Friday, February 20, 2009

Classic White Bread

After looking through Joy of Cooking I decided that learning how to bake bread could be a worthy trade. There are a lot of various bread recipes and it seems fairly straight forward.

Dana and I are both broken and taking the day off from skiing so we figured this afternoon would be the perfect time to give it a try. We decided that a classic white bread recipe would probably be an easy starter. We only have one load pan (9 x 5 in glass), so we cut the recipe in half.

Ingredients (for one loaf):
3 cups flour
1.5 tbs sugar
1/2 tbs salt
1 tbs butter
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 tbs butter melted, if desired

1. In large bowl, stir 1.5 cups flour, sugar, salt, butter, and yeast until well mixed. Add warm water. Beat with electric mixer on low for 1 minute. Stir in enough remaining flour (1 cup at a time) to make dough easy to handle.

2. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes until dough is smooth and springy. Grease large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease all sides. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 40-60 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.

3. Push fist into dough to deflate. Flatten bread with rolling pin into 18x9 inch rectangle on lightly floured surface. Roll dough up tightly starting with 9-inch side. Press with thumbs to seal after each turn. Pinch ends into roll and fold under to seal. Place seam side down in pan. Brush lightly with butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 35-50 minutes until dough has doubled in size again.

4. Move oven rack to low position so that top of pan is in the center of the oven. Heat oven to 425F.

5. Bake 25-30 minutes or until loaf is deep golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire rack. Brush with butter, cool.

Not bad for our first try! I'd like to try experimenting with different kinds of bread.

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