Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Basic White Bread

Good Book To Have in Your Library
Basic White: Template for Bread making

2 cups milk                                1/2 cup warm water
1 tbs salt                                    (105*-115* F)
2 tbs butter                                2 tbs sugar
1 pkg active dry yeast                6-7 cups flour

        I have made many forms of this bread over the years. Number One claims that I can't follow a recipe. I follow a recipe at least once, then I "improve" on it. This recipe is very forgiving. You can "improve" on the nutritional value of this recipe by adding things like mashed potatoes, oatmeal, flax or whole wheat flour. Just add it to the milk mixture. I have left this recipe "pure". You can decide for yourself if you want to "improve" this recipe.
Heat milk, butter and salt in a saucepan on medium heat until bubbles appear around edges. Remove from heat and let cool to about 110*.

Oops, I used honey

Add yeast and sugar to mixing bowl.

        Add warm water to yeast and sugar. Make sure the water is not more than 115*. Higher temperatures will kill the yeast. Proof the yeast. Bubbles will appear in about five minutes.

Proof the yeast

Add milk mixture to the yeast mixture. Stir until mixed well. Make sure the temperature of the milk mixture is not more than 110*. You don't want to kill your yeast.
I use bread flour

The secret of making bread is to use as little flour as possible and still be able to handle the dough. Add half the flour and mix well. If you are doing this by hand use a good wooden spoon with a long handle.
Change to dough hook
Add flour one cup at a time mixing well after each cup. The dough should be soft and pliable. Do not add too much flour. This dough has a nice smooth feeling.

The purpose of kneading is to distribute the yeast cells throughout the dough. If kneading dough by hand, sprinkle flour on the counter top or dough board. Adding more flour to keep dough from sticking. Knead for about ten minutes. If using a mixer, mix for eight minutes adding enough flour to keep dough from sticking to the sides. Knead until soft, pliable and smooth.
Form into a ball
Form into a ball. Place dough into a greased bowl. Turn dough until completely covered in oil. Cover with plastic wrap then a towel. Place bowl in a warm draft free area. Let rise until doubled in size. About one hour.

After dough has doubled in size punch dough down. Remove from bowl and knead for three minutes on a floured surface to remove any air bubbles. Divide dough and let rest for five minutes. Form dough into logs and place into two greased 9 by 5 by 3 inch bread pans. Turn dough over to coat with oil. Make sure seam side is down for second rising.

Cover with towel let rise and place in a warm draft free place until dough has doubled in volume. After forty five minutes. Preheat oven to 400*. When oven has reached 400* place bread dough in oven and bake for 23 minutes.( I bake mine for 25 due to altitude) Bread should be nicely browned. Cover and let cool completely before slicing. I cheat and cut off the end as my treat for baking the bread. That's what I tell myself, anyway. Yummy plain or with butter...................

Tapping on bottom should produce hollow sound.

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