2 cups warm water at about 110 degrees
2/3 cup white sugar2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup melted butter (I have used vegetable oil and olive oil but prefer butter)6-8 cups of bread flour (it varies because humidity is evil)
First I start by putting the water sugar and yeast in my mixer bowl and let it proof for 10 minutes. Proofing is just basically making sure your yeast is alive...in case you don't bake...dead yeast is bad...living yeast is good. I buy a bulk package at Sam's and store it in the fridge to last longer...so my yeast is kind of living dead yeast till the warm water says hello wake up. Anyways you know the yeast is good when you get a little bubble bubble toil and trouble action. While the yeast is foaming I take the time to measure out my other ingredients. For the butter I simply put it in a cup and microwave it on defrost for about 45 seconds. I could tell you I break out a pot and melt it on the stove... but lets keep it real I have two kids and I am making bread... Its homemade even if I take a few cheater shortcuts. I measure the flour...starting with the 770 grams out in a bowl separate from the yeast mixture...to that I add the salt and I stir it around.. Because salt kills yeast. I want to introduce it to it as gently as possible. Yeast is fickle...and delicate.. It most definitely has P.M.S. So if yours goes crazy on you... chalk it up to experience don't give up try again.. you tried to use it at the wrong time of the day, week, month, or year. Salt is not the only thing that kills yeast... heat can too.. so that butter cant be scalding... it just needs to be melted gently and kinda hang out for a few minutes. Ok so after the yeast has proved its power you can pour in the butter. Put your machine on stir. Now one scoop at a time you want to add your flour/salt mixture. I generally take a 1/3 a cup measure and put a scoop in every 30 seconds or so giving it time to mix in... once I get all of that bowl in its time to evaluate the dough... is it super sticky and still very wet.... add some more flour.... keep adding just a little flour at a time till it cleans the side of the bowl. Once that happens its time to turn your mixer up to medium and let it knead the dough for you for about 5 minutes... I watch the entire time it kneads... not because I don't trust my mixer... I totally do.. its never let me down once... Well one time I was cleaning it and it kinda bit the end of my thumb off... but that was my fault and I only held a grudge for a week..and I stopped talking dirty about its mother after the first 48 hours...ok 72 hours. Anyways what sometimes happens to my dough is it gets some bright ideas about itself and all the sudden it starts sticking to the sides again. It has issues obviously...everything in my life does..even baked goods. So if your dough starts sticking this is what I do. I stop the machine...its very important you stop the machine...because what you want to do is put a tablespoon full of flour in the bottom of it.. and if you don't stop the machine it will grab that spoon from your hand and try to beat you to death with it. That's what I hear anyway...its never happened to me... well more than once... ok twice.. cut me some slack here I'm accident prone. So then I turn the machine on and let it go again and sometimes that corrects it and sometimes it doesn't...if it does continue with you time of 5 minutes kneading... if it doesn't do the flour thing again.. Once it has kneaded for a total of 5 minutes stop the machine again.. ahem...so you can lift it up. Pull the hook out of the dough add a little olive oil to your bowl and swirl it around. Shape your dough into a ball some what and put it in the bowl and flip it over to get a nice coat of oil on it to keep it moist. Then take some plastic wrap and cover the bowl. Then I also cover mine with a tea towel or kitchen towel. I even moisten the towel first because well because one time I seen Martha do it and its always a good thing if Martha says so. Now you can put it in a warm place to rise for an hour. The best place I have found to let my bread rise is in the oven. Typically I turn it on preheat for about 2 mins then turn it off and put the dough in. Then I set a kitchen timer because I may or may not have forgotten one time I was making bread and when I remembered a few hours later I opened the oven to find a bread dough monster trying to escape...it wasn't pretty... So after your time has elapsed you should be able to get the bowl out and take the towel and plastic wrap off. There should be a big poofy pillow of dough in there.. This is where it takes a violent turn. You have to punch the dough down. After all the work you put into it show it who is boss... So you punch it down. Fold it over on its self a few times. Now take to loaf pans same size about a 9 by 5 or the next size down..spray them real good in cooking spray divide the dough into two equal pieces shape like a loaf put one in each pan. Now turn the oven on and preheat to 350. Let it rise for another 30 minutes or till the dough is over the pan by about an inch. I usually let it rise on top of the oven. Bake it at 350 till golden brown and take out. I like to brush it with melted butter or you can totally be lazy and just take a stick of butter and rub it on top of it... works in a pinch and doesn't have to dirty a pastry brush.. There you have it fresh homemade bread your family will love.
I sliced it up today and toasted it and made a BLT that almost made me cry... and when my hubby got home from work I sliced him up some and toasted it... then spread some fresh homemade chicken salad on it...he couldn't talk much about it... he was too busy stuffing his face with it. Needless to say both loaves are gone.
Since I am new to this I am having trouble figuring this out...so lets hope I am doing this right. I am linking up at the following
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A Girl Creative-Just something I whipped up
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Mom's Crazy Cooking-This Weeks Craving
Or So She Says-Your Great Idea