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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Basic White Bread

First, I have to say happy anniversary to my parents.  They are celebrating their 42nd anniversary today.  I know my mom and dad have had their share of problems, but they have stuck together for all these years and I have learned so much about love through them.  I wish I could be there to help them celebrate, but the least I could do is publicly wish them a fantastic day!  So, Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad.... I love you and miss you terribly!!

Now, onto the recipe:  I like to bake, but I cannot really say I love it.  I don't like the fact that you have to be so dang precise on the measurements.  I learned that the hard way when I was younger.  I decided to make southern style biscuits one time for my family.  I thought it would be easy and I could impress not only my family, but my sister's boyfriend at the time.  I thought he was a pretty cool guy...at the time that is... I can hands down say that my brother-in-law beats them all :)  But I digress, the biscuits turned out to be little hockey pucks.  I couldn't figure out what went wrong, but the older I got and the more I found out about baking, I realize I did not follow the directions exactly...hence, biscuits that never rose.

I spoke of my fear of baking bread to Andrea The Kitchen Witch and she said she had a basic white bread recipe she thought I should try.  Bless that girls heart, she not only shared the recipe with me AND gave me step by step pictures and instructions, but she also agreed to let me blog about it!!  Thank you so much, Andrea...I am forever grateful to you for helping me over come a fear and so very honored that you would let me share this recipe with my readers!

My dad makes a fantastic sausage bread and I have never been able to duplicate it.  Ok, I have duplicated, but not as well.  My dad can get at least two loafs from a recipe and I kept up ending with just one.  I believe it was because I was not patient enough.  My reasoning behind trying this step by step instructed recipe was to perfect my dad's..... And maybe he'll even allow me to share that one with you too!!

Anyway, I am proud of the outcome...it was the perfect size loaf and the perfect texture.  I could not have asked for a better loaf of bread!!  YAY!!!!  Thanks again Andrea!!

Basic White Bread
Recipe courtesy of Andrea The Kitchen Witch
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
500 g King Arthur Bread Flour  (about 4-5 cups)
2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons kosher salt (I use a palmful, its about 2t, too little salt & the bread will just taste pasty, so don't be afraid of it!)
5 teaspoons sugar, divided
about 2 cups water total


Directions:
In a small bowl proof the yeast by adding yeast, 1 t sugar and 1/2 cup warm (110 degrees) water.  Mix it up as best as you can, lumps are OK, and let it sit for 5 min.  It should bubble and double in size - if it doesn't then throw it away & try again with new yeast.

In the work bowl of your stand mixer combine the flour, remaining 4t of sugar, butter and salt.  Add proofed yeast and 1 cup water.  Mix until it comes together.  If there is a lot of dry flour add a little more water, about 1T at a time, until it starts to come together.  Its gonna knead for 8 min or so, so this will also give the flour time to hydrate.  Its better to have too little water than too much, so start light & add as you need.  Knead on medium speed for 8 minutes.  You should have a smooth elastic dough that holds a ball shape but also starts to spread out when removed from the bowl.

Put the kneaded dough in a oiled bowl, cover with plastic and a towel.  Let double in size.

Punch down dough and kneed it by hand a little to redistribute the yeast.  Allow it to rise again and double in size.


Once the 2nd rise has been done punch the dough down and press it into a rough rectangle shape.  TIGHTLY roll the dough into a log shape, keeping the top taught so you get a nice crust.  Put it in a sprayed loaf pan or free form it on a sheet pan.

Allow to double in size again, once nice & puffed put into a 385 oven.  Spray the top of the bread with water liberally.  Spray the bread with water every 10 minutes until bread is done.  The water hydrates the dough and causes the surface gluten to gelatainze which in turn builds a nice crusty brown crust.  You will have the brownest most beautiful bread when sprayed with plain water, something that a butter baste could never do!


Bake bread about 30-40 min or until crust is golden browned.  I usually pop the bread out of the pan to see if the bottom is browned too.  If its not, bake it another 10 min.  Once the sides are browned remove from oven & allow to cool.  Eat and enjoy!

15 comments:

Yenta Mary said...

That is a beautiful sight!!! I love baking bread, I just rarely get around to doing so. But it's cool to see that we're kindred food/bread-loving spirits -- I posted about bread today, too!

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

I love love love white bread!! Isn't that terrible??? Seriously though, what's better than white bread, mayo and bologna??? GROSS. I used to eat that all the time as a kid, haven't had it in years. OH I MISS IT.

You know what? My kids won't eat white bread. They've only had it once, as we've had the whole wheat thing drilled into our heads for the past 10 years. They had it once and wouldn't eat it! HOW WEIRD????

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner
www.mawhats4dinner.com

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

The bread turned out fantastically Jenn!! I'm so proud of you for making it :) That reminds me I need to make bread today too...I should go do that...

If anyone wanted to make this whole wheat you can add 1 c WW flour for 1 c of the bread flour. It won't rise as high and the texture is slightly different but its yummy nonetheless :)

Happy Anniversary to your parents!!! 42 years, WOW! What an accomplishment :)

Cranberry Morning said...

Your bread looks amazing!! Beautiful! I wish we could get King Arthur flour around here. I used to use it when we lived out East for a brief stint. There's nothing like bread, fresh out of the oven, on a cool fall day.

And pleeeease don't use margarine on it. Real butter on homemade bread...oh yum!!! (Dibs on the crust!)

Pam said...

Jenn, your bread looks delicious!!! I love to bake bread and will have to try this. I can imagine the aroma in your kitchen when you baked it!

Happy Anniversary to your parents! I'm sure Dad (and Mom too) is very proud of you and the fine job you did with this bread!

Mary said...

Your bread looks really wonderful, Jenn. Please extended my good wishes to your parents. They'll be pleased with your noting of their special day. Hope all is well. Blessings...Mary

Jennifurla said...

How cool to make your own bread, it looks perfect

Angie's Recipes said...

I believe I just saw the perfect white bread! Homemade is great.

StephenC said...

The bread looks terrific. I am tempted to try this even though I ain't no baker.

Jessica said...

Nothing better then fresh baked bread! Yum!

Debbie said...

Congrats on making homemade bread. I have yet to do that. I made one coffee cake last year with yeast and that was it. I need to try again and just keep doing it until I feel comfortable...I keep saying that though!!!!

Chef Dennis said...

congratulations on your parents anniversary, they should be proud 42 years is a long time! Also congratulations on getting over your fear of baking bread! It looks like you mastered this recipe! Andrea is great, thanks to her to for all the help she gave you!

Jane @ Going Jane said...

mmmmm. I love the smell of bread baking!!!

Sharon said...

Thanks so much for all your well wishes on our anniversary! We are so very proud of Jenn & all she has done with her life & blog!
Jenn's parents (George & Sharon)

Chris said...

I'm not a big baker either but fortunately Alexis is getting into it lately so we don't miss out.

Congrats to your parents. My parents had their 50th this year, no small feat.