It's a funny thing. My weekly bread-making is quite the conversation starter of late. People ask many questions, so I figured I would walk you through the process.
|The Stars of the Show|
From left to right: vegetable oil, butter, Hot Roll Mix (a mix I make ahead), Red Star Active Dry Yeast, two room temperature eggs, big-honkin'-bowl and measuring cup.
1. Start by adding two tablespoons of yeast to the bowl, mix with 1 cup lukewarm (80 degrees) water and let sit. (This is called "proofing the yeast" and is rather important.)
2. Mix 1 cup lukewarm water, 4 tablespoons oil and the eggs together. With a dough hook, turn on your handy Kitchenaid and add the liquid mixture. Mix well.
3. Add 6 1/2 to 7 cups of Hot Roll mix, one cup at a time. Mix well after each addition until dough is soft, not sticky.
4. Lightly flour a surface, keeping flour handy. Turn dough onto the surface (remove your rings) and get busy. Knead your cares away. Knead 5-7 minutes, or until dough begins to look silky.
5. Put the dough into a buttered bowl and turn it (buttered part will be on top). Cover it with a towel and place in a warm place until doubled in size (approximately 1 hour).
6. Punch down the dough. Give it your best shot. Let it rest 10 minutes while you grease two loaf pans.
7. Divide the dough in half, shape into a loaf and place seam side down into the greased loaf pans. (Don't let the sister doughs sit too close together, they might reach out and grab each other. It also doesn't hurt to give them a quick spray of PAM). Cover with a towel, and let rise again, approximately 30-45 minutes.
8. Once the doughs are slightly rounded above the top of the pans, they are ready to bake.
9. Bake for 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
10. Inhale deeply. Smell heaven. Remove both loaves from oven and rub top with butter. It melts and gets all shiny and pretty. Such beauty melts my heart (get it?!).
Finished product. Two lovely loaves. I usually wrap one well, and freeze it whole. The other I cut into individual slices, put into a bag in the refrigerator for breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners. :)
And there you have it. The process. It might seem involved, but it really isn't. Incidentally, I made my blasted chicken simultaneously, washed the dishes as I went, chased my boys and threw together cookies for a guest.
I love bread making. Love, love, LOVE!