Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kitchen Tip: Bread Making part 1 of 3

Making bread is therapeutic for me. I love being able to create something that makes the house smell so delicious and there is nothing quite like eating a fresh slice of home made bread. Today I'll be discussing the first part of making bread - combining all the ingredients up to the flour. Next week I'll cover adding flour and kneading the bread. These photos show amounts for 2 loaves of bread, so that is the recipe I'll be sharing with you. If you only want one loaf simply cut the recipe in half. Although add 1 Tbsp sugar to the warm water before adding yeast no matter how many loaves you are making.
First, start out with water - 2.5 cups warm water. You want it to be about 110 degrees (if you want to test the temperature - use a meat or candy thermometer if you have them.) Add 1 Tbsp granulated sugar to the water. Stir to combine. Add 1-1/2 Tbsp yeast to the sugar water. Let sit until yeast 'blooms'. Once yeast starts blooming, it goes pretty quickly, but is fun to watch!
The photos above illustrate the yeast blooming. The end picture is after the yeast is completely ready to add the other ingredients. This is typically referred to as the yeast being bubbly.
Next add 1/2 cup or 1 cube unsalted butter (you can add salted, but you will want to reduce the amount of salt added to the bread dough. Most butter has about 1/2-1 tsp salt per cube, so reduce the amount of salt about that much.)  I like to add honey (1/2 cup) to bread, you can also use sugar (1/4 cup). Next add 2 tsp salt (when using unsalted butter.) Mix until combined. I do not add milk or milk powder to my bread as it makes the bread go bad faster. If you do add milk to bread you will want to use it within a day or two. 

Stay tuned in the next two weeks for lessons on kneading and cooking bread.
Part 2

1 comment:

  1. Great photos and helpful tips! When I make bread I am constantly second-guessing myself - is the yeast supposed to look the way it does? Is it rising enough? Not enough? So tricky but worth it to have fresh bread!


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