There once was a girl who loved carbs. On a Sunday afternoon, she needed to do something creative and fun in the kitchen.
This decision was entirely too easy!
Besides the fact that I have been baking mountains of quick breads and cookies lately, I had just been having a conversation with a friend the night before about how simple baking a loaf of bread can be, especially if you have a few hours to sit around and let it rise.
I thought I should revisit my old habit of baking a yeast bread. The house just cozifies so nicely when the smell of rising or baking bread wafts through it. Plus, the carby goodness! Although maybe that's why I haven't been making bread as often...
I made two loaves from the recipe, adding fresh rosemary from my windowsill, lots of dried garlic, and seasalt on top. Oh, the fragrance.
The recipe, according to the Courtney:
- 2 cups non-fat milk, which she almost had enough of, so she added the small remainder in water, heated in her microwave until about as warm as a hot tub
- 1/4 cup water, heated along with the milk
- 3 T. regular sugar
- 4 1/2 t. rapid rise yeast
- Combine all ingredients at this point and dissolve the yeast and sugar by stirring, then allow to sit and let the yeast make bubbles for about 5 min.
- Add: 2 T. melted butter
- 2 t. salt
- 2 cups bread flour. If I didn't have this I would use white or possibly more whole wheat. But I do like bread flour!
- Combine these ingredients and let chill out under a covering for about 15 min to glutinize and get spongey. At this point in time, I went to the grocery store for way longer than expected, even though I always go for exactly that long, and came back to a scene out of a 1940's movie called something like, "It's Alive!" It was VERY bubbly, much taller than I left it, and making snap crackle pop noises as the yeast threw a rave in my mixer bowl. Shoulda snapped a pic.
- Once this happens, add about 3 cups of white whole wheat or regular colored flour,
- one beaten egg
- about 3 T. chopped fresh rosmary and a lot of shakes of dried garlic
- Combine with a dough hook or hand held mixing utensil until (such as wooden spoon) until combined and elastic, but still only mildly sticky (may need a bit more flour), kneed with hands on floured surface or dough hook- I did this to avoid major hand stickage - about 10 minutes or so.
- Place dough in oiled bowl and cover for about an hour until it doubles in size. I like to turn on the oven for just a few seconds to warm it up a couple degrees, turn it off, and then stick my covered dough baby in to rise undisturbed. (then I set a timer so I don't forget! Also don't leave the house and forget about it!)
- Take dough out to punch it down, and then reshape into loaves. I did one in a 9x5 loaf pan, and one in a round ball on a pizza pan. Brush with a beaten egg, and put additional salt, garlic, herbs on top. Cover again and allow to rise until doubled, about 30 min. I put them both in the semi warm oven again and set another timer.
- Preheat oven to 400 F. (bread no longer hanging out in oven). I put a pizza stone in the oven at this time too just to add to the amount of heat under the bread.
- Place bread in heated oven and immediately reduce temp to 375. Bake for 40 min or until the bottom and top of each loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
- let loaves stand 20 min. before slicing
I think these would be really good with a nice slab of turkey and/or cranberry sauce on top right after Thanksgiving... must remember this.
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