I’ve been on a homemade kick. Basically all day Sunday I can be found in the kitchen, whipping up something. I’d forgotten in the past couple years of too-much school, and too-much stress, and too-little downtime how much I love to just play around in the kitchen. Get my creative juices flowing. (Also living at home, my dad really likes cooking so sadly I was ousted from that responsibility.)
I’ve been making lots of bread lately. There is nothing as fantastic as homemade bread. Fresh from the oven, slathered in butter (or peanut butter, both are delicious choices).
I originally based my recipe on this one. The bread from Foodess’ recipe looks sort of like the photo below when sliced:
The recipe always made a hell-lotta dough, and I’m only one gal so I started simply making smaller batches. I know baking is an exact science, but for some reason, I just don’t listen to the rules. I did use similar ratios of water:flour, but I also just add flour until it gets the dough to the right consistency.
Here is what I’ve been eating recently though:
Whole Wheat & Flax Bread
1 tbsp yeast
1 tsp salt
2 cups lukewarm water
2 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 cups white flour
0.5 cups ground flax seeds
1. Place yeast, salt and water in a large bowl. Add flour, and with a whisk mix together. Continue to add flour until all is mixed. As the dough becomes tougher, switch to spatula, then your hands (sort of kneading) so that all the flour is mixed in.
2. Place dough in a bowl (I oil the bowl + dough a bit so it doesn’t stick), allow to rise for 2+ hours (Mine probably sat for 3.5 or so). Once doubled in size, punch down, then allow to rise again (can be placed overnight in fridge if you like as well, it is this overnight rise that I believe really leads to the more “artisan” type loaf).
3. After the second rise, divide in half. Shape both halves into loaves and allow to rise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 400F about 20minutes before you want to bake the bread. Place a small baking pan in the oven at this time. When you put the loaves into the oven, pour water into this baking pan, the steam helps make awesome crust. Bake for 15 minutes.
5. Before you cut into a fresh loaf, wait a good 15-20minutes! I’ve had many a crushed and misshapen loaf of bread due to impatience. So wait a little while; it will still be warm and melt that butter perfectly, don’t worry.
And voila! Delicious homemade bread!