Home Made Bread--YIKES!!!

YUMMY BREAD

if it rises THIS MUCH, and it sticks; you'll need to be extra careful getting it out of the pan!
if it rises THIS MUCH, and it sticks; you'll need to be extra careful getting it out of the pan!

Simple recipe using very few ingredients

Ok...now it's time to learn how to make healthy, tasty homemade bread. It doesn't get any easier than this!

Start with unbleached white and whole wheat flour. If you're making 1 loaf, you'll need about 1 cups of each. Double that for 2 loaves.

Yeast. I use active dry - Arrow or Fleishmans - 1 package per loaf

White or brown sugar - about 1/4 cup (seems like alot, I know...) for 1 or 2 loaves

Water, about a cup...you'll know the right amount by the texture which I'll describe in a second. Warm it on your stove top or microwave much like you'd warm a baby's bottle.

To sweeten (to taste, or you can omit this ingredient) I use Organic Blue Agave. Very sweet and very good!

Oil...I use Canola - about 1/3 C

Dash of salt.

Oiled bread pan(s), oiled cake pan

You'll need a large mixing bowl and a large wooden spoon or fork (fork is best), or stainless steel. Also, a clean surface to knead the dough. I use marble. Wood is ok if that is the only thing you use it for. Never mix the types of foods you prepare on a single surface. Vegies have their own surface, breads, pie crusts, etc. their own. I'm not mentioning the "M" word.

Preheat your oven to 70 degrees or, if you have one like mine; it's electric (ugh!!) and the lowest temperature I can dial up is 170 degrees but this seems to work just fine. This temperature is for rising the dough the first and second times.

After the second rising, you'll need to heat the oven to 400. I leave my bread in rather than pulling it out as, often times, it'll fall if disturbed before 'set.'

Now:

Dissolve the yeast in warm water along with the sugar. (Sugar makes yeast activate as it breaks down the sugars {ferments}). Make sure the yeast is completely dissolved and there are no grains left on the sides of the bowl.   Add the oil and Agave and stir very well. Once this is blended, start adding flour, a little at a time so as to avoid lumps. Mix using a wooden 'serving' spoon or fork and continue adding flour until it's all used. If your mixture seems too dry, don't use all the flour. You can tell this by noticing that it is not sticking together, not blending together;  This first time, the dough will be 'rougher' but still adhere to itself.  It not adhereing; it is too dry.

Next: Dust your surface with and your hands with flour; take the 'ball' of dough from the mixing bowl and begin to knead. You'll have to keep adding more light dustings of flour as you knead to avoid the dough sticking to the surface and to your hands. Keep doing this for up to 10 minutes. I know this seems like a long time but the more initial kneading, the better the bread.

Salt inhibits the yeast so, I don't add salt until I've 'risen' the dough the first time.

Place the kneaded dough in a cake pan (this is what I do for the first rising and it works perfectly). you'll know the dough is ready when the texture has become smoother, it is obviously well blended (no grains of flour and the dough sticks together). You'll be able to stick it with your finger and it bounces back. You can tell that the yeast is active and working on the dough already.

Place in the oven at the lower temp., covered with a paper towel and let rise for about 35-45 minutes.

It should have doubled in size.

Don't worry about the temperature of the bread at this point; it should be easily handled and ready for the next step. You don't have to 'cool it down.'

Remove and place on lightly dusted (with flour) surface and begin kneading, again, just as you did the first time. You'll only have to do this for about 5 minutes. You should notice a definite difference in the texture of the flour this time around.

Now is the time to add the salt. Just a dash or two...sprinkle it on the surface w/a little bit of flour and begin kneading it into the dough (during the second kneading). Keep this up until there are no more granules of salt on the board or marble surface.

Now, form a loaf out of the dough and knead it into itself until it adheres to itself (so you don't make bread that has separations in it)...pound this down using your fist (lightly) to assure that the dough is well blended into itself.

Place in the oiled bread pan, cover with a paper towel and place back into the oven.

Rise another 35-45 minutes at the lower temperature (if temp. is too high, it begins to bake the bread and you don't want this...yet!)

Watch through the oven window to see how it is rising; it should be doing just fine...when the time is up, turn up the temperature and set your timer for about 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes, lower the temp to 350 or 375 and bake another 15 minutes or when you can see that the top is browning or golden. You'll soon be able to tell, by sight, when your bread is done.

Remove from the oven and cool it in the pan, for a little while on a wire rack that allows air to circulate around until you can comfortably pick up the pan. At this time, place one hand on the bread and the other on the pan, turn it upside down and lightly shake the bread from the pan. sometimes, if you're lucky, you can simply lift the bread from the pan when it is cool enough but, this doesn't always happen.

If your bread sticks to the pan - next time, oil a little more but, in the meantime - use a knife and run it around the edges of the pan and the bread to loosen any area that may be sticking.

Once the bread is removed from the pan, place on a rack to cool a little more before slicing.

If everything worked out right...you've got a great bread to have with soup or jelly/jam or for any reason. Just don't do what I always do and eat the whole thing in one setting! OPPS! It's off to Weight Watchers again!!!

ENJOY!!

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Comments 8 comments

Deb Welch 5 years ago

I know how to bake cookies & cake or a pie with a pre-made crust. I have never attempted bread - I believe a bakery can do the job much better than I ever could. Kudos to you for all that work to produce a wonderful loaf of bread. I voted thumbs up and useful.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi there Deb Welch..thank you for visiting this hub...as you can see; you're the first one to comment. I LOVE carbs and I LOVE bread...specially whole wheat or really crusty sour dough (yes, I've made SD, as well...and it turned out ok...I have to practice a little more patience...and, the "mother" yeast starter takes time to 'cultivate.') I've been making bread since I was 18...on a dare...going to an event in which, to gain entry; one had to contribute some type of home made fare and, during that time, breads were very popular so..I tried it..and liked it!~ Glad you liked this one...do try making bread; it really isn't that hard. Kathy


Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

You know you are loved when you smell home made bread cooking!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi Angela....I agree! I love the smell and taste of it! And, everyone knows the secret to selling a home; bake home made bread or cookies and allow the scent to fill the kitchen and house...works every time!


Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

Yess who wouldn't wan't to live in a home that had that aroma! I am so going to make this and buy real butter!!! LOL


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

LO...Yes!!!


seanorjohn profile image

seanorjohn 3 years ago

I really like the sound of this recipe. You are spot on about when to add salt. I have been making more and more bread recently. Home made bread is vastly superior to most bought bread. Voted up and damned useful. Ok I have to settle for plain old useful.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 3 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

thank you seanorjohn! This really is good...I can eat an entire loaf!

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