked great. Test for doneness by tapping the loaf – if it sounds hollow, it is done. Turn out on a rack and slather with butter, and let cool. To store, it is best to put in paper sacks after the loaves have cooled completely. After 24 hours, you can wrap in plastic and freeze. Sometimes I make a double batch, and freeze the leftovers.

Ready to go in the oven

Ready to go in the oven

The bread, out of the oven and buttered. Yum!

The bread, out of the oven and buttered. Yum!

4 thoughts on “Clark’s Egg Bread, revisited

  1. To those who wonder why the picture shows two loaves when you are supposed to have three: my husband begged me to leave him some dough to cook on top of the stove; his Mom always fixed him a special “cake” this way, and it brings back memories. So, I just made two larger loaves. On a hot summers day, like yesterday, making three loaves is very simple. I let the dough rise outside in the shade on the deck, in my King Arthur rising bucket; if you don’t have such a gadget, any large, 10-pound canister will work with a tight lid. Be sure to cover from the light by using another, larger bucket or a very heavy towel. Light slows the rising and can result in a rough crumb. You want light, spongy, uniform dough, with few noticeable air pockets.

  2. Sure looks good. I’m not turning on my oven until our air conditioner is fixed. We are smothering this morning. 🙂

  3. Those look like glass pans. Do you drop the temp by 25 degrees to compensate or is that part of the original recipe?

  4. Yes, they are glass – Pyrex. They are great – they have an air core that makes them bake evenly. The temperature drop is because 375 is what the recipe called for, but it seems to be too hot for the glass pans, so I drop it to 350 after a few. Then to make sure the bread is done, I leave it in the oven while it cools after I turn it off. I think a person has to do what works for them, their pans and their oven, so maybe I should have made that clear.

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