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Monday, April 2, 2012

Bake Bread for Dinner Tonight

Super easy to make with your stand mixer and dough hook, and has a very nice flavor and texture.

The recipe makes about 4 loaves that are the size you see here. It's a really good bread to have with homemade soups, stews, or chili.  [I once made about 30 loaves for a home school coop "medieval feast".  You know, the old sopping-up-with-bread-because-we-don't-have-utensils thing.  That was fun.]  This bread (as you'd expect) freezes really well.

Simple and Yummy Bread

You'll need:
  • 6 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 packages yeast (or 4 1/2 t)
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 1/2 c water
  • 2 T butter
Here's what you do:
  1. Heat the water and butter in a glass bowl (I use the microwave) to approx 120 degrees. (I use a candy thermometer to check the temperature.)
  2. Mix together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a stand mixer bowl with the dough hook attached. 
  3. Add the heated water and butter to the mixer bowl. 
  4. Knead the mixture for a couple of minutes until the dough comes together -- you might need to add a bit more flour but don't overdo it. 
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let it rise until doubled. 
  6. Punch down and form into loaves -- I divide the dough into 4 pieces and then roll each piece into a rope that I then tie into a knot (see photo). This makes a nice individual loaf.  Place each knotted loaf onto a seasoned baking stone or lightly greased baking sheet. Cover with a towel and let rise again for a bit. 
  7. Bake in 400 degree oven until nicely browned, about 20-25 minutes for this size loaf.