Making bread is extremely therapeutic to me and my life has been completely out of sorts lately. I love the whole process of it and should make it daily just to de-stress but that would not help my weight situation. Stopping at one slice is nearly impossible. This is the recipe, I hope you will try it. It does take a little time but much of it is waiting for it to rise, therefore it is a perfect thing to do on a rainy day while hanging at home or while your crafting or something else fun.
2 cups warm, not hot, water, maybe 110 degrees or a little less
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups bread flour
Mix the water with the sugar and yeast and let it sit until it forms a foam, approximately 5 minutes, this will assure the yeast is active. If it doesn't foam your yeast is no good, start over with new yeast. Add the oil and salt. Mix in 4 cups or so of the flour and just stir until it is a shaggy dough. From the other 2 cups of flour add a handful to your counter surface or large cutting board. Turn the dough out and begin to knead, click here if you have never done this, using your leftover flour continue to add as needed. If kneading is too much for you feel free to use your Kitchenaid w/ a dough hook. I personally find kneading the therapy I'm looking for and I promise once you have done it you will find it comes very naturally the next time, like riding a bike. You do not have to use the entire amount of flour, it's just a guideline.
|My shaggy dough, trust me it will turn into a ball.|
|See... a ball. This is after kneading.|
After the kneading is complete place the dough in a bowl you have oiled, I rub a little oil on top of the ball also to keep the dough's surface from drying out. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
|Before the first rising.|
|After. Funny how that still amazes me.|
Next you will take the dough out of the bowl and punch it down. I know, sad you are deflating what you just waited an hour for! Knead a couple of times, the dough should not be sticky at all so you shouldn't need more flour. Cut the dough in half and form it into two oblong shapes that will fit into your pans, you will be using 2 loaf pans for this. Place in the pans and I like to tent a towel over them.
|My fancy tent construction.|
|I believe tents should be beautiful, thus my wonderful tea towel.|
Let them rise for 30 minutes or until they are approximately 1 inch higher that your pan.
|It rises again!|
Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. I put a bowl of water in the oven with them to keep the crust from getting too hard. Be prepared for your kitchen to smell like complete and total bread heaven! When you take them out brush them with a little butter or oil to soften the crust, if you want. Slice, slather with REAL butter, oh. my. gosh!!!!!! See therapy and it only cost a couple of bucks. Who says I don't save my man money.
|This is art and love wrapped in a perfect little package! I know I'm a food nerd and am totally okay with it.|