How to Make Perfect Homemade Bread Without a Bread Machine
How to make homemade bread.
There are few aromas more delightful than the smell of home baked bread. It's an activity that has diminished in the hectic pace of modern life, but it's a very satisfying and rewarding experience.
Fresh Baked Bread
Who doesn't love the smell of homemade bread baking in the oven? I find the whole process of making bread to be very theraputic. I can stand and knead the dough and just let my mind wander, it's so relaxing. I guess it's also a way to relieve some of that pent up frustration and stress...something physical. It's the pushing and turning, the wonderful smell of yeast and dough, the simplicity and hominess of our daily bread being formed with my own two hands. If you have never tried making your own bread, you'll be surprised how easy it is! Here's one of our favorite all purpose recipes. Nothing fancy, just plain old-fashioned white bread. Enjoy.
How to Make Bread
How to make yeast bread.
How to Make Bread from Scratch
Good bread is
the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter
is the greatest of all feasts.
- James Beard from Beard on Bread, 1980
Bread has been around for over 10,000 years. The Egyptians are credited with inventing the oven and discovering leavening agents. Flour milling is credited to the Greeks. The Romans improved on the process, and then brought the art of bread making to Europe.
How to make white bread
CLASSIC WHITE BREAD
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
- 2 cups lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons shortening
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 7 to 8 cups all-purpose flour
- Butter (or margarine), softened
Scald the Milk
Place 2 cups of milk in a small saucepan. Scald the milk, then allow to cool.
Scalding milk means bringing it nearly to a boil, preferably in a thick-bottomed pan. You will need to stir regularly to avoid having a protein skin form on the surface and to keep the milk proteins and sugars from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Scalding serves to kill potentially harmful bacteria in the milk and destroys enzymes that keep the milk from thickening in recipes. Your milk will be scalded when you see tiny bubbles begin to form along the edges.
Warm water to 105-110 degrees
Warm 3/4 cup water to 105-110 degrees F.If the water is not warm enough, the yeast will not be activated. If it's too warm, it will kill the yeast. Use a thermometer until you know by feel the exact temperature you need. This is a crucial step in the success of bread baking!
Proofing the yeast
Proof the yeast
Dissolve the yeast and 1 T of the sugar in a large bowl with the warm water.
To activate yeast the first step is called proofing and is a way to test the yeast to make sure it is alive and still active. This is accomplished by mixing the yeast in a warm liquid. In order for yeast to become very active it needs food. It's favorite food is sugar, simple sugars to be precise (glucose and fructose).
Yeast - "the soul of the bread".
"Bread deals with living things, with giving life, with growth, with the seed, the grain that nurtures. It is not coincidence that we say bread is the staff of life."
- Lionel Poilane
Combine ingredients ...
Stir in the scalded milk, remaining 2 T sugar, shortening, salt and 4 cups of the flour into the proofed yeast mixture. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough of the remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle.
I usually turn the dough out on a floured board and work the additional flour in by hand. This way I can get a feel of the dough and a better sense of when it's had enough flour. The dough shouldn't be sticky.
Knead the dough
Knead about 10 minutes.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic; about 10 minutes.
Place in greased bowl; turn dough over in bowl until greased side is up.This will prevent the dough from drying out as it rises.
Let rise in a warm place.
Cover and let rise
Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.)
Punch down dough; divide
into halves. Roll each half into rectangle, 18x9 inches. Roll up
tightly, beginning at narrow end. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal
well; press in ends of roll. Press each end with side of hand to seal;
fold ends under.
Place loaves seam sides down in 2 greased loaf pans, 9 x 5 x 3 or 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches. Brush lightly with butter. Let rise until double, about 1 hour.
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place loaves on low rack so that tops of pans are in center of oven. Pans should not touch each other or sides of oven. Bake until loaves are deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, 25 to 30 minutes. Immediately remove from pans. Brush tops of loaves with butter; cool on wire racks.
Makes 2 Loaves.
How to Make Bread
There are many great bread recipes, whether you make your bread by hand the old-fashioned way, or you use the convenience of a bread machine. When you want to learn how to make bread, there are many great bread machine recipes including a great banana bread recipe which can be made directly in the bread maker.
Today, many people are trying to find new ways for how to save money on their grocery bills. Everyone wants to make their dollar stretch a little farther and making your own bread provides a healthier and cheaper alternative than store-bought. Also, many of our easy, family tested recipe favorites are also very gentle on the budget as well.
If you are familiar with crockpot cooking, you might be surprised at the results you can get from using clay pot cooking. This method is very similar to a crock pot, in the sense that you simply add the food and let it cook, but the results are absolutely amazing. The food is much more flavorful and succulent, and the cooking process takes little more than filling the clay pot. It's something your family will surely enjoy.
If you liked our article on how to make bread, please visit one of our other delicious recipes. We have some very easy to make and extremely kid friendly chicken strips made from chicken breasts and a delicious one pan Fruit Crunch Cake for a quick and easy desert. One of our families favorite breakfast items is a yummy breakfast pizza that is always a hit.
We've used these recipes over and over and the results are always delicious. Saving money on groceries does not have to mean depriving your family.!
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