Tuesday, February 07, 2006

One-hour bread (from start to finish)

This is a standby recipe that I use frequently. I love to bake bread, but as all of you know who have done it before, it just takes a long stinking time. I found this recipe a few years back and thought I'd share it. It does require a KitchenAid mixer (or a hand mixer may work though I've never personally tried it). It may require a bit more time and more hand-kneading.

Sorry about my directions. I lost the recipe, but have it memorized. I'm not the greatest at giving directions though.

1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup butter or margarine (beware of hydrogenated oils and trans fats though)

To read up on hydrogenated oils and tran fats

4 1/2-6 cups flour (whole wheat or white)
4 1/2 t. yeast (2 pkgs)
3 T. Sugar
1 t. salt

Place 3 cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt into mixing bowl. Mix well.

Pour water and milk into a small pan. Add butter. Heat over low heat until it is warm (110-130 degrees). It should be warm to touch, but not burn your finger when you touch it. The butter doesn't have to be completely melted.

Slowly pour wet mixture into dry mixture and mix with paddle attachment until blended. Add more flour (1/2 cup at at time) until it becomes hard to mix. Put on bread hook attachment and keep adding flour until the dough is soft and elastic. YOu can mix in more flour with your hands until it makes a nice firm ball that's not sticky.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Let rise in a greased bowl for 20 minutes. Punch down (my favorite part) and separate the dough into two equal balls. Put into greased loaf pans. Or I separate the dough into two balls, flatten them a bit, and then put them on a greased cookie sheet. This makes a nice round loaf.
They may rise and run into eachother. But, hey, it still tastes good! Let the dough rise about 20 minutes.

Bake 10-13 minutes depending on your oven. Bread should be golden and sound hollow when tapped.

Enjoy with butter, jam, honey or pesto.

Or for dipping oil. Pour some olive oil on a plate. Add some splashes of balsamic vinegar and some freshly ground pepper. Dip and enjoy.


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