Sunday, January 13, 2013
Okay, so here is my very own recipe which I have developed and tweaked. You can do all sorts of add-ins. I will give instructions for the basic white bread and then explain how to make the variations to the recipe including the yummy Rosemary, Garlic & Cheddar bread in my picture. This will make two loaves or how every many little loaves you care to shape up. Bread has to be one of the easiest and most rewarding kitchen projects to create!
Do not fear the yeasties!!!!!!!!
Chandy's basic bread recipe:
3/4 cups milk
1 cup hot tap water
1/4 cup olive oil (plus extra to coat your dough while rising and to oil your baking dishes)
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar (or honey) do not use sugar substitute
5 cups flour
4 1/2 tsps of bread yeast (or two packets if you do not buy in bulk)
Extra add-ins listed after the recipe
In a large 2+ glass measuring cup break the egg and beat it with a fork. Add the milk and then add the hot tap water to make the total in the cup equal 2 cups. Put your yeast on top of the mixture and give it a gentle little mix to just moisten the little buggers. Add the 1/4 cup olive oil into the measuring cup and set this aside.
In a very large (and I mean very large) mixing bowl put all the flour, salt, sugar and any of your mix-in's into the bowl. Take off any rings you are wearing, roll up your sleeves and head to the sink to give your hands and under your fingernails a good washing. I use a brush to get under my nails because from here on in you will use your hands.
In the bowl, toss the dry ingredients and mix-ins with your hands mixing it up well. Push the dry ingredients to the edge of the bowl and add in your measuring cup wet mix of stuff to the center of the big bowl. Start to cover your liquids with the flour mixture and then dig in. I do all of my kneading in the bowl. You want to kneed the stuff into a very nice elastic, slightly sticky ball of dough right in your bowl. I promise that if you keep it up long enough (somewhere between 5-10 minutes) you will get a perfect ball of dough. You want all ingredients well incorporated and then knead another couple of minutes. I use my ball of dough to clean the inside of my bowl as I am kneading. Think of this as burning off calories so that you can eat more of your bread when it is done! :)
When you have accomplished the above, lift the ball of dough with one hand and pour about 3 tbls. of olive oil into the bottom of your bowl. Put your nice ball of dough back into the bowl and turn it in the oil until your dough is covered with oil. Put a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl to keep your dough moist and to keep the heat in the bowl that the chemical reactions will create while the yeast start to do their work. You will want to set the bowl in a nice draft free location until the dough has doubled in size (about an hour but faster if it is a warm season).
Punch down the dough and divide the dough into two pieces. Slightly rub olive oil onto the bottom and sides of the baking dishes you choose to bake your bread in. Cover the dishes with plastic wrap and set aside until the dough doubles again in size (about an hour). I find that if I put them into my cold oven on a the upper rack and put a bowl of hot water on a rack below them they will rise faster.
Once they have doubled in size remove the plastic wrap, put them in the oven if you did not let the rise in there and turn the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook for approx. 45 mins or until the bread sounds hollow when you tap on the top of the loaf. Take out of the oven, remove from the baking dishes and allow to cool on a bakers rack or on their sides on a bread board. Allow to cool for a bit before you cut off a slice. If you are too anxious, your loaf will be too soft and will not cut properly. Be patient!
To make the rosemary, garlic cheddar bread I added in 1 tbls. of dried rosemary crushed slightly in my hands to release the flavor. 1 Tbls of garlic powder (ok, maybe I put in a little more but I love garlic), and about 3/4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. This all gets added in to the dry ingredients before the wet stuff is added.
I use this recipe to do a whole wheat bread. Just substitute all or part of the white flour with wheat flour. I have done it both ways and it is really good.
You can also add in 1/2 cup steel cut oats (just cut back a half cup on the flour) and try to use a little honey instead of the sugar. A very good bread for peanut butter toast in the morning!
I am going to drop in some sunflower seeds one of these times.
If you want, you can use two eggs instead of one to boost the level of protein. Just remember to cut back on the water or milk as you will want the egg/water/milk mix to equal 2 cups. I really like the milk and eggs in my recipe so I cut back on the water. I know that water has no calories but I want my bread to be fortified if I am going to use up my Carb. serving allotment on bread.
To make your bread fancier try cooking in it different types of oven safe dishes. I have little individual serving baking dishes, or even corningware dishes that I use. I also will shape my dough into a nice ball, put down a little corn meal on my cookie sheet and bake up a freestyle loaf.
I have used this recipe for pizza dough. I only let it rise once and then spread it onto my pizza baking dish pushing it into shape with my finger tips. I use a fork to poke little holes into it and pare-bake it for about 10 minutes before putting all my favorite pizza toppings on it.
Make them into big soft bread sticks or little crispy ones. Just do the shaping before the second rising.
Make your own dinner rolls!
The plain white bread makes excellent cinnamon rolls. Just bake them with cinnamon and butter topping and add some simple powder sugar & water frosting glaze.
Leave me comments and let me know what you do with it! Enjoy....you know what is in it, who has touched it and that it is good for you!
I am thankful to God for giving me the Wisdom To Breath the wonderful aromas of this great bread while it is baking in my oven! Amen!