Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Easy Homemade Bread

Easy to make loaf of yeasted bread that can be made in less than 2 hours, without kneading or shaping. This recipe was inspired by batter bread, an old-fashioned recipe made with a very wet dough, which produces a coarse crumb. In our recipe, thorough mixing and higher-protein flour yield a more refined, though still homey, loaf.

Easy Bread
Makes 1 loaf

We like the nutty flavor that a small amount of whole wheat flour brings to this bread, but you may substitute an equal portion of bread flour for an all-white loaf if you prefer. For best results, be sure to use your mixer’s paddle attachment, not the dough hook, to mix this dough, and be sure to mix for the full four minutes. To prevent the deflation of the risen loaf, do not allow the dough to come in contact with the plastic wrap covering. This loaf is best eaten on the day it is made, but leftover bread may be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored for 2 days at room temperature or frozen for up to one month. The leftovers of this loaf make very good toast.

2 cups (10 ½ ounces) bread flour
6 tablespoons (2 ounces) whole-wheat flour
2 ¼ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 ¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons water, heated to 120 degrees
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¾ teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water and pinch salt

1. In bowl of stand mixer, whisk together bread flour, whole wheat flour, and yeast. Add 1 ¼ cups water, honey, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Using paddle attachment, mix on low speed for 1 minute. Increase speed to medium, and mix for 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl and paddle with greased spatula, and mix on medium speed for a further 2 minutes. Remove bowl and paddle from mixer. Scrape down bowl and paddle, leaving paddle in dough. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in warm place until doubled, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, dissolve salt in remaining 2 tablespoons water. Grease 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray. When dough has doubled, attach bowl and paddle to mixer. Add salt-water mixture, and mix on low speed until water is mostly incorporated, about 40 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix for 1 minute, scraping down paddle if necessary. Transfer dough to prepared pan and smooth surface with greased spatula. Cover and leave in warm place until dough reaches ½ inch below edge of pan, 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover, and allow to rise until center of dough is level with edge of pan, 5 to 10 minutes longer.

3. While loaf rises, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Gently brush top surface of risen loaf with egg mixture. Bake until deep golden brown and registers 208 to 210 degrees, 40 to 45 minutes. To remove loaf from pan, invert immediately onto wire rack. Re-invert loaf, and brush surface with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Cool completely before slicing.

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All the recipes here have either been sent to me, adapted by me or found on the web. If I know the source I always give credit to the author/website. If you know of a source I may have missed please let me know.