Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Making Simple Bread

Basic White Bread

2 cups lukewarm water
1 Tablespoon yeast (not quick rise)
1/3 cup sugar or honey
1/4 cup oil (canola)
5 to 6 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
1 egg, slightly beaten for glaze
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds (optional)

Step one:  Place your yeast, sugar, salt, and oil in a large bowl.  Add the warm water and stir until yeast and sugar are dissolved.  Add 4 cups of flour and mix until well blended.  Add flour, a little at a time (you will have to mix with your hands when it becomes too stiff to stir with your spoon) until you have a soft but not wet dough.  Knead until dough is smooth.  If dough is sticky, add a small amount of flour.  Place dough in a greased stoneware or glass (heatproof) bowl.  Preheat your oven to it's lowest setting.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap (the kind that clings to the bowl - I use stretch tight) and place in the warm oven.  Turn the oven Off.  Let dough rise until double. This takes about 45 min. to 1 hour.

dough double





Now that your dough is double, remove it from the oven and you are ready for the next step.



gently press into an oblong
Step 2:  Lightly spray your work surface with cooking spray, like Pam (I use the counter top or a slab of marble) and gently dump the dough from the bowl.  Gently press the dough out into an oblong shape being careful not to deflate the dough.


Fold the long sides of the dough toward the center and fold the ends in.
Bring the folded edges to the center, and then pinch the full length of the loaf to make a long loaf.

Place loaf on a greased cookie sheet
seam side down.  Slash loaf with a serrated knife diagonally.  Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds.  Place loaf in oven (do not pre-heat) and turn oven to 375 degrees.  Set timer for 30 minutes.  Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped.




Let cool at least 20 to 30 min. before slicing.  I always cover it with a tea towel while it cools.  If you cut bread when it is too hot, it just compresses and makes the texture rather dough like.  Enjoy!

2 comments:

  1. I will be right over - save a slice for me PLEASE... You make it look so easy - my high altitude plays devils sometimes with my bread making. You have a gift!!!

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  2. Ooooo! Save a piece for me as well. I'll take mine warm, with butter, and maybe some honey; if you have some on hand. (~: Blessings~

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