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Fifty Fifty Bread

December 27, 2010

Photo by Pat

It’s amazing to me the impact a Mom has on her daughter.  It wasn’t until I started writing this blog that I realized how much my Mother shaped my life.  This story written by my daughter,’Chelle, gave me such a full heart.  Here I thought she hated the tasks I left her to do those many years ago but in reality she thought it was fun.  She just couldn’t let me know.  Now she is all grown up and is a fabulous cook.  I’m so proud of her! ~Pat

~Written by my daughter, ‘Chelle Parmele, Social Media Marketing Manager at Palo Alto Software~

Growing up Parmele in our town was not always the easiest. I say town, but what I mean is school. We lived on the college campus in the boys dorm from the time I was in 2nd grade until I started high school. I’m pretty sure my realizing the whole “boy’s are cute” thing had something to do with Dad making the decision to move our family out of the men’s dorm. But that’s a different story.

I remember having conversations with people who assumed that because my mom was who she was, we ate full-on gourmet foods every day. “You’re so lucky to have a mom that cooks like this all the time” was something I heard over and over again. It was evidently hard for people to believe we ate more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches than five-course meals.

Starting around 5th or 6th grade, part of my after-school routine was getting supper ready. I remember I’d come home to a carefully written recipe from mom and all of the ingredients sitting out on the counter. I probably made a big deal out of not wanting to do it at the time, but deep down, it was a real thrill to be in charge of family dinner.

The day I graduated from easy supper casseroles to baking loaves of bread was a big day for me. Mom’s homemade bread was something I looked forward to and she was handing that responsibility to me! The pressure!

Making the bread meant I got the first thick slices of hot bread slathered in honey and butter. To the cook goes the rewards!

If we were super lucky, mom would put on a pot of beans to cook and we’d have fresh bread with hot pinto beans over top for supper.

My favorite kind of bread was the 50/50 bread. It was called 50/50 bread because it was half whole wheat flour and half white flour. We baked them in dark pans which gave them an amazing crust while keeping the inside fresh and soft. This bread was 100/100 delicious.

Fifty Fifty Bread
Pat’s Note:   My favorite home-ec teacher was Mrs. Boyd. I admired her ability to teach us how to make appealing but healthy food that would influence our choices for the rest of our lives. She gave all the girls in her 9th grade class this recipe and taught us the technique for making good bread. This is the only recipe that really made a wonderful loaf of bread . . . at least for this fledgling baker. I continue to make this bread to this day in her honor!

2 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups white flour plus more (I like a bit more white in my bread)
1 T. instant yeast
⅓ cup oil
⅓ cup brown sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 cups warm water (115 degrees)

2 4×8 bread pans

In a mixing bowl, mix 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 2 cups of white flour with the yeast, brown sugar and salt. Mix well with a mixer using a dough hook. Stir in the warm water and oil. Mix until it is smooth and then begin adding the rest of the flour starting with the whole wheat. Quit adding flour when the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough on low speed about 10 minutes to develop the gluten.

When the dough is smooth and satiny, stop and remove the dough hook, cover and let the dough rise until double in size. I help it along by placing the bowl in a sink of hot water. It will take about 30-45 minutes. Scoop the dough out onto a floured counter and knead the extra air out. Cut the ball in half and knead it into a shape to fit your bread pan. I usually give the top of the dough a good coating of white flour because it looks so pretty when it’s baked. Spray your bread pans (2) with Pam before placing the dough inside. Cover the pans with a cloth and let rise until double again. I told Chelle to let it rise until it was 1 inch above the rim of the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

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