Thursday, December 27, 2007

Basic Homemade Bread Tutorial

There is nothing better than Homemade bread in the winter. I am not a bread making expert, but I have been working at it for the past few months. Making bread, by hand, is not as hard as it may sound....and it is satisfying. The recipe I use is one that I have tweeked to make it just what my family likes. (plus added a few healthy extras without them knowing!)

Basic Bread:
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • 6 cups flour (I use 3 cups Whole wheat, 3 cups white bread flour)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup oil

I add a few other ingredients, but they are optional!

  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • use 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 large tablespoon of Honey instead of 1/2 cup sugar.

First you need to heat up the tap water. If you have a thermometer it needs to be around 111-115 degrees. If you don't have one test water with the back of your hand. Water should be hot, not scalding.

Get out the rest of your ingredients. Diet coke is helpful, but optional!

"Proof" your yeast by sprinkling 1 tablespoon full over water. Set this aside for now!

Put your Dry ingredients in a big bowl. It needs to be big enough to hold the ingredients, and then have extra room for the bread to raise.

Mix it around by hand! I love this part! It makes me feel like a kid again...getting dirty!

Add Wet ingredients. This is where I add my secret ingredient! The honey makes it taste like candy. The twins (not actually twins-they are 1 year apart) call it Candy Bread!

This is what your yeast should look like. It is kind of foamy!

Mix with a spoon until all dry ingredients are wet.

Dump dough onto lightly floured counter, or bread board. It is still not all of the way mixed, so knead the dough until it is smooth. It only takes a minute or two.

Let your dough rest while you wash out your big bowl.

Put your dough in the lightly oiled bowl. I cover it with plastic wrap, and an old flour sack towel.

Put it in a warm spot to raise. The dough should double in size. This takes about 45 minutes to one hour.

Now we are ready to punch the dough down. You can punch it if you want, I prefer to push my fist into it.....I don't like to punch things that I love so much!

It is about time to really knead the bread! Dump it out onto your surface again and get ready to work out those arms!! (This is great for the saggy "under" arm skin!)

The way to test if your bread is kneaded enough is to poke it with your finger. The dough should spring back out. (it takes a few seconds though)

Divide it into 2 loaves, and place them in greased bread pans. Time to cover them again with plastic wrap, towel, and stick in that warm spot. They should double in size again.

To make sure that the yeast is fully developed you have to do the "poke" test again. This time your finger dent should stay in.
Now you bake it. Turn your oven on to 350. Put your dough into the cold oven, and set your timer for 25 minutes.
When the timer rings, take the bread out of the oven. Remove bread from bread pan, and let it cool for a little while.

Enjoy the wonderful bready goodness!!! You did it!!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Lola, I am enjoying **peeking** around your sight!

Sunny Tuesday said...

I cannot wait to try this out! You make it seem so easy!

Mary Grace McNamara said...

What a great tutorial for the beginner bread maker! I recently started making bread for my daughter who is on a restricted salt diet because of Menier's disease. The recipe I use is similar to this one only there is no salt in it. It is actually quite tasty. Nothing quite like the smell of bread baking in the oven! Thanks for sharing this!


Jeremy said...

I'm trying this today. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!