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Thursday, September 5, 2013

How to Make Easy Homemade Bread

Hello everyone!
I finally made homemade bread! I have been so in love with my kitchenaid and especially in love with making dough this summer. It is pretty obvious from this post about pizza dough. I have been nervous about making my own bread and had no idea where to start, but luckily my dear friend Martha posted a recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Bread. Apparently, Martha's mother made homemade bread all the time when she was growing up. This would make Martha's mother a pro, right? Who better to learn from than the pros and their children. So, I asked way too many questions and they patiently answered them (thank you, guys!). 
Now I am here to share with you Martha's Mother's Bread Recipe! 
I'd also like to invite my own mother who failed at making bread last week to read this post and try making her own bread.
 You can do it, mom! I love you!

Martha's Mother's Bread Recipe:

3 c. warm water
1 Tbsp / 1 packet yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. oil
8 c. flour

First, you get your water, sugar and yeast in your bowl and let them hang out for about 15 minutes. It should start to bubble and look frothy.

Then you add your oil and flour and mix them well. Knead it lightly. I use my stand mixer for this.

Plop it on a floured surface, or saran wrap covered surface if you are me, and admire it's beauty.
Knead it lightly a little bit more and shape it into a nice ball. Then put it back in the mixing bowl and cover with a clean dish towel to rise for 45 minutes. I wet my dish towel with warm water and ring it out very well to provide some extra warmth...but I don't know where I learned this or if it even is a thing.
 Do as you please.

After the first rise, set it back on the counter and admire again. Then, cut into two loaves. I used my rubber spatula for that. Next, you form your two loaves.

I only have one loaf pan so I made one free form loaf on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. I simply cut the dough into 3 sections and braided it, pinching the ends together.

According to Martha's Mother, there are a few things you can do if you have only one loaf pan like me:
1. You can freeze half the dough after the 1st rise and throw it in your bread pan to rise a second time when you are ready to bake it.
2. You can halve the water and flour called for, but still use a whole packet of yeast, and make only half a batch.
3. You can make a long skinny loaf on a baking sheet (like I did).
4. You can make a pizza with the second ball of dough.

I put the second loaf in my stone loaf pan with parchment paper on the inside. 
Let them both rise again, covered,  for 45 more minutes

-preheat oven to 350 degrees F-

After they rise a second time, I brushed a scrambled egg onto the tops of both loaves. If you don't have eggs you can use butter or milk for this. You don't have to brush it with anything at all, actually. 
I didn't have a brush to do this with, so I just used the back of a spoon. Sophisticated, I know. 

I added a few oats to the top of the second loaf and cut three slits in the top.
Bake for 40-45 minutes.
I switched which loaf was on the top rack 1/2 way through the baking time.

Next time I'll buy a brush to distribute my egg more evenly on the top of my loaf. 
Make sure to cool the loaves off on a wire cooling rack.

Slice it up and serve it warm with some butter. This is the best way to test it for deliciousness when it is fresh out of the oven. 
I used this loaf for sandwich bread and pininis last week. 
The first loaf I made garlic bread with for dinner.

Do you ever make homemade bread? Any tips for making it?

1 comment:

  1. So glad this worked out for you! And thanks for the shoutout :) That braided loaf looks so yummy. I need to bake but it's been so rainy here that I figured it would be better to wait, it turns out too dense when it's wet out!!


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