Monday, November 9, 2009

By Request...

I have had a few requests for the bread recipe I helped my Young Women make, so without further ado...

Amazing Homemade Bread

Combine: 1 TBS Yeast
1 C. Warm Water
1 TBS Sugar
-Let these sit for a few minutes until frothy. The yeast needs to wake up and come alive so it will give you a great, soft loaf of bread. No foam? Maybe your water was too hot or the yeast was too old.

Then Add: 2 + 1/2 to 2 +3/4 C. Bread flour
1 tsp Salt
1+1/2 TBS Red Wine Vinegar

-Stir everything together until you get a ball and then knead for 5-7 minutes. Kneading works the proteins in the bread flour so you get a nice chewy bread. Depending on your climate, you may need more or less flour. I live in Las Vegas, so I use less. And you may be wondering about the Red Wine Vinegar? Yeah, I know, it seems realllllly weird, but I have tested this recipe HUNDREDS of times (no joke!), and the vinegar somehow keeps it tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. You don't necessarily taste the vinegar, but it is sooo much better with it.

-Oil a bowl and drop your kneaded bread into the bowl and flip it over so the oil coats the dough. I have to cover the bowl with plastic wrap because it's so dry here, but if you live a wet climate, you can just cover the bowl with a damp towel. Let the dough sit for an hour until it rises.

-Punch down the dough and knead for another 2 minutes. Form dough into a boule shape or a loaf shape and place on a baking stone sprinkled with cornmeal.

-Slash the top of the dough lightly with a knife. This allows the dough to expand as it bakes, and it looks pretty too!

-Let the loaf sit for about 5 minutes to let it rise just a bit. Then drizzle with olive oil and give a liberal sprinkling of salt. Put into a preheated 375 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes until light brown on top and it sounds hollow when you tap it with your fingernail.

-Remove from the oven and let it sit for at least 5 minutes before you slice.

-I know it looks like a really complicated loaf of bread, but once you make it, it is sooo easy, and WORTH IT!

-I have a breadmaker, and it makes making this bread AMAZINGLY easy. I program it to the dough setting and put the ingredients in JUST as above (in that SAME order) it kneads and lets the dough rise while I do other things. Then when it's done, I dump out the dough, knead it for the 2 minutes and finish it off in my oven. Don't try baking the bread in the breadmaker, it bombed for me EVERY time, besides, it doesn't turn out the same.

-You can leave the olive oil and salt off the top of the bread. Kris and I love it because it makes the crust deliciously crispy and salty, it's the best part!

Good Luck!

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