my granny's perfect white bread | #makeandtake - Color Me Meg

my granny’s perfect white bread | #makeandtake

 join me for #makeandtake week to honor my granny and her amazing story. 

you will want to try this perfect white bread recipe too. the best base for lots of great recipes!

perfect homemade white bread great dough for lots of things!

meet norma arnett.

this is my granny. my mother’s mother.

her birthday is on friday, august 29th, and i hope you’ll indulge me and my family a minute while we celebrate her.

norma arnett

a quick history on her:

she had 10 kids. 10. and she was a quiet woman. but not without spunk and opinion and a long list of talents that would make your head spin. she was most of all, humble, and determined to leave the world better than she found it.

while searching for more about her, i found her entire life story on, written in her words. this paragraph brought me to tears:

I have had a happy life so far. The only thing that has caused me such terrible sadness and been almost impossible to do is give up my dear husband Fred. He was killed with his brother Marvin in a plane crash the 17 Sept. 1964. Little Sam was just two weeks old. We’re hoping we can help him know his dad by the things we say and the plans he had for us. I have a very dear family and everyone is healthy and happy. We have singers, dancers, musicians, comediennes, seamstresses, athletes, weight lifters, paperboys, yard men, coakes insurance men, actors, actresses, oh just all kinds of talents.

so many of those talents came directly from her. and yes, she then raised her kids alone for 36 years before she died.

{for family, who will ask, here’s the entire life story, most of which is in her own words.}

this is my granny with sam and her famous white bread….

{featured in the local newspaper}

 photo grannie tribune bread with sam

if you go to mesa, her bread recipe is used at the successful whole grain bread store

{working there was the first job i ever held in high school. side note: i made $6 an hour then, and i read in my granny’s history about the year she got married, and g-pa was gifted a raise of $5 a month. they then made $70 a month! nuts, right?}

the reason this bread is so famous though, is not only because it is one of the yummiest,

but mostly because this sweet lady baked about 12 loaves a week.

she kept 2 for her large family, and the rest were taken, while still hot, in brown paper bags to neighbors and friends who she thought needed a lift.

her baked goods were just the foot in the door. she was that quiet, charitable woman, who i’m sure most thought, “there’s a lady who has reason to be hard on herself and down on life, and look what she does with her time and talents!”

i often think about how much she meant to so many people. and i can’t talk about her without crying like a baby. she was one of the greats.

at her funeral, the owner of the bread store made hundreds of mini bread loaves to give away to those who came,

attached was this poem:

no half loaf poem printable

want to print this? download here

so this week i’ll be inviting family and friends to pass it on. to #makeandtake and #sharegoodness this week, in honor of granny. make these into rolls and take dinner, give it as dough and let them bake themselves,

make mini loaves and take them to teachers, drop them secretly on doorsteps.  i’m going to use this little printable to take it to friends and family this week, so watch your doorsteps if you live close!

 photo blessing bread

want to print this too? download here

boss and i whipped up this bread last week and i was unprepared for what would happen when the smell hit me.

tears were streaming as i saw my sweet granny in her kitchen, clear as day, red apron on, wavin her hand at me and passing over a jar of homemade jam.

i could see her wall of numbered grandkids all in read sweatshirts with white felt numbers on the chest, my toothless grin at number 40, and the hand-drawn calendar of birthdays.

i will almost have to make her bread weekly now, just to have the nostalgic memories that bring me back to her. to her sense of priorities.

i know she’s proud of me. i know she’d wave and say, “oh you’ll be fine.” she was so easy.

and i’m just glad that i didn’t completely botch her bread. it’s not as perfect looking as hers, but then really, was that ever her point?

{it sure tastes just like it!}

granny's white bread perfect

granny’s perfect white bread


  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 2.5 lbs Better for Bread flour {1/2 bag}

what to do

Mix water, sugar and yeast in Bosch mixer {for doubled recipe, Kitchen aid works fine for this recipe.} When bubbles start to form, add milk, oil, salt and flour. Once all flour is in, knead on high- 5 min with the dough attachment.

