Bake Your Own Bread – It’s f’n easy and bread machines are for losers.
Hello. It’s good to be baking again. Honestly I haven’t done this for years and it’s all coming back to me now with much pleasure. Firstly, yes you can always go to a local store and pick up a loaf of Wonder Bread for as cheap as $.99 but that’s crap let’s be honest. You can also spend the time and a little more money for some really high quality loaves at Whole Foods, Dean & Duluca, etc. You can also spend $150 on a bread making machine, but then you’re an idiot. Why not try your own? Baking bread takes time and patience but to be honest it’s quite stress relieving and you’ll soon be able to enjoy the best tasting bread on your own.
Basic White Bread Ingredients:
7 cups of unbleached flour
2.5 cups of water (filtered water)
1 packet of dry active yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of salt
1/2 stick of unsalted butter (room temp)
Poppy or Sesame Seeds for topping (optional)
Heat 1/2 of the water in microwave till it’s about 170F. Stir in the sugar and yeast mixture. Let it stand for about 5 mins till foamy. In a large mixing bowl combine 3.5 cups of flour along with the yeast mixture. If you have a fancy Kitchenaid mixer, break out your bread making dough paddles and mix for a few minutes. If you are hardcore like me, first coat your hands with little olive oil (prevents the dough from getting stuck on your hands) then mix by hand till fully mixed. Slowly add the remaining flour and water a cup a time to the mixture while constantly mixing. Finally when the dough begins to take shape and has an elasticity, take it out of the bowl and add the salt. Knead or mix for another 2-3 minutes. Finally cut the butter into small pieces and knead into the dough mixture for another 5-10 mins.
Bread First Rise
Shape the dough into a ball, coat the surface lightly with olive oil, place back into the bowl and cover and let rest for 45 minutes or until dough doubles in volume. If you’re baking this bread in a room that is 65F or colder, you may want to place your dough near a heat source to assist the rise.
Bread Second Rise
Punch down the dough and separate your dough into 2 pieces. Roll each piece flat, then fold over the sides and fold down the top and bottom. Create a seam with your fingers to seal the edges. Flip this over and place into a butter/floured bread pan. Repeat with the 2nd piece. Cover and allow to rise till bread is above the surface of the baking pans. Approximately 45 mins. Preheat your oven at 375F midway into the 2nd rise.
Optional – you may brush the tops of the loaves with milk and sprinkle tops with your choice of seeds. Bake the loaves for 35 – 45 mins until golden brown and internal temperature reads 220F. Remove the loaves from the oven and immediately pop them out of the baking pans and let cool for at least 15 – 20mins. Because the bread doesn’t include any chemical stabilizers, store the bread in a paper bag and place paper bag into a large ziplock bag. If the bread stales, you can always toast to enjoy. It’s also great for french toast as well. Enjoy!