Monday, November 23, 2009

Homemade Bread

Recently I have heard frequently that making your own bread saves money...and so I have been wanting to dive into the world of making my own bread, since we have peanut butter sandwiches for lunch everyday around my house, and consequently go through bread very quickly.
I have only made my own bread once before, and it was successful. I was pleased with how easy it was as well as the results, except that the bread was really crumbly and not good for making sandwiches.
Well there is a local TV show that I like to watch and they had a segment about making your own bread. Ever since that day, I have wanted to try this recipe! Since we were out of bread, and I don't have a car to go to the grocery store until around 10 tonight...I made it! I think it's great! I just successfully spread peanut butter on a slice of bread, without everything going crumbly and falling apart. Of course, I would rather that it was wheat bread than white...but you have to work with what you have. I also only made a third of the recipe since I didn't have enough yeast for three loaves, or three bread pans either. Luckily it divides rather nicely. So here is the recipe from Studio 5!

Basic Homemade Bread
  • 3 cups warm milk*
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 8-10 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Additional butter for brushing loaves

Place warm milk and sugar in mixing bowl, stir in yeast and allow yeast to dissolve and form a head.

Beat in softened butter, 3 cups flour and salt. Gradually beat in enough more flour to make soft dough. Knead by hand or by mixer.

Kneading by hand: place dough on floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (lift edges of dough, fold over and press down); add additional flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking to surface and hands (caution, do not add too much flour, dough should be soft and pliable with just enough flour on the surface to prevent sticking). Knead 10-12 minutes.

Kneading by mixer: use dough hook on mixer; knead on low speed, gradually sprinkle in additional flour to prevent dough from sticking to sides of pan (caution, to not add too much flour, dough should be soft and pliable); knead approximately 5-7 minutes.

Place dough in clean buttered bowl. Brush top of dough with melted butter, cover and allow to rise until double in bulk (about 30-90 minutes).

Punch down or knead out excess air. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Knead each piece until smooth; shape or roll each piece of dough into 9-inch long log; butter bottom and sides of 3 loaf pans (9x5x3); place bread in prepared loaf pans and brush top with melted butter. Cover and allow to rise until double in bulk (when dough is pressed with a little finger the indent will remain); approximately 30-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove cover from bread and bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when thumped. Remove bread from pans, brush tops with butter and allow to cool.

Use 9x5x3 loaf pans. Makes 3 loaves

* Milk should be the temperature of a baby's bottle.

Whole Wheat Bread: reduce milk to 2 3/4 cup; reduce sugar to 1/3 cup; substitute 3-5 cups whole wheat flour for white flour; add 1/2 cup honey or molasses at the same time as butter and salt. Follow directions above.

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