Saturday, January 1, 2011
I love making bread probably because I love eating bread but also because once you learn to work with yeast its fairly easy, especially this recipe. I think my love of bread making also comes from the women in my life. My grandmother was famous for her dinner rolls. When I was little she would make parker house style rolls but she would put cinnamon sugar mixed with butter into the fold before she baked them. My gram (aka. my paternal grandmother) is famous for her Christmas breakfast it's always a huge spread of sweet rolls. There's everything from orange rolls, to a cream cheese coffee cake. My mother is famous for her dinner rolls like her mother before her but everyone loves her cinnamon rolls and loaf bread as well. With roots like that how could I not love making bread. This recipe is one of my favorites its easy to put together, delicious with a crusty outside and a fluffy inside, and best of all it makes two loaves so there's one for the dinner table and one for the freezer. This is the prefect recipe for a lazy Saturday, throw it together in the morning, let it rise while you relax and have it ready for the table in time for dinner. What could be better than that?
4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 package yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
1 1/2 cups room temperature water
In the work bowl of your electric mixer combine the flour, salt, and yeast. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the water and place the work bowl on the stand, attach the dough hook and beat the dough for a bout 12 minutes until it is soft and stretchy with out being sticky. Place the ball of dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel, and place in a warm spot. Leave the dough to rise until doubled in size, about two hours. Punch down the dough and then divide it into two smaller balls. Take each ball and form it into a long thin loaf by rolling it back and forth under you palms. Place the two loaves on an oiled baking sheet and cover back up with the towel and leave to rise for about 30 minutes. After they rise slash the loaves with a chefs knife or a bread lame. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a cake pan filled with 1 cup of hot water steaming water on the bottom rack of the oven and then place the pan with the loaves on the center rack and bake them for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 30 more minutes. You can tell the loaves are done when you tap the bottom and it sounds hollow. Place on a wire rack to cool. Wrap in tinfoil to store. If you're going to freeze the bread freeze it after its baked and then just place it in a 350 degree oven until its thawed and crispy, about 15 minutes.