Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Amazing, make-u-feel-accomplised, Bread recipe
Seriously. I feel like superwoman after pulling this bread out of the oven! There's something about the work that goes into kneading it, the smell of it, and just knowing that I will be slicing it up to use for sandwiches and dinner everyday, that makes me smile. This is just one tangible way of being a Titus 2 woman, and I love it. :)
So on to the recipe. I found this amazing recipe on allrecipes.com here. And, to be perfectly honest with you, the only reason I chose it was because of all the ratings it has. There are also tons of ideas in the comments that are great.
Here's the recipe (with my comments included):
Simple Whole Wheat Bread
3 Cups of warm water (110 degrees)
2 (.25 ounces) pachages of yeast (or 4 1/2 teaspoons)
1/3 cup honey (or agave nectar or maple syrup)
5 Cups of bread flour (yes, you need to use bread flour)
3 Tablespoons of melted butter
1/3 cup of honey (see above)
1 Tablespoon of salt
3 1/2 cups of wheat flour
1. In a large bowl, mix warm water (make sure that it's around 110 degrees. If it's too hot, you will kill the yeast. And if it's not warm enough, it will take too long to rise) , 1/3 cup of honey and the yeast. Stir to combine. There will be little chunks of the yeast, but that's okay. Then add the 5 cups of bread flour by stirring while scraping the sides of the bowl. Let this set for about 30 minutes, or until it is big and bubbly.
2. Mix in 3 Tablespoons of melted butter, 1/3 cup of honey and salt, just stir it all in. Then stir in 2 cups of the whole wheat flour. You may have to use your hands a bit, but the idea is that it is not super sticky so that you can start kneading. So after the 2 cups of wheat flour are mixed in, through some wheat flour on the counter and take the dough out of the bowl. There will still be some parts of the dough that are pretty sticky, so just kind of push those parts into the flour on the counter and start forming a mound. (I hope that makes sense. . ) Keep adding the wheat flour about 1/2 a cup at a time. You'll need to add more flour to the counter and to the top of the dough as you are kneading. Now, I don't know if this is the professional way to knead, but the way I do it is to push the dough forward with the palms of my hands, fold it over, turn it, then push again. If you are still confused, watch this. By the time you are done kneading, you will have added about 2 1/2 more cups of wheat flour and the dough will only be slight sticky.
Place your dough in a large, greased bowl, turning once so that it has a thin layer of the grease, then cover the bowl with a damp dishtowel.
You're going to let this rise for about 2 hours, or until it has doubled.
3. Whoohoo! You're almost done, and this is my favorite part. :) Once your dough has risen to double the size that it was, you punch it down. That's right. Make a fist and punch down in the center of that big bowl of dough. It is truly satisfying! :D
4. Now you grease your 9 x 5 loaf pans (I believe glass ones are the best if you have them), and divide the dough into three, equal sized loaves.
5. At this point, you can either put all three loaves into the pans, or roll out one or two to add ingredients. To roll the dough, you just lightly flour the counter, roll it out to about 5 x 10 inches and spread the ingredients on the dough. I've used cinnamon and sugar, cinnamon and raisins, dried cranberries and pecans or walnuts, really anything that sounds good in bread! Then just roll it up and pinch off the ends. Then place in the loaf pan.
6. Once the loaves are in the pans, you will need to cover them up again and let them rise until they are about an inch above the pan. (about another hour)
7. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Once the loaves have risen, stick them all in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. You'll know they're done when the top and the sides are browned. If your sides and bottom are still white, then the inside of your bread will be doughy. Believe me. :(
The top may get a little crispy, which I like. But if you want a softer top, you can spread butter on the top of the loaf right when it gets out of the oven.
8. After you remove your loaves of yummy-smelling bread from the oven, make sure to let it cool for a bit before attempting to remove from the pans. You may need to run a butter knife along the edges, but most of the time, they just fall right out. Use a good serrated knife and dig in! :)
Please don't be intimidated by this process of bread-making! Grab a friend and try it together! Oh, and one last thing. Yesterday I said that it cost a little under a dollar to make this bread. I don't think that's entirely accurate. It's difficult to calculate the exact amount, but it probably comes out to around $1.50. The most expensive part is the honey, so use what you have. Maple syrup, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, etc. :) Also, much to my dismay, I use **gulp** bleached bread flour. . . I know. . . but when a 25lb bag is about $6.50 at Costco, it's really hard to spend $18 at Winco for the wheat bread flour. When my budget allows for it, though, I will switch for sure.
Okay, have fun baking!