Monday, March 7, 2011

Snowed In? Bake Bread!

Pictures coming soon!

Today we were snowed in and while I make bread on other days too, it seemed the logical choice.  Homemade bread is a favorite at our house and there is nothing quite like being greeted by the smell of freshly baked bread after shoveling mountains of snow.  I have my mother's recipe; I fondly remember coming home from school to this smell ... warm white bread spread with butter...mmm.  I've been looking for ways to improve the nutritional content without making it seem heavy, and think that I may have hit on a perfect combination today.  It's probably still not the healthiest of breads, but it's better than straight white and it still hit the spot for a yummy yeast bread. So without further comment here it is:

Snowed In Bread
Yields 3 loaves in standard bread pans
I used a mixer with a dough hook, but you can certainly do this by hand.

In a large mixing bowl (You'll add all other ingredients later), whisk (by hand):
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (1 packet)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup warm, but not hot water.

Let this rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, melt 1/2 cup shortening and grease your bread pans.

Once the 10 minutes is up, beat in:
1 beaten egg
2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup melted shortening (I add this last and slowly with the mixer running so it won't cook the egg.)

In a large bowl sift:
2 cups whole wheat flour
5 1/2 cups white flour
Add in:
1/4 cup ground flax seed

Add flour mixture one cup at a time to the wet ingredients mixing thoroughly after the addition of each cup.  If you are mixing by hand at some point you will need to knead the rest in by hand.  Once all flour is incorporated, knead for 10 minutes.  You will have a smooth, but slightly sticky dough.

Dump dough onto a lightly floured counter-top and knead in just enough flour to make dough less sticky. (I used about an 1/8th of a cup.

Grease bowl and return dough to bowl.  Wet a dish towel with hot water, wring out, cover the bread, and place in a warm area.  Let rise for an hour or until the dough has about doubled.

Punch down dough and dump out on a clean counter-top.  Divide into three equal pieces and place in prepared pans.  Re-wet dish towel with hot water, wring out, and cover bread.  Again place in a warm spot to rise for an hour and a half.

Place loaves in a cool oven.  Set heat at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Then turn heat down to 375 degrees for 25 minutes.  Bread should be pulling away from pan, be golden, and should sound slightly hollow when tapped.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pans.  Tip out and finish cooling on a wire rack.

This recipe was adapted from a recipe found in the blue covered Joy of Cooking.

1 comment:

  1. I just made this with maple syrup instead of honey... AMAZING!!


I'd love to hear about your adventures!