With the start of a new year (HAPPY 2012!!) comes some new ideas… Well our idea came a bit early, but whatever. Our plan is to eat more whole foods and to be more frugal with our meals. Nothing revolutionary, but it means buying whole chickens and making stock for soup after, etc. (more on this later). We’ve come up with a menu and an important staple on that menu is bread – for sandwiches and toasts primarily. I like making bread, but many of my breads are more “country style”, meaning heavier and denser than the light fluffy bread you might buy in the grocery. So last night, yes New Year’s Eve, I decided to make a loaf that would be perfect to make once a week for our sandwich needs. Here’s what I came up with:
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 1/4 tsp yeast
2 tbs softened butter/margarine
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs milk
1. Put the yeast into the measured amount of hot water. Wait ~15 minutes for it to froth.
2. Put butter, then dry ingredients, then milk into the bowl of your mixer. Give it a quick stir.
3. Once the yeast/water mixture has gotten frothy, add it to the dry ingredients. Mix.
4. Knead the dough until it becomes elastic, about ~6 minutes in the mixer or ~15 by hand.
5. Cover and let rise for 2 hours in a warm spot, or until it has doubled in bulk.
6. Knead again for at least 5 minutes. Place dough in loaf pan, cover, and let rise for 1 hour.
7. Bake at 350°C for ~30 minutes.
Let the bread cool on a rack before cutting. Slice and put into a sealed ziplock bag.
**UPDATE: Having made this recipe several times now, it’s best if the dough is split into two and put in two loaf pans to rise and bake.