I have a new recipe I’ve been working on, and I think it is pretty darn.
I use a bread machine on the dough cycle. It takes 1 1/2 hours and then all I have to do is slightly knead the dough on a floured surface, shape it into two loaves, put it into greased pans, let it rise for 30-50 minutes, (until the top of the dough is about 2-3″ above the pan) and bake it in a 350° oven for 35 minutes. You can also slash the tops with a sharp knife (about 1/4″ deep) after rising and before baking if you want a nice look. The cut also helps to keep the sides from splitting as it rises in the heat of the oven.
You could surely use a bread mixer or do this by hand, kneading at resting the dough a couple of times at about 30 minute intervals. Bread machines are cheap and you can find them used for next to nothing! I guess that people don’t use them much because baking the bread in the machine is never pretty and the texture is lacking. But I think it’s worth having one just to use the dough cycle. I use it several times a week!
2 cups room temp water
1 heaping Tbs Real salt
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4-1/3 cup raw honey
2 1/2 cups freshly ground wheat flour
3 cups quality white flour
1 heaping Tbs dry yeast
When you’re making variations, remember you need:
liquid (about 1 cup : 3 cups flour)
fat (olive oil, coconut oil, butter)
sweet (honey, maple syrup, agave)
flour (you can use many different kinds of grains! Chef Brad suggests 1/3 grain + 2/3 gluten type flour)
If you have each of those components, you can make it sweeter or change up the ratio of grains/flours, or add in seeds or herbs, etc.
One thing that is really helpful to have on hand is granulated vitamin C (ascorbic acid). When you use the heavier flours, add 1/2 tsp vitamin C and it will lighten the texture!
Is there anything more delightful than to step into your home and smell fresh bread?