Fall means freshly baked bread

17 Sep
My mother claims she baked fresh bread for me as a child. This I do not recall and being the youngest of four, I wonder if she’s confusing me with my siblings. That being said, perhaps she’s remembering correctly because as soon as the thermometer goes below 71, I’m baking bread. The smell of bread baking is the most cozy and inviting scent. The end result is warm, filling, and delicious.
I love bread. I love bagels. I love toast. I love english muffins. I love bread.
And this ladies and gentlemen, is my favorite bread recipe. There are a lot of steps and it is relatively time consuming but the result is worth it.
1) 2.5 tspn Yeast (I use Fleichmann’s Yeast- Instant dry yeast) I grabbed the bag to see the name and now yeast is all over my keyboard! I digress….
2) 1 tspn Sugar
3) 1.25 tspn Salt
4) 1 cup of Warm water
5) 1/4 cup Agave nectar or maple syrup
6) 1/4 cup Oil (I use olive or canola oil)
7) 1/4 cup Plain milk (soy and almond milk work best)
8) 3.5 cups Flour (I use 1 cup white flour and 2.5 cups whole wheat)
1) Combine the first 4 ingredients together. Mix with a fork for 10-15 seconds, do not over-mix.
2) Let sit for 10 minutes
3) Add the remaining ingredients, being sure to sift the flour *see below
4) Stir until tacky (a wooden spoon works best)
5) Sprinkle a clean surface with flour
6) Knead dough on the floured surface until supple, about 3-6 minutes. See how to knead dough  here
7) Lightly oil a large bowl
8) Add dough to bowl, cover with a towel and place in a draft free location for 1 hour. I put the dough in the oven *Turned off*
9) Remove the dough from the oven and knead 1 or two times on a clean, lightly floured surface.
10) Lightly oil our bread pan
11) Place dough into the bread pan. You do not need to work the dough into the shape, it will rise into the confines of the bread pan. I recommend using a stone bread pan which words amazingly well, but any will do.
12) Cover the dough with a towel and place in the oven *Turned off* for 45 minutes – 1 hour
13) Remove the dough from the oven.
14) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
15) Bake for 45 minutes. A great way to tell if the bread is done is to tap the top with the end of a butter knife, if it sounds hollow, it’s done!
** If you do not have a flour sifter, use a wire colander. If you do not have that then place the flour in a separate bowl and whisk until very powdery.
** At step #3 I sometimes add ground flax seed for extra nutrients.
I hope you’ll try this once you feel the leaves crackling beneath your feet this fall!

2 Responses to “Fall means freshly baked bread”

  1. mydearbakes September 17, 2012 at 3:10 am #

    Aww, this is a brilliant piece of work! =D

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