Tuesday, January 19, 2010

i knead a hero


i baked my first loaf of bread back in october.
angles sang as i took my beautiful loaf of french bread out of the oven.
it turned out so good that i began looking for more bread recipes to try.

one "to do" recipe that i added to my list was sandwich bread.
i want a go-to recipe, a real winner of a loaf that i can make every couple of weeks as needed.

this recipe was printed on the side of the whole wheat flour bag i had sitting in my pantry.
i really like how it turned out.
i think i will try one more recipe before deciding which will be our staple sandwich bread recipe...
but no denying, this recipe is very good.

just a few tips i'd like to pass on if you decide to make bread at home:

1. i highly recommend getting a stand mixer.
yes, you can build up your biceps muscles and knead away the old fashion way. however, if you bake bread more than once a week, its just a good investment.

2. you need a candy/fry thermometer to check your water temp.
according to the recipe you use or package yeast directions, warm water needs to be at an exact temperature so it doesn't kill the yeast. you don't want to go through all the trouble of making bread only to end up with a brick at the end of the whole process.

3. don't be discouraged.
as you bake bread you will start to notice what makes a prefect loaf according to your equipment and environment; your oven, temp in your home, difference between flours and brands, etc.
you will begin to know when to add more or less flour, the best place to let dough rise and if you should refrigerate the dough or just go ahead and bake it. keep notes on your recipes of what works best.

go for it!
as far as baking goes there really is nothing more rewarding than baking a perfect loaf of bread.
don't know where to start?
check out yeastspotting over on the wild yeast blog for inspiration and hundreds of amazing recipes!

Honey Whole Wheat Bread
yields : 2 loaves, 16 slices per loaf
{print recipe}

2packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) regular active dry yeast
1/4cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1/2cup honey
1/4cup butter, softened
3 1/2
teaspoons salt
2 1/2cups very warm water (120°F to 130°F)
4 1/2
cups whole wheat flour
2 3/4to 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

In stand mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F), about 5 minutes. Add honey, butter, salt, 2 1/2 cups very warm water (120°F to 130°F) and 3 cups of the whole wheat flour. Beat in stand mixer with paddle attachment on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. Beat in remaining 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour.

Replace paddle with hook attachment. On low-medium speed, slowly add in 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cups of the all-purpose flour until dough pulls cleanly away from side of bowl.

On low, add in remaining 1/2 to 1 cup all-purpose flour and continue kneading for 5 to 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Grease large bowl with cooking spray; place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover; let rise in warm place (I place my dough in my oven that has been pre-heated to 200 degrees and then immediately turned off.) 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Generously grease 2 (8x4- or 9x5-inch) loaf pans with cooking spray. Gently push fist into dough to deflate; divide in half. Shape dough into loaves **One easy way to get a good loaf shape is to roll out the dough to a rectangle of 8x18 inches. From the 8' side furthest away from you, roll dough tightly towards you. Pinch the seam together, fold ends under loaf and place seam side down in prepared pan. Cover; let rise in warm place 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Heat oven to 375°F. Uncover dough; bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F; bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped on top. Immediately remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour or longer.
You can freeze bread in a freezer safe bag for up to 3-4 months at 0 degrees.



adapted from: betty crocker

4 comments:

  1. Ekmekler nefis!Ama en güzeli bu bebek:)

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  2. looks and sounds wonderful. I can almost smell it baking. What I wouldn't give to have a loaf in front of me. I'd make a chicken adobo sandwich with just a little mayo and call it a great day. Keri (a.k.a.Sam)

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  3. I totally agree with you in that I find it so very satisfying to be able to make my own bread. This looks fabulous!

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