Saturday, November 10, 2012
Bread - The Staff of Life
We've been baking our own bread for years. I've worn out three bread makers, so far. Sometimes I make the bread in the Kitchen Aide. I make the Easter Challah that way; but our everyday bread, I mix in the bread maker and, then, make the loaves, myself.
I'll give the recipe at the end of this demonstration on loaf-making. I like to use the bread maker because it makes a very moist bread. Here, you see the dough all risen, for the second time and ready to be made into loaves. If I baked this in the machine, it would make a 2# loaf of bread. We like smaller loaves.
Since it's such a soft dough, I'm liberal with the flour to keep it from sticking.
I turn it once in the flour, then cover my fists with flour and.....
flatten the whole thing, getting all the air out.
I cut it in half and put one half aside.
With the first half, I fold it about 3/4 up and press it with my fist from the fold out, again, removing the air.
Turn the dough and fold the other side over, repeating the pressing.
Give the dough a 1/4 turn and fold in half.
Turn the dough and fold it the other way, pressing the air out each time.
Begin at one end and pinch the folds shut, keeping the seams on the bottom of the loaf.
Then, pinch the seams from the other end.
Turn the loaf over and place in a greased pan.
Here are both of the loaves. One's a little more floury than the other, but that's okay.
There they are in their little "loaf beds" ready to rise.
I spray a piece of waxed paper and turn it, spray side down, over the loaves; then, let them rise with a towel over in a warm place.
Here they are, all baked and buttery. Yum.
Place in your bread machine or in the work bowl of your mixer:
1 3/4 c. tepid water
2 T. Butter, Oil or Margarine
2 T. Brown Sugar or Honey
2 T. Dry Milk Powder
2 t. Salt
1 1/2 t. Yeast
If you are using a mixer, mix together well on low. (If using the bread machine, simply add all the ingredients together in the pan and follow directions to either bake or make dough.)
Mixer method: Add 1/2 of the following flours and mix on low, scraping sides and bottom to be sure all is incorporated:
2 c. White Flour
2 1/2 c. Whole Wheat Flour
Continue mixing for 10 minutes on low to develop the gluten. Pour the remainder of the flour out onto the work area and spread it out a little; kind of flat. Pour the batter out on to to the flour. Mix together well, with your hands and knead until all the flour is used up. Turn the dough into a greased bowl and turn it once to coat the top. Cover with a sprayed waxed paper and a towel to rise double in height.
Punch the dough down and make the loaves as shown above.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35 minutes. Brush tops with butter after removing from pans. Bread is done when the bottom is tapped and sounds hollow.