Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bread, without the fancy kitchen appliances

I wanted to make bread this week. I put it off because I thought, I don't have a bread machine and I don't have one of those giant stand mixers. It's going to be too much trouble. Well I googled around and found out that I was WRONG! Here is what I found. This recipe makes the yummiest yummiest bread, and it is so super easy.

2 Loaves of Bread

1/2 C. Milk
3 T. Sugar
2 t. Salt
3 T. Butter, just barely melted, not boiling hot
2 packets or 4 1/2 t. Active Dry Yeast
2 C. Warm Water
5-7 C. Flour, the amount of flour you use depends on what sort of flour you have

First heat the bowl by filling it with hot water and then dumping it out. Mix the warm water and yeast until there is an even consistency. It should look like this...

Now add the butter, milk, sugar, and salt. Mix until well blended. It should look like this...

Then add 4 C. of flour to begin, then slowly add flour 1/4 C. at a time until the dough no longer has the consistency of glue and is more dough like. A little stickiness is ok, but it shouldn't be capable of being a glue alternative. It should look a little like this...

Next you will kneed the dough for 10 minutes. I have limited kitchen space so I just kneed right in the bowl. It's easier and less messy that way. You could clear a work space and dust it with flour and kneed your bread there. After you are done kneading place the dough back in the bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Your dough should look a little like this...

I use this time to clean up my mess so that I have a work space for the next step.

After the dough has risen for an hour it should be roughly double the original size. Take it out of the bowl, divide it in half, give it a few punches to deflate it back down to sized. 1 loaf at a time shape the dough into a rectangular size with one side being roughly the length of the bread pan and the other side being about a bread pan and a half long.

Now you just roll it up just like a giant cigar. Tuck the ends underneath with the seam. Place it in your bread pan (spray pan with a non stick spray first), cover and let rise for another hour. I start my oven to preheat to 400 towards the end of this hour.

Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Immediately remove from the pans and allow the bread to cool before slicing. TaDa! You have a bread that is tasty and you can easily spell all the ingredients! I don't know how to spell or pronounce half of the ingredients on the store bought bread label.

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