Sunday, February 17, 2013

2013 ~ The Year of Making Homemade Bread

I begged my husband for a new KitchenAid mixer...told him it would be a WONDERFUL Christmas present and to make the deal even sweeter...I promised I would make homemade bread on a regular basis.

Well...I got the KitchenAid!!

And...I haven't bought a loaf of bread at all in the year 2013!

We have gone through a lot of bread flour because the bread is so good...we are eating too much.  However, I see a slow down in bread consumption now that we are 1/2 way through Febrauary. 

I haven't stopped at bread...I now use this bread dough for making pizza crusts, hamburger buns, hotdog buns and hoagy rolls.  The shapes are definately a work in progress...but it still tastes amazing ~ regardless of how badly they look.

The bread recipe I use is one I found while reading a fabulous book titled:  "The Weekend Homesteader ~ a Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency" written by Anna Hess. 

Here is the recipe we love:

1 1/3 cup water ~ warm (baby-bottle temperature)
2 T. sugar
1 T. yeast
1 T. olive oil
2 t. salt (I use Kosher)
3 cups bread flour

In a mixing bowl add sugar, yeast and warm water...let proof for about 10 minutes until it resembles a "foamy mass".  I then add the olive oil, salt and bread flour.  I mix for 8 minutes in the KitchenAid with the hook on low speed.  I sometimes need to add more bread flour to keep it from sticking to the bowl as it mixes.  When mixed, rub the dough with a bit of olive oil, cover with a warm wet towel and let rise until double in a draft-free, warm spot for about one hour.  When done, roll into shape (I push it into an oblong shape and roll up tightly...and put it into a sprayed bread pan.  Let rise a second time until double...another hour.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  When done, thump on the top of the bread loaf to make sure it sounds "hollow"...that means your bread is cooked all the way through.

My Notes:

1.  I triple my batch when I make it.
2.  For pizza dough ~ after the first "rising" I roll the dough into a ball, wrap it in sprayed   saran wrap and put it into the freezer.  Take it out and thaw it in the fridge about a day before you plan to use.
3.  I have used 1/2 the amount of sugar...worked and tasted fine.
4.  I have used 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 canola oil...again worked fine.
5.  When I make a triple batch, I only use about 5 tsp of kosher salt.

Don't take making bread seriously...have fun with it!  It may take a few batches to get the hang of it...but it is worth it to keep trying. 

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