I made bread!

24 Jan

Two years ago, I epically failed at making bread. I went into it with such gusto… but it was so traumatic that it took a full 2 years for me to pull up the courage to try again.

I received a recipe that my friend Lillian had been using for years.  By the time I put all the dough together and kneaded, I wound up with a perfect ball of dough.  A much better state than the one from 2 years ago at this point.

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And then I left for a bit and came back the requested 1 hour later and was overjoyed to see my dough had risen SO MUCH that it was playing pic-a-boo under my dish towel.

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Now that was SOME rise!

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I pulled it out and took out some aggression by punching it in the face. (And while you’re there… LIKE NYC Nom Nom on Facebook!)

I then split it into 2 loaf pans and one mini loaf pan.

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And since I just can’t 100% follow a recipe without adding something to it… I painted the top of olive oil and then added flake salt to the top of the mini loaf.

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And when it came out of the oven, I was ecstatic.  Not only did it LOOK like bread… it SMELLED like bread!

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And it’s hard to resist a wee loaf.

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The bigger loafs also… amazingly… both LOOKED and SMELLED like bread.  It was so satisfying! (So satisfying, in fact, that I debated not cutting into it just in case I screwed something up)

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But cut into it we did and it sliced up perfectly.

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And then we ate it with homemade jam…

And it was good.

Damn good.

It was BREAD! Real bread!

And I made it.

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RECIPE
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Homemade White Bread from Lillian (original source unknown)

INGREDIENTS:
7 1/4 to 7 3/4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon nonfat dry-milk powder (they sell this in big packets in big boxes)
2 packages active dry yeast
2 2/3 cups water
1/3 cups shortening
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of the bread flour, the nonfat milk powder and yeast; set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat and stir water, shortening, sugar and salt until just warm and shortening almost melts (I actually got nervous because I know temperature is important for yeast, so I looked it up and found this handy dandy chart. I realized my water was WAY too hot already, so I pulled it and let it cool down to below 130°)
  • Add water mixture to the dry mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl constantly.
  • Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.
  • Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can with a wooden spoon.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that’s smooth and elastic (8-9 minutes total). Shape the dough into a ball.
  • Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease the surface of the dough. Cover and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size. (45-60 minutes)
  • Punch dough down.
  • Turn out again onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 2 or 3 equal portions.
  • Cover; let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, lightly grease two 9x5x3 inch loaf pans or three 8x4x2 inch loaf pans.
  • Shape each portion of dough into a loaf by rolling on a lightly floured surface into a 12×8 inch rectangle. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting from the short side. Seal with fingertips as you roll.
  • Place into prepared loaf pans.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled (20-30 minutes).  (Mine didn’t really rise MUCH more, I guess because it rose SO much in the first round, but it turned out just fine)
  • Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when you tap the top with your finger. (My mini loaf took about 20 minutes total)
  • Immediately remove bread from pans and cool on wire racks.

YIELD: 2 or 3 loaves

2 Responses to “I made bread!”

  1. Baking with Sibella January 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Nice looking bread! 🙂 I like your blog!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Recipes with Homemade Bread: Grilled Cheese and French Toast « - April 17, 2012

    […] was very exciting to have finally successfully made bread.  We gave one loaf away to friends, but that still left us with more bread that we could eat […]

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