Thursday, April 30, 2009

WHY I BAKE BREAD

OK....it's been a LONG time since I've enjoyed the stress of having ticked someone off due to my judgmental views. I thought about saying that all who don't bake bread are being irresponsible and neglectful toward their children and that good Christians bake their own bread. I could probably even spin some Bible verses to back me up. ROFLMBO!!!



No, I won't. I'll tell you the REAL reason I have started baking bread.



I have always wanted to. That's it.



For a LONG time, my hubby and I have only eaten "wheat" bread. (I only put that in quotes because the only thing I know for sure was that it wasn't white.) A few years ago, we got to where we would only buy wheat (stone ground, whole grain) bread.....mainly to avoid high fructose corn syrup.



We go through quite a bit of bread. I considered baking my own, but always talked myself out of it. Well, about 10 days ago, I decided to try it. I had so much fun. I truly did. I didn't use a bread-machine.....I don't even have one. Nope, I stood and kneaded it for about 15 minutes and baked 2 loaves of wheat. It was so easy and so much fun that I have decided to just start baking it. It really doesn't take that long to throw together.



So, for my cyber-friend Amy Q, I'm going to post the recipe I use and maybe some pictures. (It depends on how they look.)



WHOLE WHEAT BREAD



ingredients:


2 pgk. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar or honey
1 tablespoon salt
2-1/2 cups hot water
1/4 cup butter, softened
4-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2-3/4 to3-3/4 cups all purpose flour



In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water (105-115 degrees) *I find that the hot tap water is sufficient. In large bowl, combine brown sugar, salt, hot water and butter; cool slightly. To cooled mixture, add 3 cups whole wheat flour. Blend at low speed until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. Add remaining whole wheat flour and dissolved yeast; mix well. By hand, stir in an additional 2-1/4 to 2-3/4 cups all purpose flour until dough pulls cleanly away from sides of bowl.



On floured surface, knead in 1/2 to 1 cup all purpose flour until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 to 15 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in warm place (80-85 degrees) until light and doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. (If my kitchen isn't warm enough, I turn the oven on to 400 for 1 minute, turn off and let dough rise in the oven.)



Generously grease two 8X4 or 9X5-inch loaf pans. Punch down dough several times to remove all air bubbles. Divide dough into 2 parts; shape into loaves. Place in greased pans. Cover, let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. (I do NOT do this rising in the oven.)



Heat oven to 375. Uncover dough. Bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350; bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped. Immediately remove from pans; col on wire racks.



OK....here are the pics:


before first rise


After first rise


Punching down


after 2nd rise


Fresh out of the oven


OK, Amy Q....go for it. Let me know how it goes!





9 comments:

Reflections in My Mirror said...

Thank YOU so much for this!! I am going to try it out - by hand first and then I MIGHT use my machine for the Dough cycle. I did a honey-oat recipe but it was NOT very soft. I have printed out your instructions an since my MIL decided she wanted the kids this weekend I will probably have a little more time on my hands. (My anniversary is the 10th - which is also Mother's Day and MIL said I needed an early anniversary gift! - a weekend with my hubby!!) I am So thankful for that! So if I find time between sleeping in and spending time with him, and reading my book - I might give the bread a shot! I think it is a GREAT thing to cook healthy for your family - I have not "cooked" out of a box for nearly a month now - it is cheaper, healthier, and tastes better! I support your efforts WHOLE HEARTEDLY!! (Sorry for the long comment!)

Catey said...

Wait-it's been a long time since your view ticked someone off? No it hasn't! rofl! I almost jumped in on it! heh!

Looks great! I have a great recipe that does four loaves at a time if you want it. Four loaves still only go about 48hrs here, not sure how quickly two go in your neck of the woods! Which reminds me-it's time to bake again.....

~LL~ said...

HEH, Catey....let me clarify...it's been a long time since I've ticked someone off via my blog. LOL!!!! I didn't anticipate that little outburst there....thought I handled it with great maturity!

And yes, I would love your recipe.

l♥ving life as mommy and wife! said...

YUM, YUM, YUM!!!!

There is nothin like homemade bread!!!! your's looks absolutely delish!

erica said...

I am going to have to block your blog from my computer... if walt thinks I could even possibly bake my own bread.... Ugh. I might try it while he's out of town, so if it's too hard I'm not stuck doing it:)

looks good!

Catey said...

Of course you handled it with great maturity! You always do because you are a good woman. There's a reason I didn't say word one.

I'll email you the recipe this weekend! Love ya girly!

Lisa said...

YUM

justdawn said...

What did I miss??? Who did you tick off???

And HEY! It wasn't me, this time;) hehehe

Theresa said...

We've been making our own bread for a bout a yr now and it is truely rewarding. My kids love it. We make large dinner type rolls instead of loaves. The kids just slice them and pop on the meat for sandwiches. I started hand kneading, but later decided on purchasing a bread machine for that part. I just put the stuff in till it makes the dough- it's great for when you don't have alot of time to get your hands dirty. I then shape it and bake it myself, even though the bread machine can do it, I like that part and do it myself.
Great post! ~T