April 15, 2015

my biggest secret... shhhh

I’m going to let my biggest secret slip.

<Deep breath>


I first was blessed with this bread showing up at our house every Friday night when we lived in the Philippines. Back then, homemade bread was something fancy and horribly difficult and something I held in such awe.

Fast forward 10 years.

The same exact bread now comes out of my own oven every week, sometimes several times a week.

It is still impressive to me.

But this bread is so easy to make that even my 5-year old can make it [almost] by herself.

The BEST EVER (and easiest) homemade bread recipe:
In an extra-large mixing bowl:
3 cups of lukewarm water
1/4 cup brown sugar
[Mix to dissolve the bulk of the sugar]
1-2 T yeast (1T if fresh, 2T if older)
1/2 C oil of your choice
[Mix a bit]
4 C whole wheat flour
1 T salt
[mix salt into the flour on top of your liquid before mixing the flour into the liquid]
Add in your extra bits - ground nuts, wheat germ, ground flax, cooked oatmeal, etc
Add 3 1/3 - 4 C more whole wheat (add 4C if no added bits, 3 1/2 if lots of added bits)

Knead the bread with all your feelings. Anger and tension work out well here.
Add more whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup at a time until dough does not stick to you. This amount will depend on those added bits. If your dough is sticking to your hands, you need more flour. However there is a fine line - too much flour and your bread will not be light and fluffy. You only need to knead it until the dough is worked all the way in. Don’t under-knead but don’t spend an entire episode of “Call the Midwife” kneading either.

Let your bread rise. I put the timer on for 1 hour. The dough only needs to double in size but aint nobody got time for remembering to watch/check rising dough. One hour on the timer is the ticket.

Divide your bread into half, form into loafs, and pan it.

Once I’ve got the loaves all done, I turn the oven on and let them sit until the oven is heated to 350º then I pop those babies in the oven. For regular loaves 32 minutes should do it. If you make buns instead of loaves 26 minutes will do. You know they are done when you pop them out of the pan and the bottoms are nice and browned. If the bottom looks undercooked, the inside is undercooked.

Eat. Share. Impress (but be humble friends). Enjoy!


TN Quiltbug said...

Hummmm, maybe I should have Alison try this one. She wants to learn to make bread, and my larger recipe I make using my Bosch to mix it. Would rather have her learn not using a mixer. . Thanks for the recipe!

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