Monday, February 25, 2013

Favorite Bread Recipes

After testing a lot of recipes, here are my current favorites.

French Bread  

* Amazing French Bread from Keeping it Simple This one has a nice texture and tastes just a tad salty (in a good way).  The best part about it is that it only takes about 70 minutes from start to finish.
    1/2 cup warm water (not hot)
    2 Tbsp of yeast
Mix these two things together and let yeast dissolve in water for 10 minutes.  While you wait add these ingredients into a large bowl:
    5 Tbsp oil
    2 cups warm water
    3 Tbsp sugar
    1 Tbsp salt
    3 cups flour
Mix the ingredients with a large spoon. 
Add yeast mixture and stir.
Add another 3 cups of flours into mixture and stir.
Place dough on floured surface and then knead with your hands for 10 minutes, until the dough isn’t sticky anymore.  Add more flour if it’s too sticky.  Divide the dough in half and roll into rectangles (or as close to rectangle as you can), about 9x12 inches.  Roll the dough onto itself (like as if you are rolling a cinnamon roll) starting at the long edges (so the width of the roll is about 9”).  Grease a cookie sheet and then put the seam of the dough down, facing the sheet.  Then with a little water, close the ends with your fingers.  Cut three diagonal slits on the top using a knife.  Let raise for 30 minutes.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.


Tanya Killian's Dinner Rolls

½ c. sugar
2 T. yeast
2 ¼ c. warm water
Mix, then add:
2 eggs, beaten
¼ c. butter, softened
2 t. salt
2 cups flour
Mix, then gradually add 4 more cups of flour.  You want a soft dough, but not runny.  Let rise for 1 hour in a greased bowl.  Roll inot 24 or 30 rolls and place on a greased jelly roll pan.  Let rise, covered with tea towel, for one hour.  Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or 350 for 20 or so minutes, until the bottom has browned.

Bread Bowls

* Italian Bread Bowls by Mel's Kitchen Cafe
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast (use 1 tablespoon instant yeast)
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  1. In a large bowl (or bowl of an electric mixer), dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. (You can omit this step if using instant yeast.)
  2. Add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition until a soft but not sticky dough is formed (you may not need to use all 7 cups). This bread bowl dough needs to be a bit firmer than a roll/bread dough so that the bread bowls rise up instead of out.
  3. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes (or let knead in an electric mixer). Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Punch dough down, and divide into 6-8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a round ball. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal (or use silpat liners or parchment paper). If desired, slash the top surface of the bread bowl several times with a sharp knife or razor. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and baked through.

Whole Wheat Bread

I'm still searching for more recipes to try in this category (suggestions), but the best one I've found so far is from my friend Ana Blake:

Ana Blake's Oatmeal Wheat bread
3 T yeast
3 T gluten flour (I get mine at a local health food store)
4 1/4 cups warm/hot water
7 cups wheat flour (I grind about 25 lbs once per month and keep it on hand)
Add the above ingredients to your mixer, let it go for about a minute, then turn it off and let it sit for 15-20 minutes to "sponge" or until it is doubled in size.  (On warm days it goes faster.)

After it has risen, turn the mixer on to punch the "sponge" down and add the following:
4 cups oats (quick or regular, it doesn't matter)
2 T salt
1/2 cup sugar (or honey)
1/2 cup oil
2 cups white flour (adding some white flour, along with gluten flour helps the consistency and flavor of the bread A LOT)

Mix for 9-10 minutes.  Spray four loaf pans, shape the loaves (I just use a sharp knife to quarter the dough and roll each loaf a few times with the heels of my hands, tucking the ends in) and add them to the pans and let rise for 30 minutes or till double.  Put pans in oven, turn oven on to 350 (DON'T preheat first).  Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate pans from bottom shelf to top and bake for 15 minutes more.  Butter (or spray) the tops to make them soft.  Makes four loaves.


Montana Blakes said...

Yay! I'm famous! And flattered! :) Thanks for mentioning me!

Cynthia said...

I make this bread recipe all the time, it is so yummy -

It is a white bread recipe but I use all different flours in it with great success. My favorite combo right now is one cup of oat flour (I grind it myself from whole oats in a coffee grinder), one cup hard red wheat flour, 2 cup soft white wheat. Then the rest of the flour I use is bread flour, sometimes a little more white all depends on my mood and I have found this recipe to be very forgiving. I do add about 1/2 to a cup extra liquid. And since I have one that is dairy free, I use a combo of rice milk and water to make the bread.

My other favorite is English Muffin Bread...and it is super easy because you don't have to knead it!
5 1/2 cups warm water
about 2 tablespoons yeast (3 packages is what it calls for)
2 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
11 cups of flour

Mix everything together and let rise in a nice big bowl until double - 45 minutes or so depending on your house. Spoon into four bread pans that you have greased well and sprinkled with some corn meal. Let rise again until they reach the top of the pans - about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes...Brush with butter during the last 10 minutes of baking. Remove from pans and cool completely. This bread must be toasted to taste the best and is yummy with your favorite jam/jelly.

I love to bake bread and can't wait to try the french bread recipe.


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