Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Another Deliciously Fast Yeast Bread
I love homemade bread. I love the way it smells as it's baking, I love to eat it fresh out of the oven, and I love the satisfaction of knowing that I made it myself. I don't, however, love having to spend four hours waiting for the bread to be done. So it follows that I love recipes for homemade bread that allow me to have that bread in my hand and on the way to my mouth in a very short time. Recipes like Michelle's 60-Minute Rolls, Jeanette's Four-Grain Batter Bread, and my favorite Yeastless Focaccia Bread all get me really excited - delicious bread on the table in a short period of time. I also love things like biscuits and Hoe Cake for the same reason.
This is another one of those breads that are fast and delicious. This recipe comes from the Tightwad Gazette, and is done in less than an hour and a half. Hooray!
5-6 cups all-purpose flour (you can substitute whole wheat flour for 1 or 2 cups)
1 tbsp. yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. salt
2 cups hot water (120-130 degrees)
1 tbsp sesame or poppy seeds (optional)
Mix 4 cups of the flour with the yeast, sugar, and salt. Pour in hot water and beat 100 strokes, or 3 minutes with a mixer. Stir in the remaining flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Knead 8 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, and cover with a damp towel. Let rise 15 minutes (yeah, 15 minutes - isn't that amazing?). Punch down. Shape into two round or oblong loaves, and place on a baking sheet. Cut an X or a few slashes 1/2 inch deep on top with a sharp knife. If desired, brush with water and sprinkle with seeds (I chose not to do this because I don't like it when the seeds fall off as you slice the bread - it's really annoying).
Place on the middle shelf of a cold oven. Place a cake pan of hot water on the lowest shelf. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake 40 to 50 minutes until deep golden brown.
I understand that it's best to let the bread cool completely before slicing, because it slices easier that way. However, I always cut at least a few slices right away, when the bread is hot out of the oven, because it tastes so delicious! In our house, everyone knows that when we make bread, the heel - the first slice cut - belongs to me. I love that crispy, crusty piece smeared with butter (okay, margarine; it's cheaper), when it's still hot enough to melt the butter right away and the bread is still steaming slightly. Oh, that's pure heaven!
Yum. I need to go get myself another slice now.
This post is being submitted to the "Need to Knead" blog event, hosted by Tamy at 3 Sides of Crazy and Joy at Joy of Desserts. There will be a round-up of all sorts of delicious breads on October 15, so check it out, and submit your own bread if you're interested!