Saturday, March 13, 2010

Soft White Bread

I was talking to a friend the other day that asked if I had a soft bread recipe, I haven't made a soft bread in a while so I had to test a few different ones. I have this book called "The Bread Bible" and this recipe is in there.. it is a long recipe, and luckily I found it posted online so for time sake I am just going to link you to the page and post the pictures from the loaves I made.

This is a good recipe... it may seem a little daunting when you read it but I promise it is very simple. And I skipped the step that tells you to form the loaf, I did not care how pretty it looked as long as it tasted good so after the last rising I just blobbed half in one loaf pan and half in the other and baked it from there. And you will see we ended up with a very nice looking bread and it tasted wonderful!

Make the starter let it sit overnight...

Throw the flour on top and let it sit until the started starts bubbling up into the flour

Mix it until it pulls away from the sides

Plop it in the pan (do not "form it" after it rises again it is in a loaf form without you getting sticky dough and flour all over your table. Now aren't you glad I saved you from that mess! :o)

Cover it and let it rise again

Bake it and brush it with a little melted butter. Now isn't this the prettiest loaf of white bread you have seen in a long time?!?

Now slice it and make sure you have honey to drizzle on this beautiful bread! Enjoy!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Super Easy Ciabatta Bread

Have you ever walked into a grocery store and seen the flat rectangular loaf of bread that looks like it is hard enough to use for a weapon? That my friends is Ciabatta bread, and to channel my inner Martha It IS a good thing! The price however... not a good thing the loaf in the store runs you about 5 bucks you can make it for about 50 cents and you get to eat it fresh out of the oven and that alone is worth the time to make this.

But making your own bread is a lot of work right?? No my friends it really isn't, it is a lot of time BUT WAIT, most of that time you just need to let it sit and for this bread even more so.. I only spend about 15 minutes of my time (if that) to make this bread then it takes about 30 min to bake up.

4 cups bread flour
2 cups warm water (not hot but warm, hot water will kill your yeast it should be about as warm as your body temp if you hold your wrist under the water it will feel slightly warm)
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (yes for you out there that have made bread before it is 1/4 yeast, I know that isn't much but it rises over night so it is plenty)
salt (I like about a tablespoon to 1 1/2 tablespoons)
honey (a about a 4-5 second squirt)

So just about every day we make this bread. After dinner I toss everything in a BIG (please make sure your bowl has plenty of room for the dough to double or more) stir it with a wooden spoon for just a few minutes it will be a sticky dough and that is just what you want.

Take the spoon out and cover with plastic wrap.
Now go put this on your washer or somewhere that it won't be in the way... then go on about your night. You want this to sit anywhere from 12-24 hours...

When you are ready for it, flour up a surface turn the dough out and kneed it (pull the top over itself and then push it away from you with your palms make sure your surface is really floured and your hands are floured) for maybe 2-5 minutes until it is easy enough to move to the pan...
then spread a thin layer corn meal on a sheet pan and place your dough on the corn meal and bake at 425 for about 20-30 min you will see it get a light golden brown.

Today we cut this in half and made pizza on it. But it is wonderful with any soup or stew... if you have leftover make croutons, bread crumbs... the list just goes on and on... we make individual loaves and make panini on it.. I will post that soon. If you love good bread you owe it to yourself to try this at least once. You will be amazed how yummy this super easy bread is.

Thanks to my friend at foodwishes where I got the technique for this bread.