Basic Bread Recipe

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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.

 

Banana Walnut Bread

 

 

I am always buying bananas and not eating them before they go bad. This is a great way to use those over ripe bananas and turn them into a decadent bread. Recipe and picture from Food Network Kitchen and foodnetwork.com, recipe modified slightly by me for simplicity. Pairs good with a spot of tea, pictured above.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for preparing the pan
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork, about 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnut pieces

Directions:

Mix the flour, baking soda and salt, set aside. Whisk the eggs and vanilla, set aside. Brush a loaf pan with butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the butter until incorporated. Add the bananas. Note that the mixture will look curdled but is not.

Use a rubber spatula to mix dry ingredients, fold in the nuts and transfer to prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes then turn out of the pan and let cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap. Best served the next day.

 

 

 

 

 

Olga Bread

 

 

As a teenager, many of my friends worked at the fast food Greek restaurant Olga’s. On of my favorite things about this place was their bread. My best friend forwarded me the recipe found on food.com and my daughter absolutely loves it. You can use it as a wrap with meats or vegetables or just eat it plain like her, enjoy.

Ingredients;

1  cup milk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup margarine ( I used butter)
1  teaspoon salt

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 pkg.)
1/4 cup warm water

1  teaspoon sugar

4  cups flour, divided
1 egg

  • Directions;
  • Scald milk, remove to large bowl. Add honey, margarine and salt to milk, stir until margarine is melted.
    Set aside to cool until lukewarm. Combine yeast, warm water and sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
    Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour to lukewarm milk mixture and beat well. Mix in egg and yeast mixture.Add remaining flour, a little at a time, until sticky dough is formed. Turn out on a floured surface, knead about two minutes. Place dough in oiled bowl. Turning once to oil whole surface of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in warm place until doubled in bulk.
  • Punch down dough; divide into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece to a thin rough circle about 8-1o inches in diameter.
  • Heat a large dry skillet over medium-high heat; do not use any oil.
    Bake 15 seconds, flip and bake about 10 seconds on other side, until mottled brown spots appear.
    Cool and store in a plastic bag. Makes: 16.