Sunday, January 6, 2008
I must qualify my blog title of “iron homemaker”. I’m not presuming to have “Iron Chef” skills but rather a desire to make awesome food from whatever crap is lying around the house. Sunday was a great example. Due to the flurry and excitement of recent holiday events, I had neglected to buy enough bread for the family. It was Sunday, and since we stay away from the stores on that day, I half-heartedly set about making a couple of loaves.
This is the most basic white bread recipe I know, and making it reminded me how much I love the taste of homemade bread. Side note: we were also out of sugar, if you can believe it (due to having to make four batches of sugar syrup for the croquembouche – but that’s another blog for another day), so I substituted honey for the sugar.
Another side note: I became aware of the sugar shortage when Ed announced that in an effort to put sugar on his cereal, and finding no sugar about, added powdered sugar in desperation. Unfortunately, it was not powdered sugar but a container of cornstarch, which quickly turned his cereal to paste. Sorry Ed!
White Pan Bread
2 1/2 t. yeast
2 c. warm water
5 to 5 1/2 c. flour
1 T. salt
1 T. sugar (or honey)
5 T. unsalted butter (or oil)
Whisk the yeast into the warm water and set aside. Place 5 cups of flour, salt, sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir in yeast mixture and melted butter. Stir until mixture forms a rough dough and then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Add more flour if the dough is excessively sticky. Alternatively, mix dough in your KitchenAid for about 5 minutes.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to oil all surfaces. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until doubled in buld, about 1 hour.
Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface (you may need the help of a scraper). Deflate the dough and divide it into two equal pieces. Form a two loaves and place them in two oiled 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" pans. Cover the pans with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour. When the loaves are almost doubled, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. When loaves are completely risen, place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes.