No Slivers Here

February 5, 2009

Classic Sandwich Bread

Filed under: Bread — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 1:53 pm

When I made my resolution to learn to how to make bread and also to not be scared of the process I actually came up with a list of different kinds of bread that I wanted to try.  So far I’ve made French Bread, Garlic Knots and now Classic Sandwich Bread.  I bet you’re dying to know what else was on that list but I’ll keep it to myself for now!

In an effort to save some money (aren’t we all trying to do that!!) I decided to try my hand at sandwich bread.  I deemed this bread quite successful!  I couldn’t blog about it without testing it first, even if it is 9:00 at night and I’m going to bed in an hour our so!  I sampled the bread with some butter and that was all.  It was delicious, quite honestly I was doing a little dance as I ate it!  Does anyone else do that?  I can’t wait for my husband to sample the bread when he gets home from work!  My favorite part of the bread was the crust.  It was crunchy and didn’t have that almost burnt taste that some store bought bread has.  I wish that this bread would have made more than one loaf so I could freeze it but I’ll probably just double the recipe next time.

I found this recipe on the King Arthur Flour website.  That is becoming my go to site for good bread recipes!  I also checked out 4 cookbooks from the Library and 2 of them are King Arthur Flour cookbooks.  I can’t wait to dive into them!

On a side note, those of you who are staying away from bread baking because you don’t have a stand mixer should give bread making a try!  I don’t have a stand mixer either (sad!!) but I do have a hand mixer with dough hook attachments (they look like cork screw curly Q’s).  That attachment has worked just fine.  I can knead by hand with the best of them!  Good luck!

Enjoy!

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Classic Sandwich Bread

source: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
1/2 cup milk (skim, 1%, 2% or whole, your choice)**
1/2 to 2/3 cup hot water, enough to make a soft, smooth dough**
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted butter, margarine or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water OR 2 teaspoons instant yeast

*For added whole-grain goodness, substitute great-tasting King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour for up to half of the all-purpose flour in this recipe.

**Mix the cold-from-the-refrigerator milk with 1/2 cup of the hot-from-the-tap water to make a lukewarm combination.

Mixing: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine set to the dough or manual cycle). Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 60 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

Shaping: Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8-inch log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 60 minutes, until it’s domed about 1 inch above the edge of the pan. A finger pressed into the dough should leave a mark that rebounds slowly.

Baking: Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for about 35 minutes, until it’s light golden brown. Test it for doneness by removing it from the pan and thumping it on the bottom (it should sound hollow), or by measuring its interior temperature with an instant-read thermometer (it should register 190°F at the center of the loaf). Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a wire rack before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature. Yield: 1 loaf.

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January 20, 2009

Soft Garlic Knots

Filed under: Bread, Italian — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 12:21 pm

These delicious little gems have been popping up in my Google Reader for a few weeks.  They have also been popping up on the What’s Cooking board too!  I finally gave into the hype and decided to give them a try!  Lucky for me they also fit with my resolution about making bread.  I first noticed these on Annie’s Eats.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen something on her blog that didn’t look delicious or interesting.  I think you should check it out.

The Garlic Knots turned out great!  My husband said that they tasted like something that he had had at a restaurant.  Then he figured it out!  They tasted like the bread sticks at Olive Garden!  We loved these so much that we decided to split one even though we were both full!

I was a bit nervous about making these because I don’t have stand mixer.  But I do have dough hooks that attach to my hand mixer.  You will be happy to know that you can successfully make bread with a hand mixer.  I did have to knead the dough by hand but I was fine with that.  I wasn’t sure if I should knead it for as long as the recipe suggested  (8 minutes).  I decided 5 minutes would be fine because I didn’t want to over knead it and have it be tough.  My one piece of advice is to use bread flour like the recipe suggests.  The bread will knot rise very well and will be tough.

I will be making these again!  I think they would be great to bring to a dinner or gathering.   Go make these!  You won’t be disappointed!    Enjoy!

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Soft Garlic Knots


source: Annie’s Eats


Ingredients:

For the dough:

3 cups bread flour

1 tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. instant yeast

1 ¼ tsp. salt

2 tbsp. olive oil

¼ cup milk

1 cup + 2 tbsp. lukewarm water

For the glaze:

2 cloves garlic

2 tbsp. melted butter

½ tsp. Italian seasoning


Directions:

To make the dough, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the dry ingredients. Add the olive oil, milk and water. Mix until ingredients have formed a dough. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 10 inch long rope and tie into a knot. Take the end lying underneath the knot and bring it over the top, tucking it into the center. Take the end lying over the knot and tuck it underneath and into the center. Transfer shaped rolls to a baking stone, or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 45 minutes, until puffy.


To make the glaze, finely mince the garlic or press it through a garlic press. Mix with the melted butter and Italian seasoning.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Brush the glaze onto the shaped rolls. Bake until set and lightly browned, about 15-18 minutes.

Source: adapted from Amber’s Delectable Delights

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January 13, 2009

French Bread

Filed under: Appetizers, Bread — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 1:47 pm

Well, this is a bit of late announcement but my food related resolution is to learn to make bread and not be so afraid of it.  I think I was afraid of the dough not rising or the bread turning out tough or doughy.  I was also inspired by my brother in law’s wife.  She always makes the best bread.  She made challah for our family holiday get together.  It looked gorgeous (is that possible?) and tasted delicious!  I decided that I would just suck it up and give it a whirl!  I first decided to consult the talented and oh so encouraging ladies on The Nest for some advice about where to start.  Many lovely ladies suggested the King Arthur Flour website, some sent me to their blogs and some suggested The Bread Baker’s Apprentice cookbook.  I went to the King Arthur Flour website and nosed around and then I went to my local library to look for the Bread Baker’s Apprentice but didn’t have success because the library is under construction.  I did put myself on the wait list for the book.

I was very nervous about baking bread but it turned out quite well.  I approached it with attitude of, “Here goes nothing!”  My one snafu with the recipe was that I think I may have hurt or killed my food processor.  The motor started smoking when it was doing the last of the kneading!  Smoke is never good.  It didn’t smell too pretty either.  So I quickly unplugged it to discourage any more smoke!  I’ll let you know how the food processor is holding up next time I use it!

I was so excited that this recipe worked, the dough doubled in size when it rose the first time and the crust was beautiful.  I was also happy that the bread turned out even though I didn’t have the pan that the recipe calls for.  My husband and I had this bread with the stuffed shells that I previously posted about.  We got a good giggle out of dinner that night.  I sliced the bread and we started eating the shells and bread.  Before we knew it we were just dipping the bread in the sauce from the stuffed shells.  It was as if we completely forgot about the main dish and were just focusing on the appetizers or bread!

So, now that I’ve had success with this bread I have made a list of different types of breads that I want to make in the future.  You’ll see those breads here very soon!

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Food Processor French-Style Bread

source: King Arthur Flour website

Ingredients:

2 packages (2 scant tablespoons) active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm (110°F to 115°F) water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
6 cups (approx.) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups 90°F water
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water, for glaze


Directions:

Note: Make sure your food processor will accommodate the amount of flour in the recipe. If it does not, cut the recipe in half.

Combine yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and sugar in a measuring cup. Stir until dissolved, and let sit 5 minutes, until bubbles appear.

Put all of the flour and salt into the work bowl of a food processor. Using the plastic (dough) blade, pulse four times to lighten and mix.

With the machine running, add yeast mixture, then 90°F water as fast as the flour will absorb it. Stop the machine as soon as all the liquid has been added.

Check the dough by pulsing it 7 or 8 times. It should pull together to form a ball. Watch the processor bowl where the side meets the bottom; if there are still granules of unincorporated flour, the dough is too dry. Pulse in water 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough pulls together to form a ball. If dough clings to sides of bowl, it’s too wet; gradually add more flour while pulsing.

The formation of the ball marks the beginning of the kneading process. Turn machine on and let “knead” for 60 seconds — do not let it knead any longer! If you have to use a metal blade, only “knead” 45 seconds and finish kneading by hand for 3 to 4 minutes.

Put dough into an oiled bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Turn dough out, and divide in four pieces. Roll each piece into an oval about 15 x 8 inches. Starting on the long side, roll dough into a 15-inch cylinder. Pinch edges to body of dough, tapering ends evenly.

Place dough seam-side down into well-greased baguette pans. Cover dough with a towel, and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

About 10 minutes before baking bread, preheat oven to 425°F. Place a shallow pan on the bottom shelf of the oven.

Just before baking, slash loaves diagonally with a sharp blade, about 1/4-inch deep. Brush lightly with egg glaze. Place 1 cup of ice cubes in the hot pan on the bottom shelf of the oven. Quickly place loaves on shelf above and close door to preserve the steam you’ve created.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until internal temperature of bread reaches 190°F. Immediately remove baguettes from pans and cool on a rack to prevent crust from becoming soggy. Yield: 4 baguettes.

Nutrition information per serving (2-inch slice, 24 g): 43 cal, 0 g fat, 2 g protein, 9 g complex carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 5 mg cholesterol, 73 mg sodium, 20 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 22 mg calcium, 15 mg phosphorus.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. III, No. 6, July-August 1992 issue.

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