Thursday, January 10, 2008

Delicious Simplicity

After the month-and-a-half of ornate, intricate, rich baking and cooking, I decided that today I needed something different, something simple, basic.

White bread. Yeah, that's the ticket.

I had seen a posting via Tastespotting, from Jennie at Straight from the Farm and decided to take a crack at it.

It's fluffy, light, and fall of flavor, which is a challenge sometimes with white bread. It is indeed Miracle Bread.


Part I
2 c. boiling water
2 T. butter
2 T. sugar
2 t. salt

Combine above ingredients and cool to lukewarm.

Part II
1/2 c. hot (but not boiling) water
2 packages of rapid rise dry yeast (2T.)
1 T. (scant) sugar

Whisk together Part II ingredients in a medium bowl and cover with a towel. Let yeast rise for 15-20 minutes, being sure it froths up and expands considerably. If yeast doesn’t rise, toss it and get new yeast before proceeding.

Once yeast has risen, combine with Part I. Add 6 to 6 1/2 cups of flour*, mixing with a spoon at first and then using your hands as it comes together. Add just enough flour to keep dough from being sticky. Knead dough for a few times and then cover bowl with a towel to let it rise. Come back to it every 10 minutes to punch it down and knead it some more, repeating this process 4-5 times. Don’t worry if you leave it longer - just be sure to punch it down a few times before proceeding with baking.

Divide dough in half at least once as it makes two large loaves. You can also divide it more times if you want to make smaller loaves or rolls. Place loaves on a greased baking sheet or in greased loaf pans. Cover again with a towel and let dough rise to double the size. If you want, you can use a sharp knife to make cuts in the dough to create ridges when they’re baked. I used an X shape this time on my round loaves for a nice artisan look.

Preheat oven to 375 F and bake risen loaves for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Take loaves from the oven and brush with melted butter or spray with cooking spray to give loaves a nice sheen.

*The flour can be all unbleached white flour or a mixture of whole wheat and white flour. Use at least 3 cups of white flour or else the dough won’t be as forgiving.

Paix et santé!

1 comment:

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A simple a ball of bread! maybe may favorite recipe ever! hahaha