Master A New Skill - Bread Making
Contributed by: Laura Childs of All About Making Bread
Whole wheat, sourdough, oatmeal, potato - the list goes on. All are delicious fresh from the oven, kneaded with love and patiently awaited as the loaves rise and bake. No matter what your favorite, the secret to bread-baking skill is practice.
Let's Get Started
Start small with white bread. White bread is the easiest
to bake and the ingredients are probably in your cupboard
right now. Wouldn't you love to surprise your family at
dinner tonight with a hot-from-the-oven treat?
The Top Three Keys to Success... Fresh Ingredients,
Patience and Kneading.
- The age and quality of yeast accounts for much of your bread-making success.
- Patience is required -- wait for two risings.
- Kneading commonly occurs twice; once after the first mixing, then again after the first rising.
Once you have enjoyed success in baking a simple white
bread you can easily expand your talents using the same
recipe to include variety. While mixing a 2-loaf recipe add
1/2 cup of mashed potatoes, peanut butter, or two beaten
eggs - all result in bread that is heartier and
deliciously moist. If you'd like to make a special savory
treat, take that same recipe and add some fresh chopped
herbs, garlic, or grated cheese throughout the dough.
Here's a simple recipe that has turned out perfect every
time for over 40 new bread bakers. Try it out tonight - you
don't even need a loaf pan! If you like you can even skip
the kneading process as long as you have a strong
electronic kitchen mixer. Once you see how easy it is to
fill your home with the wonderful aroma of bread baking in
the oven you'll be hooked on mastering this new skill!
Here's a great recipe for No Knead French Baguette
This makes delicious small crusty loaves. Golden brown on
the outside, moist and slightly chewy inside.
A nice compliment to main dish pasta. Use on day 2 for
bruchetta. No kneading required. Easy no-fuss bread.
Yield: 2 loaves
Oven Temp: 400º
Rising Time: 2 hours
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 20-30 minutes
- 1 pkg. active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 - 115º)
- 1 tbn sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbn shortening, melted
- 4 cp all purpose flour
- 4 tbn cornmeal (optional)
In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water.
Add sugar, salt, shortening and 1 cup warm water; stir
Add flour and stir until smooth (you may or may not
Cover and let rise in a draft-free, warm place for an
hour or until doubled.
Turn onto floured surface. Divide in half; let rest for 5
Roll each half into a 10" x 8" rectangle. Roll up from
the long side; pinch along seam edges to seal.
Place seam side down on oiled baking sheets sprinkled
with cornmeal. Cover and let rise again until doubled,
approximately 45 minutes.
With a very sharp knife, make five diagonal cuts across
the top of each loaf.
Bake as directed or until lightly browned.
Cool on wire racks.
All about making bread...
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