A Happy Friday morning to you! This week to go along with the rain I decided to make a big meal of spaghetti and meatballs, salad, and homemade bread! I will post the spaghetti and meatballs a bit later, but this post is for the bread 🙂 I am still a bit new to making my own bread, I have a fabulous recipe in my collection, however it takes about 6 hours from start to finish. I don’t really have that kind of time on my hands and usually take on my cooking/baking projects during the two hour nap time window when Paisley goes down. So, I have been on a bit of a bread hunt, I’ve tried a few bread recipes, some have been pretty good and others have ended in disaster! I won’t get into it, but lets just say my 9 x 13-inch pan was a causality in one of my bread flops…
Anyways, I found this bread recipe and its very good, straight forward and simple as far as bread recipes go. This is a softer bread, more like a sandwich bread, than a crusty French bread. Like I previously mentioned, I served it with pasta and it was perfect for the occasion. I only buy wheat bread from the store, so when I make bread it’s a treat since my family doesn’t get white bread very often. I am curious about trying out some wheat bread versions, I just honestly haven’t had the time. Hopefully this winter I’ll be able to try some different ones. For now though, here is a good white bread recipe 🙂
* 3 cups luke-warm water
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 1/2 tbsp. active dry yeast
* 1/3 cup oil
* 1 tbsp. salt
* 7-8 cups all-purpose/ bread flour. (The original recipe calls for ground white wheat flour but I just used bread flour. Next time I’m going to give the wheat flour a try! Also you may need more flour, I used probably closer to 8-9 cups, it just depends on the flour used).
* Makes two loaves*
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar into the luke-warm water, and then add in the yeast. At first the yeast will fall into the bottom of your bowl, but after a few minutes it will begin to rise to the surface and activate. Let this sit for 10 minutes. Add the oil. Then, add the dry ingredients, starting with the flour. Start off slow at first with the flour, maybe 6 cups to begin and then see how it is once you begin to mix it up. Remember you can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s in there. Knead the dough, you will need to knead it for about 7 or so minutes. You want your dough to be smooth, elastic, just a little sticky, and pull easily away from the side of the bowl. Like I mentioned earlier, add more flour until the dough is the desired consistency.
Oil a large bowl and place your dough into it, turning up once (so that the oiled side is on the top). This will preven the dough from sticking to the bowl. Cover the bowl of dough with a slightly damp cloth and place it in a warm spot. The dough will take an hour (more or less, depending how warm your kitchen is) to double in bulk.
Grease two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans and set aside. After an hour punch the dough down and divide the dough into your two loaf pans. Cover once more and let rise until the dough is just an inch or two above the top of your pans. This will take about 40 minutes or so.
When your dough has almost risen fully, preheat your oven to 375F. Bake your loaves for 25 minutes, the tops should be golden brown and have risen above your pans. Remove the baked loaves from their pans immediately, and set on a cooling rack to cool. Serve warm with butter and honey, mmm!
* I have yet to try it, but apparently bread dough, and the bread itself freeze well when placed in a ziploc bag * 🙂
The dough after being kneaded.
The dough in the greased bowl getting ready to be covered up!
The dough after rising the first time, divided and placed into the two loaf pans.
Risen dough, ready for the oven!
The bread fresh out of the oven.
Ta-da! The bread all ready to be gobbled up by hungry husband’s and children!