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Traditional Newfoundland White Bread

Traditional Newfoundland White Bread aka Nan's Bread from Newfoundland

This recipe is Emily Mardell's grandmother's Gigi's, bread recipe, thus "Nan's Bread". In Newfoundland, homemade bread is made regularly in remote areas, and while it proofs, the sections of the rising dough are sliced off, formed into circles and fried for breakfast. These are called Toutons, and traditionally eaten with Fancy Molasses and butter.

Course Bread
Cuisine Canadian
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Servings 1 hearty loaf
Author Valerie Lugonja via Emily Mardell and her Grandmother

Ingredients

  • 5 cups or 635 grams All Purpose Flour
  • 1 package or 7 grams traditional active dry yeast not instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons or 10 grams of fine salt good quality
  • 3 tablespoons or 45 grams sugar
  • 3 tablespoons or 55 grams butter, melted (need only 45 grams, use the rest to grease proofing bowl)
  • 2 cups or 290 grams milk, lukewarm

Instructions

Instructions for Making by Hand

  1. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of sugar into half cup lukewarm water; sprinkle yeast over surface of water. Let stand for about 15 minutes until yeast foams well, then stir to combine.

  2. Combine 3 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt into large bowl; add prepared yeast, melted butter and warm milk. Using wooden spoon, mix for 4 to 5 minutes until mixture is smooth.

  3. Slowly incorporate remaining 2 cups flour; mixing gradually until soft dough forms and leaves sides of bowl. You may need to use a little more or a little less flour: add only enough flour to form a dough that releases from sides of bowl and remains slightly tacky but able to be handled with your bare hands.

  4. Turn the dough out onto work -surface to knead; knead for 8 minutes, then form into ball and place in large greased bowl.

  5. Cover dough; proof in warm place for one hour until double in size.

  6. FOR TOUTONS: Slice off portions of dough, shaping them by hand into rustic circles; lay on cloth until ready to fry.
  7. Punch dough down; knead a few minutes by hand before resting for another 10 minutes.

  8. Grease 2 medium loaf pans; divide dough into 4-6 equal portions. Form each division into a ball, placing 2 or 3 balls of dough in each loaf pan.

  9. Cover with clean tea towel; proof until about 2 inches above rim of loaf pan (approx. 2 hours, depending upon room temperature).
  10. Bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes depending on size of pans, or until loaves are golden and sound hollow when tapped.

  11. Turn loaves onto wire rack to cool; brush tops with melted butter to soften top crust.

Instructions for Thermomix Machine

  1. Weigh 15 grams sugar and 120 grams tepid water into TM bowl; add packet of yeast and stir for 5 minutes at 37C speed soft. Rest 5 minutes.
  2. Stir yeast mixture, to combine; 5 seconds at speed 2.

  3. Into same TMbowl over yeast mixture, weigh 45 grams melted butter, 290 grams lukewarm milk, 375 grams flour, 30 grams sugar, 10 grams salt; stir rigorously to combine until smooth for 1 minute at speed 4 (little longer or higher speed, if required)

  4. Weigh remaining 260 grams flour into TM bowl; set knead for 4 minutes until dough completely releases from side of TM bowl.
  5. Grease large bowl with remaining butter; form dough into ball and place in prepared bowl covered with damp cloth and proof in warm place for one hour to ninety minutes, or until double in size.
  6. FOR TOUTONS: Slice off portions of dough taking care to retain as much air as possible, shape each by hand into rustic circles; lay on lightly floured cloth until ready to fry (Rest 10 minutes after shaping before frying)

  7. Punch down remaining dough; rest 10 minutes.
  8. Grease 1 large loaf pan; divide dough into 3 equal portions and form each into a ball. Place 3 dough balls into each loaf pan.

  9. Cover with clean damp tea towel; proof until about 2 inches above rim of loaf pan (approx. 2 hours, depending upon room temperature).
  10. Bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes, depending on size of pan, until golden hollow when tapped.

  11. Turn loaf onto wire rack to cool; brush tops with melted butter to soften top crust.

Recipe Notes

Emily's Grandmother, Edna, or GiGi, as they call her, taught her to make “Nan’s bread.” As a young girl, she’d spend Sunday’s puttering around the kitchen, listening to music, and kneading dough with her Gigi.

For Emily, the best part about making “Nan’s bread,” was cutting slices of the proofed dough to fry! Traditional Newfoundland touton are made with this recipe.

In a traditional Newfoundland "outport" (or remote) kitchen, everyone made their own bread. Often daily, as it was a staple food for a large family: fresh, filling and inexpensive.

Once the bread was ‘panned’ or risen, pieces of dough would be sliced off and fried for the morning meal or a snack. This treat is known as “toutons” or “damper dogs” and have remained a regional family favourite and apopular restaurant dish in Newfoundland.Toutons, More Specifically:

Toutons, More Specifically:Wedges are sliced from the large proofing dough, shaped into discs, quickly fried in a bubbling layer of rendered

Wedges are sliced from the large proofing dough, shaped into discs, quickly fried in a bubbling layer of rendered saltpork back fat. The “scruncheons” created from rendering the fat would be removed and reserved for later. Dough discs were fried until golden on both sides, crispy outside and puffy inside traditionally served with a dab of butter and a very generous drizzle of Fancy Molasses.  The scruncheons were often added back to the plate with the toppings.Today, the salt pork is most often replaced with canola or other oil. (Toutons are also delicious served with Nan’s baked beans! But, that's a whole 'nother story!)

Today, the salt pork is most often replaced with canola or other oil. (Toutons are also delicious served with Nan’s baked beans! But, that's a whole 'nother story!)