I remember just not so long ago, I was very frustrated with bread making, I tried a few and failed each time, somehow, things changed after I attended the cooking class at Sur la Table, not that I learn how to make bread there, but while learning how to make doughnuts, I also learn the "magic" factor I need for bread making that most recipe won't "tell" you.
a lot of bread recipes will just used the words "warm water" or "tepid water", ok, so I never really cook or bake growing up, "warm water" is hard for me to figure out? How warm exactly would be right?
What I learn is that the best temperature for the water to use with yeast is between 105F - 115F. That seems to solved all my bread making problem, seriously, I never fail any after I "mastered" that.
after my post for Our Beautiful World last Sunday, my blog friend Davi asked me to share the bread recipe.... since I have to spend a bit of time working on this, I might as well share with all of you who are interested.
it took me a while because I need to re-write the recipe with my own words. I love to browse through cooking/baking blogs and I learn that when you share someone's recipe, even though you give credit and link back to the original post, you are still not "allowed" to cut and paste the recipe.
so here you go my friends, to Davi and all who will be interested to try it....
This is one bread that I make a lot, simply because it a quick one, compared to my other white bread that needs 6 hours (for bread rising time), this one is a breeze, I can start around 10:30 AM and it will be ready for chicken salad lunch, don't get me wrong, it takes little time but it is still good, it is DH's favorite for now.
2 cups warm water (105-115F)
1 packet yeast
(I tried active dry yeast in small sachet as well as instant dry yeast, since I had a big packet of instant dry yeast, I learn that when recipe called for 1 packet, it is 2 1/4 teaspoon)
2 Tablespoon Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups all purpose flour
cornmeal for dusting your baking tray
1. In your stand mixer bowl, put water, yeast and sugar, slightly mix and let it set in a warm place for 10 minutes.
2. I like to prepare my baking tray before I get my hand all sticky from the dough, I place my non-stick baking sheet on the tray, dust it generously with cornmeal.
3. Using the dough hook, add in salt and 1 cup of flour, run on medium speed for 2 minutes
4. Add 1/2 cup of flour at a time, until 4 cups in total. It should be a soft dough at this point.
5. Remove the dough from your mixer bowl to a lightly floured counter top and hand knead for about 5 minutes, I add a little bit of flour on my hand as well as the dough so it will not be so sticky to work with, I usually used close to 1/4 cup of flour during this process.
6. Form the dough into 2 loaves and leave it on the prepared baking sheet, cover the loaves with cloth and let it sit for 10 minutes. At this point, I also preheat the oven to 425F.
(The recipe above said you can skip this step if you have no time, I like it better if I let the loaves sit longer, sometimes as long as 30 to 45 minutes, I notice the longer it sits there, it gets more airy in the bread and it also gets rounder and bigger, and it will be bigger slices for our sandwiches. If you want to wait longer then you should also start the oven a bit later.
7. Baked in the preheated oven (425F) for 15-20 minutes, for my oven, 18 minutes is perfect!
8. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes for easier cutting.
According the the recipe source, you can sprinkle some ice cold water onto the oven floor before you close the oven door for baking, that gives you a crustier bread on the outside. I do it most of the time but skip it when I forgotten and didn't really notice any huge difference.
DH likes it with butter, he said it is so good he didn't even need jelly on it.
We do a lot of lunch with this, our favorite is chicken salad sandwiches, with lettuce and a slice of pickle, yum!
it is pretty good dipping them in sauce, make toasted garlic bread, I am so spoilt with fresh bread and won't even eat them on the 3rd day, I put them in the fridge and make croutons, so good and none of my bread goes to waste!
I would really love to hear from you the results if you ever try it!
I think we can all learn from each other.