Today, I've made a detailed post on how to make this simple, virtually foolproof bread.
Only 6 ingredients!
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.
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.
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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.