Sunday, August 17, 2008

Homemade Bread

If you have never tried it, please do, it is worth it!

My basic recipe:

2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
6 cups bread flour

combine water, yeast, sugar and salt and mix well then let sit until proofed (puffy bubbles will form). add flour 1 cup at a time and either stir by hand or in your mixer. If stirring by hand, when the dough gets too stiff to stir, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead while adding the rest of the flour a little at the time. If using a mixer, when the dough gets stiff and still sticky, switch from your flat beater to your dough hook. Knead dough until it is as smooth as a baby's behind. Place in a well-oiled bowl, turn to coat both sides with oil, cover with a damp cloth and put in a warm spot (about 90-100 degrees) and allow to rise until doubled (about and hour). Punch down. separate into 2 equal pieces and knead each piece for a couple of minutes then shape in 2 9x5 loaf pans. cover again and allow to rise about 30 minutes more. Place in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes, then switch to 350 for 20 minutes without opening the door. Cool on racks.

Now granted, there are a million variations of bread, and I have made a ton of them, but a good old fashioned plain loaf is really tasty some days.

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