Friday, March 26, 2010

Bread recipe for beginners

This is a great recipe for beginning bread makers like myself.  It's from an old cook book from my grandmother called Sesqui-Samplings, 150 Years of Cooking in Indianapolis.  Once you've mastered this, you can start to add whole wheat a little at a time until you get a feel for how the whole wheat changes the dough.  I am just a beginner myself.
1 1/4 cups water (110-115 degrees) ( I just let my tap water (well water) get really hot.  I have no idea what the temperature is)
1 package active dry yeast
3 cups flour (I use organic unbleached all purpose)
2 Tbs. sugar (organic cane juice)
2 tsp. salt (kosher)
2 Tbs. shortening (I use Crisco)

Dissolve the yeast in water in mixer bowl with a little bit of sugar (feeds the yeast) until the yeast is dissolved and bubbly. Add salt, sugar and half of flour. Blend. Add shortening and beat 2 minutes at medium speed or 300 strokes by hand.  Scrape sides of bowl frequently.  Add remaining flour and blend with spoon until smooth (that's the original recipe...I just used the paddle on my mixer). The dough should be REALLY soft, not even close to stiff. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk (about 30 minutes).  Beat bater about 25 strokes (again, I use my paddle attachment).  Place in greased loaf pan and cover.  Let rise until dough reaches top of pan.  Bake in a 375-degree preheated ovwen for about 35 minutes or until brown.  When done, loaf should sound hollow when tapped with finger.  Remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool.  Brush top of loaf with butter if you desire a soft crust.  Cool before slicing.
When you've mastered this with white flour, start substituting whole wheat 1/2 cup at a time.  I still am only up to about 1/2 and 1/2.
Happy bread making!!

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