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I have found an awesome little recipe that I want to share which was first published in the book, Laurel’s Kitchen, and then reprinted in The Laurel’s  Kitchen Bread Book in 2003 As I mentioned earlier, I only began baking bread in 2009, and have made 100+ types of bread since then, probably half of them baked in loaf pans, and the other half baked on a stone.  I wish I had come across this handy little recipe earlier for all those pan loaves because it works so well!

With a bread dough that needs the support of the pan to maintain its’ shape during the proof, you are obligated to coat the inside of the pan with something slippery to prevent the loaf from sticking to the pan.  My mother always used lard which she took from the ample supply that sat in a little pail on the back of the stove, acquired from rendering a hog.  (You just don’t hear that much about rendering hogs these days, do you.)   She took a little dab and smeared it around on all the inside surfaces of her 11 aluminum bread pans.  It worked great.  I, however, do not keep lard around, nor do I want any.  But the following?  This is magic stuff.

"Better Butter"                  “Better Butter”

Blend:    1 c. vegetable oil with 1 c. soft butter and store in the refrigerator.  Simple!

OR, if you want it firm enough to keep at room temperature for a while,

Add:  2 T. water, 2 T. non-instant milk powder, 1/4 tsp lecithin; 1/2 tsp salt, which is optional.

I keep mine in a little tub in the fridge and take it out just before using.  It keeps forever (or close to it); it doesn’t get nearly as hard as refrigerated butter so you can easily scoop out however much is needed for greasing pans, and it is incredibly slick.  This combination is slicker than either butter or oil.  I swear that bread is eager to leap out of the pan when you remove it from the oven!  I am not 100% certain, but I think “Better Butter” may be responsible for the story of “The Gingerbread Man” running away.  (Warning:  Do not get “Better Butter” on the floor or under your shoe.  Gravity has a nasty way of reminding us it is a law to be reckoned with.)

I told you about the USA Pan loaf pans that I especially like in a previous post, “Too Much Kitchen S***”, and I raved about how nothing wants to stick to those pans, which is absolutely still true.   But I do grease them anyhow, out of habit, I suppose, and an attitude of “why not?”  For that brand and any other baking pan that you have in your kitchen, “Better Butter” works great!  Happy baking!

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