I told myself that I had to sit down today and write this post since I took the pictures for it already!
Since I got my KitchenAid Mixer and got over my fear of making bread I have been making it weekly. I am proud to say that I have not bought a single loaf of bread since Christmas!
I use a recipe that I found on hubpages. Easy to follow directions, and the bread turns out great everytime. I went to pull up my recipe last week, and I could not find it Cue panic!
Luckily, I had written the recipe down, but I like to have pretty pictures to follow along with, so I thought I would do a post about it, and then I can always find my recipe and pictures. :) This recipe will make two loaves.
1/2 cup milk
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter
2 packages active dry yeast (or 4.5 tsp of bulk yeast)
1.5 cups warm water (105*- 115*F)
5-6 cups flour (I use 5.5)
Combine your milk, sugar, salt and butter in a pot on low heat until the butter meats. Cool to lukewarm (105-115*) A digital thermometer is your best friend when making bread. You can do it without, I find it much easier to use one though.
Warm your mixing bowl by swirling hot water and dumping it. Add 1.5 cups warm water and dissolve yeast in it. Whisk it up with a fork to help it along. It will start to look like this pretty quickly.
Add your lukewarm milk mixture and 4.5 cups of the flour to the bowl. Attach your dough hook and mix at the lowest speed for two minutes.
Continue mixing at the same speed while adding the rest of the flour (5.5 cups is what I use). Add 1/2 cup at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and sticks to the hook. Continue to knead for another 3-5 minutes after this until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Turn your dough in to a large greased bowl. You want to actually put your dough in the bowl, turn it in a circle and then flip it.
You will cover the bowl and set it to rise for an hour. You can use either plastic wrap or a clean dish towel. It needs to be in a warm area free from drafts. If you put it in your oven with the light on this is the best place. This next picture is after the rise!
Punch your dough down a couple of times to release air. Divide it in half. You can use a kitchen scale if you want to be precise, I normally just eyeball it.
Sprinkle your work surface with flour. One ball at a time roll out to approximately 9"x14"
Now you fold it into thirds along the long edge. Wipe off excess flour and then tightly roll dough up. Pinch the seams and the ends.
Put in two greased loaf pans seam side down. Cover and rise again until doubled. This usually takes another hour. The next two photos are before and after the rise.
Remove the pans from the oven and then heat the oven to 400*. Bake for 30 minutes until they are golden brown.
Take the loaves out of the pans right away and cool on wire racks. You know that your loaves are done when you tap the bottom and it sounds hollow. Enjoy!