Let’s Bake Bread!
I have received several inquiries about bread recipes since the “Getting to Know You and Giveaway” post that I thought I’d include a tutorial today because seriously, making bread does NOT have to be difficult!
In my early twenties, I was invited to a class on bread making. I was ecstatic! When I arrived, it was about how to make bread with an electric bread maker. Not exactly my idea of bread making. I was disappointed and fell back on the lessons a grandmother and mother could contribute.
We have a bread recipe that’s been handed down from generation to generation–at least four generations! It’s delicious, but I’m still working on “getting it right”. I think it’s recipes like this that we treasure but also make bread-making frustrating.
I am not a quitter! I make bread, from scratch, every night for my family. It’s my way of saying, “I love you!”
What they don’t realize is just how stinkin’ easy it is…if you promise to keep it a secret, I’m willing to share with you!
MY TOP SECRET BREAD RECIPE
It’s gonna make you a bread baking fool!
Let’s start with the ingredients:
1 cup of warm water (115-120 degrees)
1 Tablespoon active yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
2 1/2 Cups Flour (remove 1.5 Tablespoons of the flour)
1 tsp. salt
Let’s Make Bread!
Place water in the mixing bowl.
Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water.
Sprinkle the sugar on top of the yeast and water.
Let sit for 10-minutes
*Your yeast should get “foamy” looking.
While that’s sitting, mix all the other ingredients together.
(Picture Note: We are having Spaghetti with ham and cheese rolled chicken breasts, so to my flour mixture I have added 5 Tablespoons of Italian Seasoning (rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano).
Pour yeast mixture into the flour mixture.
Mix well–(I just throw it in my mixer and turn it on for 5 minutes, BUT I have made this by hand MANY times.
*The dough is going to be soft and STICKY–do NOT add any more flour.
Grease a large bowl and put in soft, sticky dough
Cover with a towel
Let rise (no peeking!) for 45 minutes. It should be at least double in size.
Punch down dough and let rest (5-minutes)
While the dough is “resting” grease a cooking sheet, or sprinkle with cornmeal.
Divide dough into two “halves”
Shape each dough half into a loaf and place on greased pan
Cover with a towel and let rise 45-minutes to an hour.
Your loaves should look something like this.
(Picture Note: We’re still having the Italian Dinner mentioned above so I’ve sprinkled the top of each loaf with about 2 Tablespoons of Italian Seasoning)
Preheat Oven to 375 degrees
Place bread on a middle rack in the oven
Cook for 30-45 minutes until golden
*Here’s a cool thing about this recipe. The longer you bake it the thicker your crust will be.
Bread is done when it’s golden brown, you can lift it off the pan and pull a small piece from the bottom’s center and it is flakey, NOT doughy.
Slice and serve warm
*It also makes excellent french toast, onion rolls for French Dip and cinnamon raisin bread!
Here’s what I LOVE about this recipe:
*It requires VERY few ingredients and they’re things we have in our pantry
*It’s versatile. Add grilled onions, green chiles, saute garlic cloves, rosemary, spices, corn and cheese, olives, raisins, cinnamon…anything goes!
*It’s pretty much fool-proof (I once forgot I was baking it and left it in the oven for almost 2 hours. It was still edible, I covered it with sauce, added some pizza toppings and we had “Italian wonder loaf” for dinner!
The finished bread is on the left, chicken rolls on the bottom, spaghetti to the left and green beans on the top!
*Do NOT add any more flour
*If you make it by hand, knead it for at least 10-minutes (in a mixer, at least 5-minutes) The longer you knead it the better it will be!
Make Some for Dinner TONIGHT!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this recipe!
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