Tuesday, May 11

The story of bread

I'm making bread today, so I figured I'd show you how it's done.

I'm using a Bosch mixer, which looks like this. (Only not this clean anymore.)
Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine

But you can also make this with a Sunbeam mixer, which looks like this.
Sunbeam 2591 350-Watt MixMaster with Stainless Steel Bowl, Black

I'm using the Betty Crocker Rich Egg Bread recipe, which is thus:

3 to 3 1/4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 package regular or quick active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 cup very warm water (120° to 130°)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large egg

Except I'm making a double batch. Prepare yourself. Also I'm changing the directions up a bit, because it makes bread faster. And when it comes to bread, which already takes all day, any shortcuts are good.

Take your warm water and mix together your sugar and your yeast. Let it sit and come to life like the monster it is.

Toss all the other ingredients into the mixer, but don't mix them up until your yeast has sat for at least five minutes.

Check the yeast. Yikes!

Pot pot, stop stop! I dump it hurriedly into my mixer before it can escape the cup, and turn it on. It makes a nice floury soup.

Now dump in the rest of the flour fairly slowly. Or if you're impatient and know your recipe, dump the whole shebang in there and watch your mixer go crazy.

Now we're getting somewhere.

Still kind of gooey, though. See how it's all stuck to the sides? Keep adding flour!

Better. See how it's starting to form a ball, and it's taken the dough off the sides of the bowl? But it's still sticking to the dough hooks pretty well, plus it's wrapped around the center spindle. I like it to rip all the dough off the spindle and make a nice ball. More flour! About half a cup should do it.

There we go. I've taken the dough hook out. This is after it's been kneading for a while, and I've stood there and held down the mixer to keep it from walking off the counter, or destroying the crock pot beside it. See how the dough is now a nice ball? At this point you're supposed to take the dough out, put it in a greased bowl, turn it to grease all sides, cover and let rise for an hour. But I'm lazy, so I just leave it in the mixing bowl and put the lid on.

After an hour ...

It's escaping! Quick, poke it!

If you poke the dough, and the hole doesn't close up again after a few seconds, then it's done rising. Gather it up into a ball and slap it onto some greased wax paper.

Like so. Put another sheet of greased wax paper on top of that, mash it down flat, and roll it out with a rolling pin.

Then roll it up like you're making cinnamon rolls.

Pinch the seam to seal it, then fold up the ends and pinch those to seal them. My seal job wasn't very good. It makes big holes in the bread later.

Toss it into the glass baking pan of your choice (greased, of course), and cover it up to let it rise again.

This is why baking bread takes so long, because you have to let it rise twice. Be glad it's not French bread, because you have to punch it down and let it rise even more often.

Anyway, after an hour or so ...

...it's starting to lift the wax paper off the dish. Time to crank up the oven to 350 and bake it for 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven and how dark you like your bread.

Tada! A gorgeous fat golden-brown loaf! I like them in the 9x9 pan because I get long, skinny pieces of bread, perfect for sandwiches.


Farm Girl said...

Very nice tutorial, I wish I had one like that when I was learning to make bread. Your loaf looks pretty too. Very nice Kess.

Meg said...

Yum! That looks delicious. I haven't made an egg loaf in awhile. I'll have to post my recipe for Bagel Bread. It only rests for 15 minutes, then rises for 30 before you bake it. I like it for how little time it takes.

I have some extra "square loaf" pans if you want them. I think they're 4x4x8, or something like that. You know, the kind that fit American cheese slices. ;)

NetRaptor said...

I have some bread pans, and the other loaf that I didn't show was in one. It just turned out about two feet tall. :)

Jennifer said...

Wow. That looks delicious. Mine turned out like a sourdough brick. I think I might try yours next time. Thanks, Kessie!


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