Thanksgiving always has and always will equal bread in my brain. As a bread-loving child, it was my dream holiday. Rolls (at least two kinds, sometimes more) and stuffing and bread and pie (I count crust in the bread category); I started looking forward to the next Thanksgiving as soon as I licked the butter stuck to my fingers from the last crescent roll.
I have clear memories of my mother and grandmother mixing, kneading, forming and baking crescent rolls, honey potato wheat rolls, and loaf after loaf of bread. I stood by not-so-patiently while the yeasty aroma of baking bread drifted out of the oven. I watched as they tucked the finished bread lovingly into baskets and covered it with cloth napkins to keep it warm. I waited on the edge of my seat as everyone gathered around the table and talked about what made them thankful. Food, family and shelter. Yes, yes. Bread, please! Turkey? Bah. Mashed whats? I wanted breadstuffs. I wanted lots of them very quickly. When the prayer was done and the platters were passed, somehow the breadbasket always ended up by my elbow. I still don't know how they managed, but the basket never emptied despite my best efforts.
It's my turn to fill the breadbasket now. I'm grateful for all of the blessings in my life: food, shelter, and — most importantly — family. And the bread. I'm still thankful for the bread.
This first recipe I'm sharing is one of my favorite fast breads. It is a yeast-bread that is done in under an hour from start to finish. It is wonderful served sliced, toasted, as sandwich bread, or cubed up in a big pan of stuffing. If you slide a fried egg between a couple slices of toasted One-Hour Dilly Potato Bread you're in for a big treat, especially if hot sauce and cheddar cheese are involved.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!