Saturday, May 2, 2009
The Perfect Loaf
There is nothing quite like a loaf of home made bread. I love everything step in the process of making our own bread. From mixing, to kneading to watching it rise and then popping it into the oven to bake. Then the yummy smells coming from the oven and filling the house. The kids running into the kitchen asking if it's done yet. Recently my sweet friend Samantha asked me to share our favorite recipe with her and I passed on some helpful hints and ideas. Needless to say now she is hooked too. She recently blogged about it and linked back here to my page and mentioned that I might be willing to share it with all of you. So here you go Sam!
1 1/8 cup warm water
1 tsp. yeast
3 Tbls. sugar
1 Tbls. Non-fat dry milk
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 Tbls. butter
3 cups of flour ( I always use KA bread flour, and another type of KA flour ie. rye, whole wheat,
etc. Usually 2 cups of regular bread flour and 1 cup of another)
Put all the ingredients in the bowl of your mixer, I have a Kitchen Aid and it works like a dream. Add the dough hook attachment and mix on low speed until the dough is mixed and has formed into a ball, then increase the speed slightly and let the machine knead the dough for a few more minutes. Remove the dough hook and take the bowl off the stand and place in a warm place with a clean tea towel (or plastic wrap) in a warm spot. Let the dough rise until doubled in size. Flour your surface and turn the dough out and knead for several minutes and then form into a loaf. Place into buttered loaf pan and cover with your tea towel again and let it rise until it starts to dome over the top of the pan. Bake in a preheated 350 oven until done. You can tell by the golden color and smell when it's done. Remove it from the pan immediately and let cool. enjoy!!!
This bread is perfect alone or if you'd like experiment with herbs, spices and seeds. We love trying out new combos. Some of our favorites are Carraway Dill and Lemon Rosemary. This bread is also the perfect base for making a delicious cinnamon swirl raisin loaf.
*** Note- I have found that one of the keys to beautiful evenly cooked loaves is using high quality pans. Invest in some nice heavy weight pans like these. It will make all the difference in your breads