I have been playing catch up on doing my recipes from the Baking with Julia cookbook. The timing has worked out well though since I have been taking Yeast Bread classes at U of R.
Yesterday, after a lot of research on my fellow bloggers sites and the TWD comment page, I went to work. I decided to follow another blogger and make one White Bread and one Cinnamon Bread. We never eat white bread at home, in fact I don’t know if my boys have ever had white bread. Let me be very clear …THIS IS NOT YOUR GROCERY STORE WHITE BREAD!
Let’s get our bake on! You can find the recipe here.
To start the recipe we must get our yeast going. In my stand mixer, with the hook attachment I added the yeast, a bit of sugar (the yeast eats the sugar) warm water and combine for about 20 seconds with a fork. The water should be anywhere from 105 – 115 degrees. I love my digital thermometer, but if you don’t have one the chef said just to use warm water from the faucet. Not scalding hot that you can touch it (it will kill the yeast) but not luke warm. I let this mixture sit for 5 minutes … it should bubble a bit.
Next I added 2 cups of warm water, then about 2 cups of the total flour amount that we will use. (7). Cover your standing mixer with a clean towel …or you will have flour ALL OVER yourself and your kitchen! (We call this a ROOKIE mistake and as you have probably figure out by now, it’s happened to me … MORE THAN ONCE!) I set my mixer speed to low and turn it on … after about 20 seconds – check it – and increase the speed to medium to mix more. Add another 2 cups of flour, and repeat the process of covering the mixer. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining 3 cups of flour. Once it is all mixed in, I add the salt and then I literally let the mixer do all the work. The mixer will take place of hand kneading – mix for 8 minutes. (you can hand knead, our grandmothers did, it just takes a lot of muscle!) A lot of comments were made on the TWD blog about how people’s mixers over heated and then they switched to kneading for the rest of the time. My Cuisanart machine did great!
When the dough is thoroughly mixed – it should look smooth and elastic. Add in 1/2 stick of butter, a tablespoon at a time. The dough will separate and you’ll think that you did something wrong … but just keeping your machine on and the dough will bring it back together after 3-5 minutes.
Once the dough is back together, lightly flour your working space and shape it into a ball. Place it into a big, oiled (canola) bowl. Turn the dough over so there is oil on every side. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled at room temperature. 45 mins-1 hour.
While the bread is rising, butter or oil two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pans.
Deflate/punch the dough and place it back on your lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two parts …(NO BIG LOAFS FOR ME – LOL!) With your fingertips or a rolling-pin, shape the dough into a 9 x 12 inch rectangle with the short side facing you.
Fold the top of the rectangle down 1/3 of the way, then fold that section down another 1/3 of the way. Fold up the bottom and pinch those two together. Turn the roll so the seam is in the center and on the bottom. Shape the rectangle so it will fit into the buttered/oiled loaf pan. For the second loaf, after I had it to the rectangle part. I mixed 4t of cinnamon with 1/4 c of sugar and sprinkled down the middle (6 inches) of the rectangle then folded over as described above.
The second rise is easy, cover the loaf pans with oiled plastic wrap and allow them to warm in a warm place. Mine rose just fine sitting at room temperature, although it is summer time. It will take about 45 minutes. Preheat your over to 375.
Once they have doubled in size again, place them in the over and bake then for 35 mins. At this point use your digital thermometer and check the temperature. Who knew bread had to reach a certain temp? 200, is the magic number. At 35 minutes they should be at 200 degrees. If not, you can turn the bread out onto a cooling rack and place it back in the oven for another 5-10 mins or until it reaches 200 degrees.
Cool bread on racks and TRY not to cut them until they have been out of the oven for an hour. I know that is really hard but the chef at our school was very clear that it takes that long for the bread to work it’s magic from the inside out.
I rarely eat toast, I can tell you that I thinly sliced this bread, toasted it and added a small amount of butter. YUM! It would be great for sandwiches too. I can’t wait to make the whole wheat version. (you use 3.5 c all-purpose and 3 cup of whole wheat flour)
This bread lasted less than 24 hours. If you want to keep it for two days, place it in a brown paper bag. I normally share EVERYTHING with my neighbor … if you are reading this, I am sorry. I was selfish on the Cinnamon Bread! 😉 I hardly was able to get a picture because we ate it so quickly! Who knew that you can live off of bread?
ENJOY, BAKE ON and head outside for a walk! You’ll need to work off the carbs for this one!