Today, I decided to post something totally unrelated to ideas for making money. Since I am staying home so much of the time due to Covid-19, I can try some different things.
I really enjoy fresh baked bread, and so does Joan. We decided to take turns making our own bread. Although we each make a brown-bread, we each use really different methods. Today, I am going to describe the process that I use. Perhaps I’ll describe Joan’s method in a later post.
I really like the convenience of the bread maker and not having to knead the bread manually, but I am not a fan of the paddle in the loaf result. I now use a hybrid method that seems to provide the best of both worlds. I make the bread in the bread maker until the end of the first proof, then put the dough in a bread pan in the over for the second rise and baking.
My Hybrid Bread Making Process
Here is a detailed description and the recipe that I follow.
The first thing that I do is heat a cup of water in a 2 cup or larger microwave proof container. I want the water very warm, but not hot.
To this water I stir in three and a half tablespoons of liquid honey and pour the mixture into the bread machine. I make sure the paddle is in place before I pour in the liquid.
I sprinkle my yeast – rapid or regular – over the top of the liquid, close the lid and leave it for 10 minutes or so until a nice foam develops on top of the liquid.
To this mixture, I now add two tablespoons of liquid vegetable oil (the recipe calls for margarine, but I prefer the oil), one and a half cups of bread flour (or all-purpose flour in Canada) and one cup of stone ground whole wheat flour (any whole wheat flour will do), one-third cup of dried milk powder and one teaspoon of salt.
I set my bread machine for dough (8 on my machine)and let it run its cycle.
Stage Two of My Hybrid Bread Recipe
When the cycle is almost complete, I heat three cups of water to a vigorous boil.
While it the water is heating, I set one over rack as low as it will go, one just above it, and a third as close to the top as I can while still leaving about two inches (five centimetres) between the top of a bread pan and the top of the oven.
I put a 9″ X 9″ or so square Pyrex cake pan onto the bottom shelf and add the boiling water to it.
I put the dough from the bread maker into a greased bread pan and grease the top of the dough with butter.
I put the dough on the top shelf of the oven and leave it for an hour or so to rise.
Once the dough is risen (cresting the pan), I move the bread pan to the lower shelf and turn the oven on to 340 F.
In an hour when the bread is nicely browned, I take it from the over and put it on a rack to cool. I eat the first, hot slices slathered with butter ;>)
Here is the actual recipe that I follow:
Butter Honey Wheat Bread
1 cup water – warm but not hot
2 tablespoons margarine (or vegetable oil)
3.5 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour – (I use 1 1/4 cups of each)
1/3 cup dry milk powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast or 2 1/4 tsp of yeast from a jar
1. Put honey into warm water. Mix well. Pour into bread maker.
2. Add yeast to mixture – let sit for 5 – 10 minutes or so, until a nice froth appears on top
3. Add the remaining ingredients to the machine, salt last
4. Set machine to dough (8 on my machine)
5. Grease the inside of the bread pan
6. When bread machine is done, dump dough carefully from the bread machine into the greased bread pan – remove paddle
7. Smooth the dough and grease the top of the dough with butter
8. Put three cups of boiling water into a square pyrex dish and place it on the bottom of rack of the oven
9. Place the bread pan on a rack near the top of the over
10. Let proof for about 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has crested over the bread pan
11. Move the bread pan down to a low rack in the oven – leave pan of water in oven
12. Turn the oven on to 340 and bake until done – about 45 min to one hour, when crust is nice and brown.
13. It may be necessary to tent tinfoil over the bread while baking. (I’ve never needed this.)
Let me know in the comments below if you are going to try this recipe. If you have a recipe that you think might be better, leave it in the comments below.