I think that homemade bread has magical powers! Baking it makes me feel like a superhero; like, somehow I’m a better person than I was before. The smell of baking bread makes my home feel like a warm, safe, hospitable place. It makes my family happy, and they behave just a little better. Eating it makes everyone smile, and they seem to be a little kinder and more patient with each other. Sharing it with others makes them grateful, and they treat me like I’ve just performed a heroic act. Yep, magical powers! …… Plus, it’s fairly simple and inexpensive to make. It takes time, but it’s not difficult. Here’s the step by step process to bring the magic into your home. It’s worth it.
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 ¼ cups warm milk (110-115 degrees F.)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 5-6 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Combine sugar and yeast in a small bowl, and stir in ½ cup of the warm milk. Let stand 10 minutes, until bubbly.
- In bowl of stand mixer, combine remaining milk with the butter, and stir until melted.
- Add the bubbly yeast mixture and flour. Stir until incorporated.
- Add salt, and knead for 10 minutes.
- Grease a large mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon of oil.
- Form the dough into a ball. Put it into the greased bowl, then turn it over so that the entire surface of the dough has been oiled.
- Cover bowl with a clean dish towel, and let rise until double. (approximately 1 hour)
- Punch down, and turn out onto clean surface. Divide dough in half, and form each half into a ball. Cover with the towel, and let rest 15 minutes.
- Grease 2 loaf pans.
- Pound each ball into a square that’s just smaller than the length of your bread pan.
- Tightly roll each square into a loaf, squeezing out air bubbles as you roll.
- Place loaves into pans, and cover with the towel. Let rise until double. (approximately 1 hour)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place loaves into hot oven, making sure that they’re evenly spaced in the oven, not touching.
- Bake 35-45 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and let rest in pans for 10 minutes.
- Turn onto wire racks and let cool.
- Makes 2 loaves
- For best results with slicing, let the bread cool completely. However, it tastes wonderful while still warm. You make the call.
In a small bowl, combine
1 tablespoon dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar