I have had many requests for my homemade bread, so I thought I would do a tutorial on it.
My camera is acting up however, so I am missing a few photos, UGGH!! But you will get the idea. On my journey to making bread, I have decided to make it much healther. Now, when I say healthier, I do not mean fat free or light. Just better ingredients and using the ingredients in there raw form. Hence the lard in place of veggie oil. Here is a photo of the ingredients, the missing ingredients are whole wheat flour and salt, but you DO use them.
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup yeast
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups warm water
1/4 cup melted lard
1/4 cup regular lard
1/8 cup honey
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 flax seed
Whole Wheat Flour ( notice no amounts, read on!)
Unbleached White Flour (same as above, read on!)
The yeast I used is Saf-instant from King Arthur Flour. Besides it being a better quality yeast than the stuff you get at the grocery store, it is a real bang for your buck. This large bag of yeast was only $5.95!!
Ok, so here we go:
In a bowl place sugar, yeast and salt. Add warm water ( use it right from the tap, anything more than that will be TO HOT). Stir with a whisk.
Now add wheat germ and do not stir yet,
Now add in flax seed. (just a tip, leave flax seed and wheat germ in the fridge for optimum results)
Now whisk to mix all of the ingredients up.
Add melted lard. (just stick a small amount in a bowl and microwave it to melt it)
Add in the hard lard.
Add in honey. Then stir until the lard is broken down a bit. There will be a few lumps and that is ok.
You can see a few lumps, it really is OK!!
Add in about 2 cups of whole wheat flour
Stir until it is blended almost all the way, then add more wheat flour
about another cup
Add in white unbleached flour. I have tried to make a whole, whole wheat flour bread, but it produces a way to dense bread. So I add in about 2 cups total of white unbleached flour, including the amount I put on the table to prevent sticking. As you will notice, I do not add exact amounts to flour. It depends on the weather, tempeture etc., of how much flour I use. It is a feel thing really. You add the flour slowly. If you add it to quick, it will result in a very hard bread and the dough will be very heavy.
Ok, so now add a good amount of white unbleached flour to the table and plop, yes I said plop, the dough down. At this point the dough should be very sticky and appear it needs quite a bit more flour.
Ok, now KNEAD the dough. Do not use your finger tips and be all dainty like. Get in there with the palm of your hand and really go at it! Don't be afraid, it won't break. Knead the dough until it is mostly soft and pretty:)
Spray the cleaned bowl with an olive oil spray, I use pampered chef's pump bottle that you can put olive oil in.
Place dough in the sprayed bowl
Now spray the top of the dough. My best friend asked me why I did this. It is so that the dough can rise easily. If you don't spray the top of it, it tends to dry out and not get that good rise.
I set my tempeture to 350 now and let the dough rise on top of the stove. I get perfect results every time!
After about an hour bring the dough to the table to get it ready to form into loaves.
Take off the towel and punch down.
Look how pretty!!
Now punch dough down
turn it out onto a floured surface and roll into a semi log
now cut it in half, it does not need to be perfect!
now flatten out the dough with your hands to a long squareish rectangle
You will begin to roll and pinch dough , this will give you a beautiful even inside.
Now pinch off the ends
Do it until it is all sealed up like this then
turn the dough over so the sealed part is on the table
Spray the pan
Place the rolled dough in the pan
stab the bread with a fork to let air out while baking.
about 5-6 times is good
place bread on stove and cover
Uncover the loaves and put them in the 350 degree preheated oven.
Bake for about 22-30 minutes. I know that is a range in time, but every oven is different.
This is after the loaves have risen. The key here is not to let the bread rise to much. It does most of the rising in the oven. I used to get funky looking bread, the middle would always sag. When I took cooking classes, my instructor told me I was letting it rise to much. You only want this to sit and rise for about 20 minutes. That is it :)
A view from the side. Notice how it is not HUGE!
Ok, so this has been in the oven for about 20 minutes, it needs about 5-8 more minutes
Here they are after they have been baked. Let them cool in the pan for about 2-3 minutes.
Now take the bread out of the pan and let it sit on its side for about 3 minutes, then let it sit on the opposite side for about 3 minutes. Then go ahead and put it in normal position. this helps to keep the breads shape.
Use a 1/2 of a stick of butter and peel off most of the paper. Rub the butter over the loaves of bread. This helps maintain a soft crust. If you like it crunchy, just skip this step.
Make sure you get the edges!
That is it!! Let the bread cool COMPLETLY before you cut it!! I know it is hard, but it will make for a moister bread!