Thursday, January 26, 2012

Very Little Bother Bread

This bread is true to its name. The original recipe has you mixing it by hand and you could do that if you want to but I'm a pretty big fan of using the mixer to do my kneading. I like the fact that if you want to use a little more of one flour and a little less of another it still works out beautifully. It's soft but has a nice density to it and is delicious toasted with butter. It also makes two loaves so you could freeze one (like I did) and have it for later. 

Very Little Bother Bread
Makes 2 loaves

- 2 cups wheat flour
- 3-5 cups white flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 2 1/2 cups warm water
- 1/4 cup sweetener (honey, molasses, white sugar or brown sugar)
- 1/3 cup oil (vegetable oil, olive oil or melted butter)

1. In medium-sized bowl, combine water, sweetener and yeast. Stir together and set aside for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large mixer bowl, combine 4 cups of flour and salt.
2. By now, the liquids mixture is probably forming foam on the top. That is the yeast interacting with the water and sweetener. Add oil to the liquids mixture. No need to stir.
3. Add liquids to flour mixture and mix until a sticky dough forms.
4. Add more flour to the dough (1-2 cups), until dough is still slightly sticky.
5. Mix on a low speed with a dough hook 4-5 minutes. You know it’s done kneading when the dough sort of springs back into place when you poke it with your finger (it won’t spring all the way back into place). The longer you knead it, the better the texture will be (especially if you’re using it for sandwiches). But if you’re short on time, it will still taste great with only a few minutes of kneading.
6. Place dough back into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover bowl with towel and place in a warm location (I usually turn the oven on warm for about 30 seconds then turn it off and put the bowl in the oven to rise).
7. Let rise for 30 minutes; punch down. Let rise for 30 minutes (again); punch down.
8. Split dough in half and shape it into 2 loaves. Place the loaves in oiled loaf pans.
9. Cover with the towel and let it rise for 30 minutes. When it is finished rising, turn oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place loaf pans in the oven.
10. Bake for 35-40 minutes (30 if oven is preheated).

Printable recipe

Adapted from The Cheapskate Cook

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