10.17.2014

:: Bread ::


White Bread.......Honey Wheat Bread....and yummy Zucchini Bread made this week!



In our home, there's nothing that brings the family together faster than fresh baked bread. I've just started baking bread
by hand that is, no bread machine for me. I find it very therapeutic. However, my Aunt's method of halving
the yeast and thereby doubling the rising time intrigued me, so I followed her 'plain old bread' recipe from 
the family recipe box, but halved it. It was perfect. And I've been using it ever since.


White Bread


Ingredients:
bread flour - 3.5 cups
warm water - 1 cup {and 2 tblsps}
active dry yeast - 1.5 tsp
sugar - 2 tsps
salt - 1.5 tsp

Method:
Stir the yeast and the sugar in 3 bsps of water and let it sit for about 15-20 mins.
Put the flour in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the water and the yeast mixture and begin kneading.
When it clumps together, turn it onto the kitchen counter and knead for a further 10 - 12 mins, adding some flour if needed.
Finally, add in the salt and knead for a few minutes more.
Oil a large {glass} bowl, turn the dough over in the oil so that the entire surface is oiled, cover it with a damp tea cloth and leave it to rise.
I left my dough out for 2 hours and then put it in the fridge overnight. Next morning, I let it rise for about 4 hrs after which I turned it on the kitchen counter and punched out all the air and kneaded it for a few minutes. Shaped it into a loaf, put it into the tin and left it to rise.
After about 3 hrs, lightly glaze the top with some water and bake it at 200 deg C for about 30 mins or till the top is browned and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped from below.
The bread was awesome - it smelled heavenly, and there was no trace of any yeast scent. If you've never baked before, go ahead now and bake a loaf, this is truly worth the effort!



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Whole Wheat Honey Bread

This recipe makes three loaves of bread at once, so plan on using three loaf pans. I eat one and freeze the rest for later in the week. 

You will need:
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 2 packets of dry active yeast 
  • 2/3 cup light honey, 
  • 5 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 3 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, or white whole wheat flour
  • handful of rolled oats or poppy seeds (optional)
In a large bowl, mix the water, yeast and 1/3 cup of honey. Add five cups of bread flour and gently stir until well mixed. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes or until it is bubbly and big.
Add three tablespoons of butter or oil, 1/3 cup of honey and salt to the dough. Stir in two cups of whole wheat flour. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the rest of the flour in until dough is slightly sticky to the touch.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning the dough on all sides of the bowl to be sure it is greased entirely. Place a clean towel over the bowl and let it rest in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 F. Push the dough down and divide it into three loaves.Place in greased 9" x 5" loaf pans and let them rest until dough rises just to the op of the pans. Top the loaves with oats or a seed of your choice. Bake the loaves for 20-30 minutes or until the outside is lightly browned and crispy. 

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