I've baked bread in the past, but using a bread machine and doing it by hand are too different things. About a year ago I started to eat less bread that wasn't good for me, this meant cutting out all white bread, and increasing the purchases of sour-dough breads with lots of the good super-food grains, like Organic Spelt, Amaranth, Quinoa, Chia, Kamut.... whilst we have enjoyed them all. They have come with a price tag and also the desire every now and then for something white and soft and fluffy - as most are more dense.
So my quest for bread making is not only for something to help reduce our household bills, but also to know what was going in so that every now and then I could spoil myself with some white fluffy home cooked bread.
So my cupboard now sports varying types of super-food grain flours...and my baking is including more and more - the family have not noticed the organic spelt in my sweet treats at all. Yes it puts the price up on that kind of baking - but if I can bring my loaf of bread down in price by baking myself - then I should be evening it out....anyway lets get onto the soft bread recipe I have found and tweaked a little.
- 2 cups warm water, (blood temperature - a good test is putting your finger in and if it feels as warm as your skin then that's good (well that's what I was taught in school).
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for pan and brushing
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 6 cups bread flour (I sifted in 2 cups of Organic Spelt here) and next time will try more as I think it will work well. plus more for shaping the dough
- Pour warm water into a large bowl; sprinkle with yeast, and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (I wanted to try my shiny new red machine and its dough hook, so I popped it in there)
- Add sugar, butter, eggs, and salt; whisk to combine.
- Add flour; mix until incorporated and a sticky dough forms. (if you are going to use your machine, just pop it into another bowl and brush top of dough with butter; cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place until dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface. With floured hands, roll dough into a thick log. Cut into equal pieces Martha says 18 - we managed 24
- Grease two lamington/slice tins mine are about 7x12 inch with butter.
- Take one piece of dough at a a time, flatten and then fold edges toward the centre, pressing to secure, until a smooth ball forms. Place dough balls in prepared baking pan, smooth side up (you should have 4 rows of 3). Repeat for second tray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 30 to 40 minutes. If you wish to do your second dozen the next day refrigerate before letting it rise. As refrigerating freezes the rising action, once you are ready to bake the second batch up to a day later no more. Sit them in a warm spot to prove and rise before baking - on the stove top above the oven whilst the oven warms.
- Preheat oven to 200. Remove plastic wrap; brush rolls with butter. Bake until golden and rolls sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 35 to 40 minutes
- Pull rolls apart, and serve warm with lashings of butter.
Coming up soon, is my Amish Sour Dough