Make your own bread
By Catalogs Editorial Staff
Make your own bread and delight in the finished productMost of the time, bread is just bread. You smear some peanut butter on a slab of white and call it lunch. There is nothing remarkable about loaf. It serves its purpose and quells your hunger.
However, there are times when bread is more than bookends for your peanut butter. When you make your own, it becomes the star attraction. Even the butter is secondary.
A homemade loaf is stellar and so yummy that you can make an entire meal out of it.
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Baking your own white, wheat or rye is going to save you money and it is going to taste much, much better than what you buy at the store.
Start with a basic recipe. You can get fancier when you become more accomplished.
The ingredients that are required include 1 cup of warm water, which you put into a large mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir the sugar into the water until it is dissolved.
Add 2 tablespoons of yeast, which equals two packets of yeast. The best way to do this is to sprinkle the yeast on top of the surface of the water. This allows all the yeast buds to become moistened. Don?t touch the mixture for five minutes. Let the yeast sit on the water?s surface undisturbed. You will notice that the yeast starts bubbling and creates foam.
At this point, add 3 tablespoon of melted shortening/margarine or oil along with 1 cup milk, 2 more tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix together and then add three cups of flour. Stir some more. The dough should form into a ball at this point.
Put the ball of dough on a floured surface and let it rest undisturbed for 10 minutes.
Begin kneading the dough. The more you knead the nicer the texture of the end product. If the dough is sticky, add a little bit more flour.
Kneading requires that you flatten the dough and fold it over, pressing on the dough with the palms of your hands. Turn the dough sidewise and repeat the same action. Essentially you are flattening, folding, pressing, turning, flattening, folding, pressing and turning. This is actually very therapeutic. If you have some pent up anger that needs released, punch the dough.
Roll the dough into a ball and put it in a bowl that has been greased. Roll the dough around the greased bowl so that the dough is covered with a light film of oil. Cover the bowl with paper towels or a cloth. Let the dough rise for about 60 minutes. Ideally the dough should be in a warm location.
The dough should get twice as big as it was originally. It will, however, deflate, which is what it is supposed to do. Let it rise once more for about 30 minutes.
Split the dough into two equal parts. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Now you need to shape the loaves put them into greased pans. To achieve a loaf shape, flatten the dough into a rectangle. Fold the dough lengthwise in half and once again flatten into a rectangle which is approximately five inches wide and 15 inches long.
Press on the dough and fold the dough toward you. Do this in thirds. Press each third with the heel of your hand after you have folded that third toward you. The result is a round cylinder. Roll the cylinder back and forth and then seal the ends by pressing on them with the edge of your hand. Put the loaves in nine-inch loaf pans with the edge down.
Once again, the dough needs to rise until the sides of the dough are touching the pan and the top of the dough is rounded. This takes 30 to 60 minutes.
Bake the dough at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes. You can when it is done by tapping on the crust. If it sounds hollow it?s done.
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Remove from the pans and put it on wire racks so air can circulate around it. The bread needs to cool for about 20 minutes before you slice into it.Grab the butter and jam!Sgt. Grit's