Basic Bread Recipe

img_0935

 

My first try at baking bread actually turned out good. Now I have visions of cinnamon rolls and other sweet breads in my head. This recipe is from King Arthur’s website (the flour, not the king).

Ingredients:

Starter:

  • 1 cup cool to lukewarm water (90 to 100 degree F)
  • 1/2 tsp active dry or instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup unbleached bread flour
  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour or premium whole wheat flour

Dough:

  • The above starter
  • 1 cup lukewarm water (100-115 degree F)
  • 3/4 tsp active dry or 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 3 3/4 to 4 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1 1/2 to 2 1/4 tsp salt to taste

Instructions:

Make the starter: stir all of the starter ingredients together to make a thick pudding-like mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 2 hours and up to overnight (16 hours preferably).

Make the dough: stir down the starter with a spoon and add the water, yeast, sugar, 3 1/4 cups flour and salt. Let it rest for 12-15 minutes, then stir again. Knead the dough, adding more flour as necessary. The result should be a soft dough, 10-12 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or plastic container, cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise to almost double (1-2 hours). Deflate the dough gently but don’t knock all the air out. Form the dough, place it on a piece of parchment paper dusted with semolina or cornmeal, seam side down. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise to almost double again (45-90 minutes).

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F and spritz the oven with water every few minutes for the first 15 minutes of baking. Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes or until its golden brown and interior registers 190 degree F. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.