Thursday, April 8, 2010

Basic Bread

Although Anna is most definitely the bread baker of the two of us (what with her fancy ratios and all), I've decided that it's a skill I must learn. I've dabbled with bread making before but it's mainly been sweet rolls and pizza dough. I've been spurred along this journey by this book from this lovely lady, and it's where this recipe comes from. It's about homesteading and the importance of learning country skills. Each chapter is about a different skill, such as growing vegetables, cook, sewing, keeping animals etc, with each chapter combining an amusing anecdote from the author and ideas for how you can incorporate these skills into your life. I raced through this book from start to finish in a day and now I desperately need some angora rabbits and a banjo!
My first attempt at bread wasn't that bad. It was just a basic white sandwich bread. I ate most of it slathered in butter, but it wasn't the nicest when toasted. I think I should look into using live yeast. After this attempt I went out and purchased a large, intensive bread making book full of recipes, tips and troubleshooting. I'll be sure to keep you all informed as to my progress, and please let me know how this recipe goes for you if you try it!

2 cups warm water
1 packet dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
5-6 cups unbleached white flour

In a large bowl, combine the water and yeast. Once the yeast has dissolved, add the honey. Leave it for about 10 minutes until it starts frothing.
Mix in the vegetable oil, salt and 2 cups of flour to the yeast. Mix this with a wooden spoon for about five minutes. Keep adding flour until you have a ball of dough that will stay together without being too sticky.
Place on a floured surface and kneed until you can poke it and it bounces back. This will take a while.
Grease a clean bowl with the butter and put the dough in the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and leave for one and a half hours.
Punch down the dough and kneed a little more. When it's back to how it looked before, rip it in half, shape into loaves and place in greased bread pans. Cover these with a damp cloth and leave for another hour.
Brush some melted butter over the loaves and place in a 375F oven. Bake for about 30 minutes (mine took a little longer.) When they are brownish on top and a bit hard it's time to take them out. Let them sit for a bit before transferring them to a cooling rack. Cover in butter and eat!


Fi said...

Is this one of your essays then? Mmm now I want bread.

Camila said...

ummmm.......shhhh, we all need to eat.

Kim said...

OOh yum. Have you tried No knead bread?