Monday, June 13, 2011
I was browsing through recipes and food blogs today, looking for a new and breathtakingly exciting way to prepare a yard bird, while my bread was baking. I thought, hey, self! I should share my bread recipe with YOU. The reason this is a fun recipe is because you can add all sorts of extra things to change it up. It's my go-to pizza crust recipe as well. And there is nothing better in the whole wide world than homemade pizza. Seriously. Makes my heart go pit-a-pat. Here's the basic idea, folks:
2 Cups of bath temp water
1 Tablespoon of yeast
Sugar and salt. It depends on whether you're going for savory or sweet, but go for more, not less. Example: for a savory bread, use about 2 Tablespoons of sugar and a big tablespoon of salt. For a sweet bread, add more sugar. You could also use honey, even better flavor.
A nice splash of oil, or a spoon of butter or shortening. Whatever floats your boat.
Let that sit in the mixer for a few minutes. It will get a bit frothy. This is good.
Then, start adding in flour. If you are health conscience, use whole wheat. If you are budget conscience, use white. Or use both. Or go nuts, and use spelt! Or some graham! Or some oatmeal! Mmm, oatmeal bread.
Now comes the fun part:
It's like an ice cream shop.
tons of cinnamon and raisins
orange peel and o.j. and dried cranberries
chedder and jalapenos and garlic salt
After kneading in enough flour to make it all come together smoothly (not dry, not sticky), cover it with the same towel you used to dry your clean hands, and stick it in a warm oven. It will double in size after about an hour. Plop that sucker on the floured counter and let it sit for a moment, meditating on becoming bread. Knead. Get out some aggression. Shape into two loafs. Let it rise again, but this time only for about a half hour. This is the juncture where I sometimes go wrong. If you let it rise too long the second time, it kinda gets deflated and hollow in places. Turn up the warm oven (I usually have it on the lowest setting possible) to 375 and bake until all golden brown. Don't ask me how long this takes. I just stay nearby.
Slice and eat with butter.
Forget about dinner. Who needs it?
The world needs more butter sandwiches.