Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fresh, homemade bread

Simple, white, homemade bread is the best thing ever, especially when warm from the oven with REAL butter (never margarine!). So Im going to share my recipe for it with you, since this is the most dreary spring ever.

Seriously, we have had hardly any sunshine. ..this is sunny california!! Im having withdrawls. But it does give me an excuse to make some warm soups and stews still, and tonights dinner will be a simple beef stew with homemade bread. Ill share the stew another time since Im posting this BEFORE dinner, just in case someone somewhere else dreary would like melt in your mouth bread.

And on the dessert end, were having left over apple pie, because, and how I did not know this I dont know, Friday was national apple pie day!! Seriously, I need to stay on top of this stuff!!

Fresh bread: Super simple and easy. Dont use a machine!
1/4 cup of milk
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 packet)
2 1/2-3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup warm water

Turn oven on to 400*. In a warm bowl (I warm mine by running the outside under very hot water) mix together yeast and warm water. Add melted butter, milk, sugar, and salt, mix well. Add 2 cups of flour, stir.
I forgot to photo the water and yeast mix, sorry. But heres all the ingredients together.

Keep adding more flour until dough is slightly sticky but not so sticky it sticks to your hands. On a dry counter or bread board, spread some flour out, dump your dough on it, and knead for 10 minutes, adding more flour until dough is no longer sticky and the 10 minutes is up.

Think loving thoughts while kneading so your family can taste the love put into this simple treat, finish the knead by rolling the dough into a ball.

When the time is up, grab a fresh mixing bowl, and spray with non cooking spray, or spread on a little oil/butter or cornstarch, add your dough ball and cover with a dishtowel.

Let sit for 1 hour, or until dough is doubled in size. If your kitchen is sufficiently warm, this shouldnt take more than an hour.
After doubled, punch dough down.

Coat a loaf pan the same way you did the bowl. On a lightly floured surface, dump out your dough ball, and spread into a rectangle and roll up.

Place in the loaf pan, cover and let rise another hour.
After the hour, you can either bake, or do another punch down and rise for another hour.
I just bake it after the first hour for 30 minutes.

My bread is still rising, so I have no finished pic for you, but Ill try to add one later with the stew recipe, if I can remember to get a pic before everyone scarfs it down. This bread doesnt last long enough to get cool! I prefer the taste of hand made bread than bread from a machine, and it doesnt require much more effort. Plus, it feels great to pour your love into something made from your hands. Your family not only tastes it, but they see it.

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