Friday, January 11, 2013

Baking our Bread

I've been baking our own bread for a few years now. For most of that time i had been using this "no knead" method of baking our daily bread. I was very proud of the fact that i had developed a sourdough that i had built over time and i was able to keep it going. But then i had the hemorrhage in the Spring and was hospitalized for 9 days, and during that time, my sourdough...well...passed away. I got home and did nothing but sleep the first week,so when i opened the bread dough container it was...well... greyish sludge. So, i decided i would try a new way a baking bread, the old fashioned way. I got a super easy recipe from my daughter Katie, made a few personal changes in ingredients, and here it is! My original bread was more dense with a crispy crust, but this one is a softer, nuttier flavored bread, more suited to making sandwiches, and great for everything else too! I wish you could smell it....With Katie's permission, i will share the recipe here with you!

Kate’s Super Easy BIG Bread


    2 packs of yeast
    1/4 cup warm water
    2 cups hot water
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1 tablespoon salt
    3 cups flour
    1/3 cup olive oil (in a pinch you can use any kind, but olive is best)
    3 cups flour


Note: This recipe works best if all ingredients are set out, ready to go, in advance. Also, make sure the sugar, salt, flour, and oil are measured in the exact amounts called for.

Pour warm water into a small ceramic bowl and add the yeast, but DO NOT STIR. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, pour hot water over the sugar and salt, then stir with a wooden spoon or your fingers to completely dissolve. Combine 3 cups flour with the water mixture. Pour the oil on top of the dough mixture then add the yeast mixture on top of that, but DO NOT STIR. Top with the remaining 3 cups of flour and mix well. (I begin mixing with the wooden spoon but I very quickly have to move into squishing the dough with my hands.) At this point, the dough should be pliant and moist, but not gooey. If you want to knead the dough, do so for as long as you’d like.  I give it 20-30 good kneads and then cover it.  The more you knead it, the softer the bread, but for this recipe, kneading isn’t necessary at all.  Cover the bowl with a damp towel (not dripping wet!!!) and set aside to rise for at least 45 minutes. (I've left it for almost two hours.)

On a lightly floured cutting board or countertop, divide the dough in half. If you’re still in the mood to knead, take the time now to knead each half of the dough as long as you’d like.  Again, kneading is not necessary.  Place each half in the bottom of two greased (non-stick spray is fine) bread pans.  I’ve also formed the dough into individual dinner rolls, burger buns, or sub rolls on a greased cookie sheet and it worked out great!  Cover the dough with a moist towel and set aside to rise again for another 45 minutes (or longer).

After the dough has risen the second time, preheat the oven to 375 and bake for exactly 23 minutes. If you can keep everyone from digging in right away, allow to cool for about 15 minutes and then enjoy.  Bread slices easier once cool.

Makes: 2 huge loaves

Preparation time: Two and a half hours


Paula said...

Awww.... I'm sorry about your sourdough starter, Mare~ I was thrilled when someone give me a bag of it several years ago, and I kept it going until my Mom got sick and I didn't have the time to "feed" it...
You daughter's recipe sounds wonderful~ and those pictures have my mouth watering for some fresh baked bread with butter and jam!! *YUMMY*

Dip-Dip and the Bridge said...

Thanks to Katie and yourself for sharing your bread recipe with us Mare. It looks delicious and so perfect on the outside!
I would love to have a go at making it.
Lynne x

Mare said...

I guarantee this bread is super easy to make and it is delicious! I changed the oil from olive to peanut, which gives it a nuttier flavor, and i use raw sugar, not white granulated. I also use 3 cups of unbleached white flour(King Arthur) and 3 cups of King Arthur's white whole wheat. Try it!

Brown Tarot said...

Looks amazing! I can practically smell it!

Mare said...

Thanks Rebecca! It does smell really good. Why not give it a try!It is easy to make and i really like the whole kneading process...Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.