I made it once and I KNEADED more!

Here's a bit of a sad tale. Before we moved recently, I had just started to get the hang of making bread at any elevation but especially at 7,000 feet. And then we moved and I had to figure it out all over again. Nice, right? Took me 5 years there to figure it out. It was almost like moving was contingent on me learning how to make bread.

But now we're at about 3,000 feet and it's SO much easier! It's almost ridiculous how much easier it is.

Plus, my friend who taught me hoe to make bread here gave me some great tips and we've been in bread heaven for about 2 weeks now.

On any given day, this is the scene on my kitchen counter:

This bag holds 2 loaves of bread and sits upon a cutting board... as to not hurt the counter top when we cut the bread. Oooh, the bread. So yummy! See:

Surprisingly, we haven't eaten much of it. The first few times I made it, one loaf was gone in no time flat and the second rationed out. This recipe also makes great rolls!

And right above the counter where the bread sits, in the cabinet, I have placed:

The bread knife!

Now I don't have to worry about Gwenna pulling it off the counter (which she did) and dragging away to the toy box (which she did) and banging it about on the top (which she did) and cutting off a limb or any number of phalanges (which she did not do).

Because I hope you will appreciate it, here is the recipe.

5-6 C. flour
2 T. sugar (1.5 - 2.5 depending on taste)
1 T. salt (1 - 1.5 T depending on taste)
4 1/2 t. yeast
1/4 C. margarine or butter
2 1/4 C. warm water

Combine 2.5 C. flour, 2 T. sugar, 1 scant T. salt, 4 & 1/2 t. yeast. Add to that 2 & 1/4 c. warm water with 1/4 c. butter or margarine (you can use powered and if you do, just add it to the dry ingredients). Mix well and allow to sit a bit (few minutes).

Start mixing in the remaining flour
(2.5 - 3.5 C.). Knead in the rest when mixing doesn't incorporate anymore . Knead it together until it's slightly elastic and smooth. Put back in your bowl and allow to sit and rise 10 minutes or so until it is obviously rising, looks bulky.

Divide in 2. Roll out each half just narrower than the bread pan. Roll it up like a jelly roll. Tuck it under itself (hope that makes sense). Spray pans and rotate to cover with oil. Allow to rise in a draft free area, covered (with a dish towel or the like) until doubled. Bake at 375 for 28-35 minutes.

So good, friends, so good. Use any combination of white and wheat flours you'd like. I'd recommend at least 1/2 a cup of wheat. Keeps it together well. I like to use 1 C. no matter what because the texture of the bread is great. I've done it with no wheat flour (only white) and it was like eating cake because we never have white bread in our house.

I don't think I'm going to buy bread any more. Sounds a little extreme but this bread recipe is so terribly easy and it doesn't last for a month like store bread. No preservatives or any junk. Just tasty, versatile, east to make bread. We've made this into loaves of bread (several sizes), rolls, and a giant cinnamon roll-like dessert (a cinnamon twist, for the few people who will know what that is). See? So versatile. I'm excited to try hamburger buns.

I hope you'll try it out. It's pretty fool proof because I am no baking genius... or at least I have a little yeast intimidation. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Jewel said...

I have to say, I actually got this recipe off of your facebook account yesterday, and TOTALLY made bread!! I think I let one of the loaves rise a little too long (because it ended up going flat in the oven--oops), but the other one turned out A.MA.ZING. So I can totally vouch for this recipe.
Aaaand...I used half wheat, half white. It was good that way--we've already eaten half the loaf!