Thursday, March 1, 2012

bread with friends

Two lovely bloggers have kindly passed along the Liebster award to me.

Lindsey at Todd & Lindsey.  She shares lots of excellent recipes and projects.  Just look at what she did with this dresser!

and Nancy of  Life Designed.  She is studying interior design and does some seriously inspiring work.  Since we've got a dresser theme going look at this lovely ikea rast makeover

Wow, right?!  Thanks so much ladies!  Nothing makes me happier than to know people are visiting my blog and liking what they see.   I do what I do because I enjoy it and I'd be doing all this stuff anyway but lets be honest, we blog so we can share and connect.  So, it feels good to have a little love sent my way!  I've received the Liebster once before so I'm not sure if it's custom to pass it along to 5 other bloggers again but I wanted to say thanks and give a shout out to Nancy and Lindsey.  Please pay them a visit, say hi and follow along!

If they lived down the street I'd bring them each a loaf of this

My wonderful friend who also happens to be a wonderful baker taught me two bread recipes this week.

Here is the first:

2 1/4 cups water at 110-120 degrees
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup oil
6 cups flour
4 1/2 tsp yeast (instant)
1 T salt

Here is the second:

2 cups milk at 110-120 degrees
2 T sugar
1/2 cup butter melted
5-6 cups of flour
4 1/2 tsp yeast (instant)
1T salt.

We used unbleached all purpose flour.  The directions for both are the same and I apologize for not having more pictures but I was trying to watch and learn and the best way for me to do that is to just do rather than take notes and pictures.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir until blended, a dough scraper will help with this.  Once the dough is coming together transfer to a floured surface and start kneading.  My friend did a fold, rotate and push with the heels of your hands motion that I sorta got the hang of.  It is so much by feel and she said however it happens doesn't matter, just as long as it happens.  That is my favorite sort of directions!  So you knead until the dough feels more uniform and a bit sticky

Now its time for it to rise.  Spray a bowl with non-stick cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl.  Cover loosely with some plastic wrap sprayed with non-stick spray and leave it in a warm quiet place for an hour.  It will roughly double in size in that time.

This recipe makes two loaves so remove the dough from the bowl and cut in half.  To make a regular loaf spread it out into a rectangular shape and then roll it up.  Pinch the seam, place in a sprayed loaf pan and mash it down with your hands.  Cover loosely with the same plastic wrap and leave it to rise for another hour or until it has risen up just above the rim of the bread pan like this.

To braid a loaf you take the dough after the first rise and cut into three equal lengths.  Then you braid like you are braiding your hair, tuck the ends under and leave to rise for an hour covered with plastic wrap. 

They bake in a 350 degree oven.  The loaf takes about 40 minutes but keep an eye on it depending on your oven.  The braid takes about 20 minutes.  The most helpful thing I learned is to take the temp with a meat thermometer.  The loaf should reach an internal temp of 190 degrees so when you are there you are done! 

Bread making intimidated me.  I apologize if this isn't the best step by step directions you ever read.  As I bake more and fine tune the process I will share more.  I see now how like many things it is a practice you must get the feel of and that takes repeating.  I'm happy to eat more bread so I'll be repeating often.  I've gotta say it isn't so scarey though.  Much more forgiving than I thought which pleases me to no end and seriously is there anything better than warm bread and butter?

after the first rise when you poke the dough the indents should remain
So, bake some bread.  Do it with a friend.  It's fun to chat and knead. 

Hey, I'd love it if you'd follow me with linky followers or GFC!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the recipes! I LOVE bread!
    Wish you lived close to show me in person!
    dee dee


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