Posts Tagged ‘making bread’

Pillow Soft Dinner Rolls/Bread

Monday, September 26th, 2011 by by

I’ve made this recipe twice now, once a few weeks ago and again tonight. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite bread recipes.

Ingredients:
4.5 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups warm milk (I heat this on the stove and warm until it’s hot to the touch, but not uncomfortably hot)
1/2 cup warm water (I use this from tap and just turn on my hottest setting. My water heater is set at 120 degrees. The first time I made this, I used 3/4s cup of water. No difference in final product, it just increased the amount of flour used.)
6 tablespoons shortening (I don’t measure this exact, just scoop and dump)
2 eggs
1/4 cup of sugar
1.5 teaspoons of salt
7 cups of all purpose flour (use good quality flour!)
A few weeks ago, I made tortillas and used cheap cheap store brand flour. They turned out terrible. They were hard and salty, and I quickly learned (and decided) to not use cheap flour ever again when making bread products. I prefer to use King Arthur, and I haven’t had any issues with it.
I decided to make two batches, one for dinner rolls and one for two loaves of sandwich bread.
The first thing I do is to proof my yeast by dissolving it in my warm water. I turn the mixer on slightly and just stir it to make sure it’s completely dissolve. It will puff up a bit, and that’s perfectly fine! It’s supposed to do that.

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I got my Mixer!

Monday, May 23rd, 2011 by by

For years, I have been lusting after a KitchenAid Mixer. I tried, for a long time, to be as self sufficient as possible. Then I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and I had to stop doing a lot of self reliant activities – such as bread making. I loved making bread, and I was really darn good at it too! I loved making something from scratch, kneading life into it, and feeding it to my family. My arms are useless for kneading dough now, but I refused to buy a bread maker. It felt like cheating to me.

My friend Elaine brought over her KitchenAid a while back and made pizza dough in it. It was so similar to hand making it, except the KitchenAid kneaded for her. I lusted after it even harder than before. With a family as large as mine, though, a 4.5 qt Mixer was not going to suffice. I needed at least a 6 qt, and a 7 qt would be even nicer. The 7 qts are so hard to come by, so I settled for a 6 qt, and today my lovely husband went out with the two younger kids and returned with this:
Ain’t she beautiful? I’ve named her Betsy. All the best tools in my house have names. He bought me a few extra attachments too, and right now if you buy a mixer, you can get the Ice Cream maker attachment for free! So that should be coming to me in a few weeks time!
I am so excited to make bread again and am already planning on making me tortillas tomorrow. I shall update with pictures, recipes, and results! I’m so excited!
And since he left with the two younger ones, I managed to have a few hours to clean uninterrupted. My room is well on it’s way to being complete!

Homemade Bread

Monday, February 28th, 2011 by by

Just over a year ago, I was blessed to receive a bread maker for Christmas. I was so excited to start making bread – I thought I was going to do so much baking with it that we wouldn’t need to buy store bread anymore. Well, if you’ve ever baked much bread before, then you probably know how ridiculous that thought was. Baking bread is sort of an art. It takes practice to really get it right. Different recipes require tweaking here and there to finally land on the one loaf that you realize you’d eat every day with joy.

Well, after a year of baking, I think I’ve found it!

Two days ago, I tried out an adapted form of this recipe and was astounded by how wonderful it was. The bread came out light enough for a sandwich and hearty enough to fill you up. It was moist and not at all crumbly, meaning slicing it was a piece of cake. It stores well for at least 3 days (although we pretty much ate all of it by then, so I wouldn’t really know past 3 days!), and it boasts the nicest crust I’ve ever tasted on completely homemade bread (not hard and crunchy like some loaves). I’ve already made a second loaf, and it too is almost gone, since we can’t seem to stop eating it!

If you’re interested in my adaptions for the recipe, here is what I did differently:

  • I skipped the soaking – I was making this bread for dinner, so I needed it quick, and not soaking the grains didn’t impart any significant taste drawback! (Although soaking is much better for you, so I think I will try soaking it next time.)
  • I opted to leave out the flax seed and wheat gluten. Pretty much because I didn’t have any!
  • Since I didn’t soak it, I left out the extra 1/4ts. of honey and the 2 tb. of water.
  • The first loaf, I used olive oil, and for the second loaf, I used coconut oil
  • I used 1 cup of bread flour instead of all WW flour. This is mainly because I was running low on WW flour. The second time, I used 1.5 cups of bread flour, because by then my WW flour had run out! The next time I bake it, I will be using all WW flour to see how it turns out.
  • The first time I baked this in bread machine, I needed it before it was “done,” so I took it out about 10 minutes early. It was fantastic. The second time, I let it continue baking throughout the cycle, and it was just as good, albeit a bit more dense and not as moist.

There ya have it! I guess that is quite a bit of adaption now that I think about it. I tend to do this a lot these days – just winging it in the kitchen throwing things together! I find I’m actually to the point where I can begin creating my own recipes based on the cookery knowledge I already have – such a great feeling.

Do you have a favorite from-scratch homemade bread?