nav-left cat-right
cat-right

Basic Bread Recipe

Basic Bread Recipe

This recipe is our family’s go to bread recipe.  It’s moist, tasty, slightly sweet and gets rave reviews from everyone who tries it!  It’s a little denser than a typical grocery store loaf but still light enough to make a good sandwich bread.  It’s easy to make and can be made with a variety of flours to suit your tastes and preferences.  I hope you like it as much as we do!

Basic Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 7-8 cups of white, wheat or bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or other oil of choice)

Directions:

  • Pour the warm water and white sugar into small to medium size bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top.  Set aside until the yeast proofs (ie. gets frothy), approximately 5-10 minutes.  Note: Yeast likes temperatures in the 110-115 range.  If you don’t have a thermometer, run your tap water until it’s kinda hot but you can still comfortably keep your hand in it.
  • Meanwhile combine 3 cups of flour, salt and brown sugar in a large bowl.
  • Once the yeast proofs, pour the yeast mixture and the olive oil over the flour mixture and stir until incorporated.
  • Then add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time until the dough forms a ball.  The dough should be slightly moist but not very sticky and pull away pretty cleanly from the side of the bowl.
  • Optional – Let the dough rest for about 1/2 an hour before kneading it – this makes it easier to knead and improves the texture (nice but totally not necessary)
  • Knead using a stand mixture (dough hook on medium low speed) or by hand for about 10 minutes.  The dough should be nice and stretchy.  If the dough is really sticking to your hands/bowl, add a little more white flour.
  • Place the kneaded dough into an oiled bowl and sprinkle a little oil on top of the dough to keep it moist.  Then cover with a towel and place somewhere warm.  Let it rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours (may be longer if it’s cool, shorter if it’s warm).
  • Once risen, punch it down, shape into 3 loaves and place on oiled cookie sheets leaving about 3 inches between loaves (use loaf pans if you want a more uniform size).
  • Optional – Let it rise another 30 minutes to further develop the flavor and texture.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-24 minutes.  The bread will be slightly golden and will sound hollow when you tap on it.  Remove from the oven, cool and enjoy!
Notes:
  • I like whole wheat flour for its health benefits.  However, using entirely whole wheat flour makes a loaf that’s denser than most people are used to (I personally think it’s delicious).  If you want to lighten it up a bit, half white/half wheat flour makes a deliciously good compromise.
  • For a light, more noticeably sweet loaf, use all white flour or even better – bread flour.  It’ll taste better than any white bread you’ve ever had.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brandijordan/6789276854/ 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>