Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Beyond Excellent White Bread

I am a baker. I bake. Ahoy!

I am pretty excited about it. I have been wanting to make bread for years. I finally got a probe thermometer and I wanted one before I made bread. I just wouldn’t be able to bare it if the bread failed all on the account of the water for the yeast being the wrong temperature. So today, I dove into the unknown and came out victorious!

5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 pkg active dry yeast
2 cups water
¼ cup oil
1 Tbsp butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, sugar, salt and yeast and mix well. Heat water and oil in a saucepan until the temperature reaches 120° to 130°. Add warm liquid to the dry ingredients and mix at low speed until moistened. Beat for 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in 2½ to 3 cups flour until dough pulls cleanly away from the sides.

On a floured surface, knead in ½ to 1 cup flour until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl, cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Grease two 8x4 loaf pans. Punch down dough several times to remove all air bubbles. Divide dough in half, shape into loaves. Place in greased pans. Cover and let rise in warm place until dough fills pans and tops of loaves are about 1 inch above the pan edges, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Heat oven to 375°. Uncover dough. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped. Immediately remove from pans, place on wire racks. Brush with melted butter. Cool and ENJOY!

Rookie's Notes: Yes, this is a process. In all, it took about 4 hours. BUT, it wasn’t like I was working on it for 4 hours. The work involved is actually quite minimal. The time is in the processing. And as you can see, the ingredients themselves are pretty simple. I will say that the time was all worth it when they were in the oven and the smell filled my house. Heavenly. It actually reminded me of my parent’s old house, which they so rudely moved out of.


M. & M. Romo said...

Okay, it's not bread, but I made stuffed mushrooms! Me! I don't know if I have the potential to work up to bread, but figured out the mushrooms and that has to mean something. Of course I ate all that I made myself and was so excited to eat them that I burned my tounge. But they were really easy and very tasty. Maybe someday I can be like my little sister.

Ethan, Whitney and Jack-a-roni said...

Maybe you shouldn't be like your sister. The calorie intake on white bread versus mushrooms is probably quite shocking. Stick to the veggies.

Janeen said...

Um Um, so good that I just might have to make bread tomorrow. The recipe looks very much like my Mum's. So glad to have found someone who loves to cook and bake as much as I do. You must try Paula Deen's Banna split cake. I highly recomend it, Yum!

Janeen said...

Also, Congrats on the baby!!!!

M. & M. said...

Re-enable the comments on your blog so we don't have to visit your cooking blog to put our congratulations in print. I hope you called mom to tell her with your own voice, you skunk. CONGRATULATIONS! We need a little ViVi niece. A Van nephew would be fine too . . . or if you could swing it--BOTH! (Those Ingram boys are quite potent, aren't they?)

M. & M. said...

Oh, and if the two of you are so Paula Dean oriented, could someone please make me her Banofee Pie?

Pop & Ma Peterson said...

I can vouch for Megan's mushrooms - they were amazing! Whether she wants to admit it or not, she IS a cook! Ha!