Note: this was posted before becoming a gluten-free blog. Contains gluten.
You can’t go more basic then good ol’ white bread. I know, real exciting. Since this was my first time making homemade bread I wanted to start out simple, get a feel for the process and then eventually I’ll go crazy and make all sorts of variations. I studied the recipe and the illustrations of the step-by-step process in my Cooking Light cookbook hoping that it would be perfect the first time around. Me, a perfectionist? Ha! I didn’t begin baking until 8 p.m. and if you’ve ever made bread, you know it takes several hours and then if you’re anything like me (a perfectionist), add another hour to that. It was midnight and the smell of homemade bread was filling our apartment. My husband started to squirm, then would pace back and fourth in the kitchen, doing everything he could to stay awake for that first slice. Fact: If he were on a deserted island and could only have three things, bread with butter would be number one. When I took the bread out, it was close to 1 a.m and my husband was completely passed out. The bread was more dense than I had expected and a tad bit on the dry side. However, with a little butter or avocado & sliced tomatoes (picture below), it’s delicious!
I do apologize if you were looking forward to my final post on Friday, but it was my husband’s day off so we decided to take a little road trip. Oh right, I was also over served the night before…
With that, I now conclude my week of baking challenges, but don’t go anywhere, lots more fun and exciting topics to come! Thoughts? I’d love to hear them and of course welcome any comments and feedback.
1 package of dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 2/3 cups warm fat-free milk (100 to 110 degrees F)
2 Tbsp butter, melted
4 3/4 cups all purpose flour, divided (I used bread flour)
1 1/2 tsp salt
Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm milk in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in butter. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 4 1/4 cups flour and salt to yeast mixture; stir until blended. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch dough down; let rest 5 minutes. Roll into a 14 x 7-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Roll up rectangle tightly, starting with a short edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Place roll, seam side down, in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Uncover dough. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until loaf is browned on the bottom and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove loaf from pan, and cool on a wire rack.
July 19 2010