Bakin' BreadDon't you just LOVE fresh, warm home-baked bread?
I've tried a lot of bread recipes in the past few years, but none compares to good old Arrowhead Mill's recipe on the back of their flour bag. I buy both the organic stone ground whole wheat flour as well as their stoneground organic white (non-bleached) flour. Whole wheat is best (obviously), but I do like to bake the white breads as well. So have your choice.:)
Arrowhead Mills Recipe
4-5 cups flour
1Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
2 Tbsp. nonfat dry milk (still trying to figure out a substitute for this since it's not healthy)
1 Tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. honey (or molasses...I use raw honey)
2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil (I use coconut oil which is healthy...vegetable oil is NOT)
"Pour water into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with yearst. Allow yearst to dissolve (5 mins.). Add milk, salt, honey, oil and 2 cups of flour. Stir well. continue to stir adding a little flour at a time utnil dough becomes stiff and pulls away sides of bowl. Turn dough onto floured board and knead 5-7 min., until dough is smooth and elastic. Shape dough and place in oiled 9 x 5 loaf pan. Allow loaf to rise in warm place until doubled. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake 45-50 minutes or until done."
A few tips just from learning and making my own "bread mistakes"...
1. I found that I had BIG trouble getting my yeast to rise due to the fact that my water was TOO hot and killed off the yeast. Yeast is living and if your water is too hot, it won't rise. Water should be baby bottle warm.
2. Letting it rise in a warm place is easy here in Florida. We just stick our loaves out on the porch to rise, but you'll have to be creative up north in the winter...a warm laundry room, by a furnace. You'll find the perfect spot. ;)
3. When at first you don't succeed, try, try again (and again, and again, and again)! I remember trying so many bread recipes until I found the one I liked. I used some recipies from a sweet (intelligent) blogger friend (whom I miss her blog dearly...ahem, Candy...if by some slim chance you're reading this.), but the sour dough bread was a little strong for my little guys. Love the drop bisquits though!!!
4. When you find your bread recipe of choice, play around with it. I'm still looking for a way to replace the nonfat dry milk in my recipe if anyone has any suggestions. I did replace the veggie oil for coconut oil though and it tastes just the same. Have fun with it!
5. Share your bread!!! People drop their jaws when you have them over for dinner and serve them homemade bread (or bisquits) and homemade butter.
What could spell love more than that? (tee-hee) People enjoy the fact that you took time to make something from scratch for THEM.
Happy bread making!!!