Easy everyday bread



Today, I've made a detailed post on how to make this simple, virtually foolproof bread.

Only 6 ingredients!


Flour
Yeast
Salt
Maple syrup
Olive oil
water





But first, I finally figured out what these red metal posts are for. Ok, it didn't take me long but I was curious after they started showing up around mail boxes, garbages & benches.

It's for the snow! It gets so high that the plows need them as markers to know where stuff. Yes. That's all. I thought it was interesting.
Back to bread. When I first started baking it, it seemed like a lot of work for something easily bought. But the lack of good bread available drove me to persevere. It quickly got easier and now we only eat 'my' bread. Our home smells amazing when it's baking and I feel a little like a pioneer woman.

Bread making can be a little intimidating. I thought it was almost impossible to make a decent loaf at home unless you were some bread artisan guru. I'm happy to say that we can all be bread artisans with this one. This recipe is truly very easy and the bread you'll make is a perfect 'everyday' kind of bread that slices well, freezes great and keeps up to 5 days on the counter. 
sliced bread on potter and sliced bread with the rest of the loaf on a cutting board
A couple things I've learned: 
  • Use scales. Much easier, faster & consistent. My measures are in grams for that reason. 
  • Try to use a proper bread pan. It makes a difference (I've included pics below to compare).
Yield: 2 loaves

Ingredients and Directions
Mix in a large bowl
  • 800 grams bread flour  (I used to use 100% whole wheat but I've started to use 50% white and 50% whole wheat. It's a little softer and easier to slice than the 100% version. But the other is still really good if you're looking for a 100% loaf)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp instant yeast

Then pour in the bowl with the flour
  • 100 grams of extra virgin olive oil 
  • 50 grams maple syrup
  • 450 grams of warm water
Stir with a spatula until well combined. Scrape sides of the bowl.
large stainless bowl with flour in it on a scale
It should be messy and look shaggy. Get it mostly together and then dump on a lightly oiled surface. Start to work it together with your hands. You may need to add a little more flour but don't add too much. Try oiling your hands with a little olive oil if you've already added some additional flour to the dough and feel the need to add more (you may not need more, just your oiled hands). It should start to get elastic and smooth as you knead.
3 pictures of dough. The first one of rough dough in a bowl, the second on a work surface and the third after kneading.
After kneading for 10 minutes (if you feel your shoulders & arms burn, you're doing something right) settle the dough in a round shape. It should look like that last picture above. Spread about 1 tsp of oil in the bowl you were using to mix (saves on dishes!) and put dough in. Cover. After 1-2 hours (a warmer kitchen will need less time), POOF! It should about double in size. 

Dough before and after the first rise. In a stainless steel bowl.
After rising, dump dough out on work surface. Fold the dough in half and cut. Work each half down and shape into a log. Place in a buttered bread pan.  

Cover bread pans with a sheet of parchment paper and let rest 1-2 hours. POOF again, I love that part.
Raw dough in the bread pan X2. Covered with parchment paper then after it has risen for 2 hours.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Tent it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to keep the crust from overly browning. There's that smell........yummmmm.

FYI. The loaf on the left was made using a bread pan while the one on the right is more like a banana loaf pan. They both taste fine of course, but the bread pan makes one that looks more like a loaf of bread. 
Baked bread from 2 different styles of baking pan. Shows how the commercial style baking pan creates a more traditional style of loaf.

After loaves have cooled completely, double bag what you don't plan to use right away and stick in the freezer. For the loaf you plan to eat now, store it in a plastic bag on the counter and use within 5 days. Don't refrigerate, it dries out faster. Don't worry, if it felt a little fussy and time consuming, stick with it and I promise, it will get so easy you'll never buy bread again.


2 comments:

  1. Works great!!! Really easy to do, can't wait to make all my bread from now on.

    ReplyDelete

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