Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bread Recipe

Here is the promised bread recipe with a few caveats. The first caveat is that I never make this bread exactly the same any day so this is only a base recipe. The second is that the pan I use is larger than a regular bread pan so adjust accordingly. My pan measures 12.5" x 4.5". Third caveat - Not all flour is created equal. Don't use a southern biscuit flour for the white flour. I buy King Arthur unbleached white and red whole wheat since Mississippi wheat tends not to be the type for crusty breads.

Everyday Bread
3 tsp yeast
2 cups warm water
3 TBLS honey (I don't measure, just pour some, but this morning it was about 3 TBLS)
4 1/2 cups - 5 cups flour (I use a mixture of whole wheat and white changing amounts according to what will go on the sandwiches. Tomato sandwiches call for a whiter bread.)
3 TBLS melted butter
1 tsp kosher or sea salt

I mix all this up in my mixer(use a dough hook) and add flour and knead until it isn't sticky and pulls away from the sides into a ball. I let it rise under a flour sack towel with chickens painted on it that my friend brought me as a happy. Once it is doubled I dump it on a board and knead it and shape it into a roll. I punch the narrow ends into the bread and plop it into my greased (with butter) pan. I let it rise again and put it in a preheated to 365 degree oven. Cook until the outside is browned and crunchy and the bread sounds hollow, about 30 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and cool on a rack to maintain perfect crunch, chewy goodness.

If you get bored with plain bread add pecans, sunflower seeds, or anything else that suits your fancy.


JoVE said...

Thanks. Tigger and I have been thinking about making bread. We might try it.

Susan said...

Oh, boy, Wisteria. Thank you! I am not a bread baker but your post about baking every day was inspiring and I wanted to try it!

Susan said...

Wisteria, you started an Internet baking revolution when you posted this recipe! Did you see the bread-baking mini-carnival at Melissa Wiley's?

I made this bread, and although I screwed it up a little bit, it was very tasty. (The bottom 1/4 was not done---I think my pan was too small and I did something wrong with the kneading. I think I got a little overzealous...) The texture reminded me of Portuguese rolls. Have you had those? It's a light, soft roll (as opposed to a hard Kaiser roll). A friend, my son and I all liked the bread, even though we ate only the top 3/4! And what was left over made GREAT croutons. I cut the remainder into cubes, sprinkled them with olive oil, and dill, baked them some more,and voila! Croutons.

This is a very long way of saying thank you! I've baked since (whole wheat from King Arthur), and my baking skills are improving.

wisteria said...

I'm glad you have been baking. It feels so good and takes so little real time. Baking does take practice, though. I'm sorry my recipe didn't work well for you. That King Arthur recipe with the milk is delicious! I have used it.

You are welcome!

Susan said...

Wisteria, it wasn't the recipe. Not to worry. It was my nouveau baking skills. And, besides, 3/4 of my first loaf of bread ever was delicious. That is success! Reading your posts about baking is what got me interested in making some bread. It's a good thing, as Martha would say.