Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Bread Time!

I have a thing for making bread.
At first, I'm on the fence. Do I? Don't I? What if I mess it up?

I feel bad that it isn't whole-grain-seedy-healthy.
Then I start. The yeast smells fantastic, the bubbles appear, and soon I'm kneading. I love kneading bread. It is beyond fun. You lose yourself in it.

Then you get to smell it rising, and watch the magic. Then you pop it in the pans, or you braid it, and into the oven it goes.
And magically, from four ingredients, you have two soft, warm loaves. This was just a basic white bread recipe.

1 p. yeast, two cups lukewarm milk and/or water, 1 tablespoon sugar, stir until yeast is dissolved, add two cups flour.
Allow to proof for 10 minutes or until bubbles appear.
Add 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour more until you mostly have a dough, knead for five minutes.
Stick in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in your oven, turned off, with the light on for two hours.
Take out. Punch down, knead, divide into two. Roll them out into rectangles, fold in three like a letter, turn corners in.
Butter loaf pan, dust cornmeal on bottom (optional), plunk them in (you should have two loaves)
Allow to rise for another 45 minutes.
After, heat over to 400 Celsius, and egg wash 'em. One egg and a tablespoon of water, brush on with a pastry brush (gently). Stick them in the oven once it is hot for thirty minutes.

Also, I prepared the most delicious honey butter. Allow butter to come to room temperature, mix with almost-equal part honey, use a hand mixer or fork to combine (I made only about a 1/4 cup)Once the bread is done, allow to cool for ten minutes, then eat a warm slice. Yum.

Plenty of photos for you...

I love bread.

Check Sunday for the results of my PAPER EPHEMERA HUNT.