Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Well, at least is TASTES good

I love to make bread. I prefer to make bread rather than buy it from the store. I make bread about once a week. It tastes better, there are no preservatives and I know the right flour ratio to get the kind of texture I like. I know what I like, I know what I dont like in bread.

  • I dont like plain white bread. (Too blah and bland.)
  • I dont like 100% whole wheat(too dark and coarse and grainy)
  • I dont like Honey Wheat (too sweet)
So I came up with a bread recipe that is out of this world. It tastes great, it has just the right ratio of white to wheat, has a nice soft consistency and yeasty flavour. It is not to sweet, coarse or heavy. It is just right.

That being said... As much as I love to make bread, I still have not mastered the rolling and forming loaves. My foremothers must be hanging their heads in shame.

Here is my journey in breadmaking:


4 cups all purpose white flour
2 cups wheat flour
3 TBSP white sugar
2 1/2 TBSP butter
2 pkgs active dry yeast(I use regular instead of quick rise)
2 1/4 cups very warm water (120 to 130 degrees)
2 TBSP wheat gluten (optional)

1.MELT BUTTER, set aside.
2.combine the flours together to make a white/wheat mixture and set aside.
3.In a large bowl combine 3 1/2 cups of the flour mixture, the sugar, salt, melted butter and yeast.
4. Add the warm water. Stir with mixer(or by hand) scraping bowl frequently.
5. Stir in enough remaining flour, about 1 cup at a time, to make the dough easy to handle.
6. Flour a countertop or surface of your choice. Turn the dough out and knead for 10 MINUTES!!(or until smooth and elastic)
7.Place in greased bowl and turn greased side up.
8. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour (or until DOUBLED in size)
Dough will be ready when indentation remains when touched.
9. Grease 2 bread loaf pans.
10. Punch down dough(my favorite part) and divide in half into two equal portions.
11. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into rectangles(about 18x9). Roll dough tightly fromn the short end and press with thumbs after each turn to seal. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Press each end with the heel of your hand to flatted edges, and fold under loaf.
12. Place in pans.
OPTIONAL STEP: brush each loaf with margarine and sprinkle with rolled oats)
13. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes, or until double in size.

Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, or until deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from pans and brush crust with margarine. Cool.

Here is a brief photoshop collage of my efforts:

I dont know what it is. I cannot get the hang of rolling the dough right to make nice pretty loaves. They turn out completely deformed or the crust will be really huge on the one top side. They get crooked misshapen. It is really frustrating. There was a crooked man, who had a crooked wife...who made crooked bread.

BUT it tastes great. Thats the plus side. My kids can handle wierd shaped bread. As long as it is edible right? (and smeared with jam.)

Try this bread still warm from the oven(not hot) with butter and honey. (I am sure you can use margarine. We just dont eat it in our house. We use the real deal)
My kids eat it with butter and homemade strawberry jam. It makes great french toast (it is a little firmer that white bread so it doesnt soak up as much egg and get all mushy on the inside)
It makes wonderful stuffing, croutons, breadcrumbs and more.

any suggestions on how to make pretty loaves would be appreciated...
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