Tuesday, 13 January 2015

The Perfect Loaf of Bread

Unless I have an FPC for store bought bread or am given a loaf, it doesn't get purchased in this house it gets made fresh.
There is nothing better than the smell of fresh homemade bread baking . 5 ingredients delicious and yummy and above all fresh and real.
I find some people are put off by old skool bread making ( there is no such thing as a bread machine around here ) . A lot say they have no time to bake homemade bread, but truly you can have a fresh loaf during the same time it takes to put a meal together and cook it .
I guess because I have it down to a fine art of sorts and it is second nature to whip it up .
My toddler is a grilled cheese hound so the fresh bread is a great compliment for his sandwich and very filling.
I use instant yeast so the first rise is a 10 min maximum. I also don't bother with the punching down and extra kneading step , you don't need it .

2 C flour
1 Tsp salt
2Tsp instant yeast ( sift these together)
2C warm water
1Tbsp oil
Stir all together and slowly add more flour in Cup intervals . You will need either 3 or 4 more cups depending on the dough. Once dough is not sticky but elastic let rise 10 min. ( dough will no longer stick to your hands when it is ready, use your nice clean hands to mix )
After the 10 min move to greased loaf pans. You can get 2 fair sized loaves out of this dough but I like to make one loaf and make a few cinnamon rolls with the rest .Once in loaf pans let rise till double in size approx 15-20 min. Once double cook in a pretty heated 425 degree oven for approx 30 min., or until top is browned and you hear a hollow sound when you tap the top of the loaf.
Once done take out and cool completely on a wire rack.
Of course I use this dough recipe for everything, cinnamon rolls, pigs in a blanket, pizza base, bread , buns. Make any variation as well by adding stuff to the dough  for example I make cheese buns and add shredded sharp cheddar. The possibilities are endless , not to mention light on the pocket book.

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