Monday, October 6, 2008

I found this awesome website about baking bread the other day. It's something I've always wanted to get into. Heck it saves a lot of money these days wiht food prices rising. It's an awesome little website with tutorials and explanations on how the ingredients of bread work together. I decided to try it yesterday. Boy I am so sore from kneading! It was the most rewarding experience. I love seeing the fruit of the labor of my hands! I'm starting to read more on Artisan Bread, and trying to incorporate it into my culinary repertoire. For those of you who are beginners, take a whole day and do this. It's lots of work but you'll love your finished product!

Home Made Sandwich Bread

2 cups all-purpose enriched unbleached flour
1 cup bread flour
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup sugar
1 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup lukewarm water

Mix the dry ingredients together, then mix in the wet ingredients, leaving out the water. You're going to mix and adjust the water (I recommend just using your hands or a wooden spoon) until you're able to form a ball with the dough. Place ball on a flat, floured surface (I don't recommend granite countertops as they are slippery. I would recommend maybe a baking stone or a wooden chopping board. Place a dish towel underneath to give it some "grip"). Knead dough for 10 minutes.

This is the fun part - but it will also make you sore! Kneading is simply squish and fold, squish and fold motion.

After kneading, form a ball with the dough and place in an oiled bowl, put a towel over it, and allow to rise for approximately 90 minutes. When you see your ball of dough again it should be doubled in size. The time frame for the yeast to work depends on the temperature in the room. The warmer it is, quicker it will rise.

Once the dough has doubled in size, shape the dough, or put it into a pan and allow to rise for one more hour.

Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes or until the bottom of the bread loaf springs back and your bread makes a hollow sound.

Allow to cool.

Store in an airtight plastic bag (zip loc does fine). This bread keeps for about a week!