Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Simple Bread

This is my go-to recipe for easy homemade bread. It's especially good as toast for breakfast or as thick-cut slices for sandwiches. The first thing I did with it this time is make eggs-in-a-hole to eat with chard and bacon, and it was soooo good. 

Bready moonscape yum
I found the recipe on The Hungry Mouse a while ago, and I'd definitely recommend looking at the original recipe the first time you make it if you haven't made bread before because she has a picture for every single step. So far I've only made the bread with regular white flour but I need to get some wheat flour to mix in next time, I'm sure it would be good. One other thing I like about this recipe is there's not a ton of clean-up.

I'm not really sure what "type" of bread this would be. If you know, I'd like to hear!

Making the Bread

2 cups lukewarm water
2 Tbls. sugar
1 Tbls. dry active yeast
2 Tbls. butter, softened & cut up
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour + more for kneading the dough
1 Tbls. kosher salt

1. Put the warm water and sugar in your big mixing bowl. Mix the sugar in to dissolve. Then mix in the yeast and let sit for about 10 minutes to make sure it gets nice and frothy.

2. Add in the flour and salt and mix a bit. Then add in the pieces of butter and mix well, slowly at first to hopefully not get flour everywhere.

3. Knead for 3-5 minutes. If you're using a stand mixer rather than your arms, you can keep the machine kneading it with the dough hook. It should turn into a nice smooth elasticy ball that doesn't leave much on the bowl.

After rising for about 30 minutes
4. Let it rest for about an hour in a greased bowl. You can take it out of the mixing bowl, butter the bowl and put it back in. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or towel.

5. After an hour, punch down the dough to deflate a little. Then knead it a couple times in the bowl to make a neat ball. Take it out onto a floured surface. Whack it into two equal halves with a cleaver or something. Knead each half a couple more times to reshape.

6. Put the halves into two greased bread loaf pans. Let rise for another hour uncovered.

After rising for 1 hour

7. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. They should be a little browned. Let them cool in the pans for a few minutes before taking them out to cool on the counter. Evidently you should wait until they are at room temp to slice to avoid gumminess.

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