Monday, March 1, 2010

Making Bread!

I know that this isn't sewing related but I guess you could relate it to sewing if you like to eat and sew! It also pairs really nicely with a nice cup of tea.

I have wanted to make bread for the longest time but have always thought it was so complicated to make. I wish that I did it sooner. It turned out amazing (even though I got preoccupied with hubby and dear son running around the house screaming, that I forgot to add the oil called for in the recipe.) I realized that I forgot the oil after the first rise. I called my mother-in-law for advice and she said not to add it and laughed at me. (The only other time she laughed at me was when I cooked my first turkey and put it "the wrong side up" she said. I didn't realize at the time there was a right way and wrong way to cook a turkey and well it turned out amazing.) So I new that this time it was going to taste good even though I forgot one of the so called essential ingredients. I was upset because I forgot the oil that I made another loaf of bread while the first loaf was on the second rise. If you have ever wanted to try to make bread but have been a little hesitant, I suggest giving it a try as I find it took longer to go to the store to pick up bread that to make it yourself. Here's the directions:

1 cup of water
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 1/2 tsps italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsps of salt
1 1/2 tsps of white sugar
1/4 tsps of pepper
1 tbsp of dried rosemary
2 1/2 cups of bread flour
1 1/2 tsps of quick rise dried yeast
butter for greasing pan

Step 1: Combine only 1 cup of bread flour and all other dried ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Step 2: add the 1 cup of hot tap water and stir.
Step 3: add the olive oil.
Step 4: slowly add the remaining mixture of flour. (note: your instinct will be to add more water DON'T!) Keep mixing it (kneading with your hands) and it will start to get doughy.
Step 5: if the bread mixture begins sticking to your hands slowly add more flour to it (say a handful at a time) to make it doughy enough that it's not sticking to your hands but isn't too floury.
Step 6: Once the dough it the right consistency, knead it into a ball and leave it in the bowl to do it's first rise. Cover it with a tea towel. (my mother-in-law puts it in front of her fireplace because her house is really drafty. Let it rise until it's twice it's original size (about 1 hour but it could be shorter. I used the quick rise yeast so it was done it's first rise in about 40 mins.)
Step 7: After it's doubled in size, take it out of the bowl and knead it a little bit more (not like the first kneading). Grease your loaf pan with butter. Put the dough into the loaf pan, cover and let rise again.
Step 8. Bake in the oven at 375degrees F for 20-30mins. If you have a gas stove (like me) I find that you have to cook things a little less than the recommended time frame that's why mine was done in 20 mins. Cook it until the outside is golden brown. Take it out of the loaf pan and let cool on a plate.
Step 9: Eat it! Yum!

It's really not that hard and doesn't really take that long to make (the second dough batter only took me 5-10mins to mix) it's just waiting for the bread to rise that takes a long time but it tastes so much better than store bought bread.

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