Sunday, October 16, 2011

How To Make Homemade Bread Like It Came From The Store

One of the things that many in my family ask all the time is, “How do you make your homemade bread so it is as light as the bread you buy in the store? What is your secret?” I thought this would be a good time to address my tips of making homemade bread. I use a basic recipe but make many changes that I have found to be successful.
Here is the recipe then I will describe what I do as I walk you through the steps of how I make my bread.
  • 2 packages active dry yeast or 4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 2 cups lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 7 to 8 cups four
  • margarine or butter, softened.
Heat oven to 150 degrees with a pan of water on bottom rack.
My first secret is to make sure my water is exactly 115 degrees. My milk, I only scald about 1 1/2 cups of milk, then cool it down with another 1/2 cup of milk, but I make sure it is 105 degrees instead of lukewarm.
Dissolve the yeast in warm water, Stir in milk, sugar, shortening, salt and 4 cups of flour. Now here I do not just stir these ingredients in, but I beat them in with a wooden spoon for 15 minutes. I mean I beat it in, I have actually punctured a hole in the bottom of a plastic bowl before during this process.
Now here is the time I put the spoon away and start adding the flour. I do not add all the flour, let’s see since I already used 4 cups I probably only add about 2 1/2 to 3 cups more flour, just to where the dough is no longer sticky to my hands. I am truly only using 6 1/2 to 7 cups flour and this truly has a lot to do with the humidity in your kitchen, the higher the humidity the less flour you will have to use. I will a lot of times turn on my dishwasher and do this part during the dry cycle, this is providing more humidity, or I might put a pan of water on the stove on low to steam.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface, I only use a few tablespoons of flour for this and kneed. I kneed for another 15 minutes.
Grease a glass bowl with shortening, Rub the dough around the bowl so dough is greased. Cover with a towel, turn off oven and put bowl in on middle rack for one hour for the dough to rise double it’s size. To know that it has doubled in size poke lightly with two fingers, indentations should remain in dough.
Remove from oven, along with water, turn on Oven to preheat to 420 degrees. Flip dough out on counter, and cut in half. Roll each half out with a rolling pin to measure about 18 x 9 inches. Roll from small end, pinch loose end into dough. Tuck the sides in with a little flip under the loaf. Place in greased pans. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for an hour. Bake in oven for 25 minutes, NO LONGER. Remove from pans onto cooling rack. Brush top with softened butter.
Now you know how I make my bread so that it is as light as store bread. Enjoy!
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