Let’s Make Bread

On one of our visits to the grocery store this week I was making one last stop in the baking aisle to replenish our flour supply and an ambitious idea struck me. Let’s make bread. So my little cart mate and I loaded up on flour and rapid rise yeast. To my surprise an elderly couple, who I had to reach around to grab my three pack of yeast, asked “and what are you two making today?” I proudly announced, “We are baking bread.” She seemed impressed, a bit surprised, and admitted to me that she had never tried to do that. I beamed the “I’m such a good mommy I bake my kid’s bread from scratch smile,” and headed to the register all the while encouraging her to give it a go.

Now let’s get one thing straight, I rarely bake bread, but when I do, I am always amazed at how drastically different and better it is than pretty much anything you can buy. The other thing I remember is that it is really pretty simple. Mom always made bread. It was a pretty normal occurrence in my childhood home, so I felt the urge to at least try on occasion to bake. This recipe is simple and the results amazing.

Basic White Bread

8 to 8 1/2 cups of unbleached flour (whole wheat is great)
2 envelopes of Rapid Rise Yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil (Canola)
1/4 cup honey
1 egg & 1/4 cup milk  (kept to the side)

Combine 3.5 cups of the flour, undissolved yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. (I use my mixer.) Heat the milk, water, honey & oil until warm (130˚ F). I use my Pyrex bowl in the microwave. Gradually add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, beating on medium speed and occasionally scraping the bowl sides down. Add the remaining flour one cup at a time and continue beating until soft dough forms. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until elastic and smooth, about 5-8 minutes. Cover dough an let rest on floured surface for about 10 minutes.

Divide dough in half. Roll each half out to about a 10 x 6 inch rectangle. Beginning at the short end, roll the dough up tightly. Pinch seams and place seam side down into a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. Repeat with second half of the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. About 30-45 minutes.

Whisk 1 egg and 1/4 cup of milk in a small bowl. Brush top of each loaf with egg/milk mixture. (This adds a nice shine to the finished baked bread)

Bake in a preheated oven at 375˚ F 35 to 45 minutes, or until done. Remove from pans and let cool.

Now wasn’t that easy, and so yummy. Enjoy!

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Basic White Bread

Yield: 2 Loaves

Ingredients:

8 to 8 1/2 cups of unbleached flour (whole wheat is great)
2 envelopes of Rapid Rise Yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil (Canola)
1/4 cup honey
1 egg & 1/4 cup milk (kept to the side)

Directions:

Combine 3.5 cups of the flour, undissolved yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. (I use my mixer.) Heat the milk, water, honey & oil until warm (130˚ F). I use my Pyrex bowl in the microwave. Gradually add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, beating on medium speed and occasionally scraping the bowl sides down. Add the remaining flour one cup at a time and continue beating until soft dough forms. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until elastic and smooth, about 5-8 minutes. Cover dough an let rest on floured surface for about 10 minutes.

Divide dough in half. Roll each half out to about a 10 x 6 inch rectangle. Beginning at the short end, roll the dough up tightly. Pinch seams and place seam side down into a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. Repeat with second half of the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. About 30-45 minutes.

Whisk 1 egg and 1/4 cup of milk in a small bowl. Brush top of each loaf with egg/milk mixture. (This adds a nice shine to the finished baked bread)

Bake in a preheated oven at 375˚ F 35 to 45 minutes, or until done. Remove from pans and let cool.

Now wasn't that easy, and so yummy. Enjoy

Elizabeth Montgomery James

After living in California for several years, Beth and her husband, Rod, relocated to Florida, to live, work, and play. They have two adorable daughters, and Beth is very involved with her children’s schools as a parent volunteer, Daisy troupe, and other community organizations such as the Junior League. Beth enjoys crafts, yoga and fitness, as well as a nice glass of Chardonnay. Beth is a graphic designer who has worked on national and international ad campaigns for top consumer brands, and now brings her talents to a variety of projects in and around Central Florida. In addition for bringing classic elegance to everything she touches, Beth has a natural talent for making everything pretty, from kids’ birthday parties to her garden.

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