Thursday, September 11, 2008

.homemade bread.

I have a lot of people ask me about bread. Most of the time they ask if they can use the cinnamon roll dough as their bread dough. And while you probably can, it's not the same. The cinnamon roll dough is much sweeter, and is an eggy type bread. Typical breads in the store, or that you find in a rustic bakery are not made with any eggs.

I've been making more bread these days because I found a 50lb bag of bread flour in my garage a couple weeks ago and really need to get it all used up before I move! I make 2 loaves every 5 days and it's making a big dent in the bag.

Anyway.. I thought I would share my recipe with you so you can make your own bread if you want.

So many turn to the convenience of a bread maker, and while I have one (it's sitting in the garage in a box), I find the shape weird, and there's always that little hole where the blade has stuck into it. Making it from scratch really isn't as difficult as people think it is so come on. Try it for me. :)

In a bowl put 3 cups milk, 2 Tbsp sugar, 2 Tbsp butter, and 2 pkgs yeast (4 tsp). I use powdered milk to cut back on my real milk useage...because making this much bread, I could go through a lot!

(If you use powdered milk, omit the 3 cups milk and add 2 1/3 c. warm water and 3/4 c. powdered milk.)

Let sit for 15-20 minutes. You want the butter softened and the yeast nice and bubbly.

Slowly begin adding cupfuls of bread flour. About 3 cups into it, add 2 1/2 tsp salt.

Keep adding more bread flour until your dough starts pulling together into a ball and is no longer tacky. (About 9-10 cups of flour)

Dump the dough from the mixing bowl and knead until the dough forms a nice soft ball. If you insert a finger, the dough will indent for a mere second and bounce back out.

Put in a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise for about an hour or until dough has doubled.

Once doubled, punch down the center with your fist. Pull dough from the bowl and knead again.

Split your dough in half and form into a loaf shape.
Spray down two bread pans and put the dough in.

Cover the pans with a towel and let rise again. When the dough starts billowing over the top, it's time to bake.

Put the bread in a WELL PREHEATED 375* oven. I know some people will mist the tops of their bread with water to give it a nice hard crust, but I don't. I like the dusted floured look on top. This is, afterall, sandwich bread and I don't want hard crust for my sandwiches!

Bake at 375* for about 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350*. The higher heat will force the bread up and will start baking the outside. By turning it down, it will ensure the center gets baked too without burning the outside. Bake at 350* for another 10-15 minutes. Your house will smell like a bakery at this point.

When the tops are beautifully golden brown, remove from the oven. To make sure the bread is cooked, tip the bread from the pan and tap the bottom. If it makes a hollow sound, the bread is done.

Pull from the pans and let cool on bakers racks. You don't want to let the bread cool in the pans. The moisture will stay locked in and cause you to have very soggy bread on the bottom.

Also, don't be tempted to cut into the bread the minute it comes from the oven. Let the bread cool completely and then slice.

I leave mine whole and put in large poly bread bags then slice when I need to. Keeps it from drying out.

There you have it. I really hope you'll give bread making a chance. It's a lost art and an IMPORTANT skill to have.

Printable version:


Stephanie said...

I agree. Plus it is a great work-out with all the kneading! lol

Not to mention the smell in the house...heavenly!

Have you tried making pasta dough? another fun thing to make and enjoy!

Jackie S. said...

I LOVE making bread at home... there is NOTHING like eating fresh bread with yummy butter or fresh jam...ohhh my, I think I need to go make some bread.

Jenny Kohler said...

This looks fantastic!! I've given up on my bread machine because it tears so much of my bread away. This recipe is perfect!

I do have a question: Is it best to have the milk and butter at room temperature?


Twisted Chicken said...

Okay, I'll try it! I've made bread a few times but it's never been great...just okay, which is not worth the effort. I'll try again but only because you asked me to.

squillen said...

Jenny -- you need to have your milk warm so it can soften/melt the butter. And the warmth will help the yeast do it's work. Yeast likes warmth.. not HOT, not COLD, but warm.

Stephanie said...

YUM!! I'm always looking for a great bread recipe!! TFS!!

Crystal said...

Yummm. I've been meaning to try making my own for sometime now to use ingredients from food storage. Thanks Suzanne!

By the way, I've been reading for sometime now but have never commented. I'll try to do better with that. :)

Question: Does the recipe change at all if you want to do wheat bread?

heidigoseek said...

MMMM...bread. My family knows if I've been in a hurry making dinner if there's no homemade bread on the table. Most meals just aren't complete without it!

Jenny Kohler said...

Thank you, Suzanne!

Loquacious said...

Oh! A heat fed yeast! YUM. Nothing tastes quite the same. Cold yeasts are good, don't get me wrong- but a heated yeast is to DIE for. MMM.


squillen said...

Crystal -- I have a great recipe for wheat bread. Wheat bread recipes tend to need a little more love to help get it to rise and not be so heavy and bland. I'll make some next week so you can have that recipe!

Anonymous said...

Any updates on that "great recipe for wheat bread" you mentioned?? I've been searching for a good one for what seems like forever . . . so, please share!

paintit4u said...

This is an awesome bread recipe. I had never made homemade bread before and this recipe was easy to follow. The bread is delicious. Thanks, Becca :)