Let rise double. Spray pans generously. Punch down form 3 medium loaves or 2 large loaves. Let rise to 1/2″ above pan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 17-18 min. Butter tops, let cool in pans 5 mins then turn out to finish cooling completely.


perfectly sliced white bread


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About Meg

I am Meg, a photographer and designer and a wish-i-owned-a-house-er. My husband and I are self-declared foodies and LOVE projects. We blog about food and DIY adventures from sunny San Diego with our two cutie kids and have an apparel line at to keep us busy. Email me at [email protected] to work with me!

13 comments on my granny’s perfect white bread | #makeandtake

  1. Matt Preston
    August 24, 2014 at 6:57 pm (4 years ago)

    What an awesome woman and wonderful tribute! I will be giving the bread a chance to change our lives as well this week!

  2. Mandy @Mandy's Recipe Box
    August 25, 2014 at 6:37 am (4 years ago)

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe and story! What an amazing woman your grandma was!

  3. Chet Arnett
    August 25, 2014 at 7:57 am (4 years ago)

    I totally lost it when i read your story. You have given me an idea. I’m going to the bread store and buying a bunch of it to give away on Aug 29th (her birthday).
    Chet (her sixth child)

    • Meg
      August 25, 2014 at 10:33 am (4 years ago)

      Yes! for those in Mesa, buying lots is definitely the way to go. If you call him ahead, he can have lots ready for you too! He’s great!

  4. Scarlett & Jack
    August 25, 2014 at 9:08 am (4 years ago)

    Such an example she was to everyone who knew and loved her.

  5. Rachel
    August 25, 2014 at 2:05 pm (4 years ago)

    Thank you so much for sharing your sweet grandma’s story and recipe with the world. I know I will take extra care making it knowing the history behind it. I hope it will bring happiness and nostalgia to those who receive it. 🙂

  6. Melissa @ Bless this Mess
    August 26, 2014 at 8:59 am (4 years ago)

    This is probably my favorite post ever and I’ll be for sure participating. I love a good story and your granny sounds like my kind of woman! TEN KIDS!!! So amazing.

  7. Marijane
    August 26, 2014 at 10:44 am (4 years ago)

    Living in Mesa, my entire life, I remember the the story about your grandmother. As an adult I have the honor to know many of her children and grandchildren. Her legacy runs through each generation. My husband was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. we shed many tears when we received a loaf of this bread. What an honor! Thank you for sharing her story & this wonderful tradition.

  8. Sammy
    September 28, 2014 at 1:01 pm (4 years ago)

    Is there a way to halve this recipe? It looks amazing! Also, how would you recommend I do this dairy-Free? Im allergic and can’t have powdered milk. Thank you!

    • Meg
      September 29, 2014 at 4:10 pm (4 years ago)

      Yes, you can half this. This one here is actually half of my granny’s full recipe. 😉 I’m not sure on the dairy-free. I don’t know if there is a dairy-free or vegan alternative in powder form. If it were liquid, that’s easy… I would check with the vegan community and see what they say. Sorry I’m not more help on that!

  9. Gloria
    November 4, 2014 at 7:58 am (3 years ago)

    Awesome history! I too had a grandmother that was a wonderful living caring baker & cooked “outta this world”! Question…do I have to buy a bread mixer to make or can I do by hand? Granny have a bread mixer?
    Thanks for sharing!!

    • Meg
      November 4, 2014 at 11:24 am (3 years ago)

      This is by hand or in a mixer, my granny had a huge bosch in the later years that she used because she could do huge batches. I just use my kitchen aid. 😉

  10. Joanne
    November 25, 2014 at 1:26 pm (3 years ago)

    Your story was so lovely, touching and inspiring. Thank you for sharing it.
    I am looking forward to trying the recipe. Can you tell mewhat size pans make medium or large loaves?