I contemplated again this week exactly what my bread baking resolution is about. Is is 52 new breads? Or is it 52 different breads? Is it about the blog? Or is it about learning to make bread? I suppose it is a little of each. I really would like to feel like an accomplished bread maker. Like I could taste a delicious crusty loaf at any restaurant or bakery and let it take me back to a memory from my very own kitchen. But, I also would like to have this journal like spot in cyber space to look back on for both reference and reminiscing purposes. With that decided, I made the final decision (because let’s be honest, who is going to yell at me?) that breads I have made in the past can also be made again and counted as one of the big five two.
So, this week, I went back to my first loaf and my most commonly made since. It is an adaptation of Boulder’s Best White Bread from a high altitude baking book called Pie in the Sky. I will be quite honest, I have made nothing else from this book. Not that they don’t all look delicious, it is quite the opposite! I fell for this sandwich loaf with every taste bud I possess and quite frankly never felt the need to deviate. Oh, I suppose that is a closed-minded persons attitude (I swear I don’t normally possess) but so be it.
Anyways, here it is. And, I must add, tonight I indulged in not one but two deliciously lemony wheat beers. So yeah. I am feeling like this perhaps was not proof read to my best ability. Yet another sad reminder of my age and position in life. Truth be told, I adore being a cheap date.
Makes two loaves
1. Mix 4.5 tsp. yeast, half cup of warm water and 2 tsp. of sugar and let it get all foamy for few minutes.
2. Heat up 1 cup milk, one cup water (or any combination of the two as long as it adds up to 2 cups! It is fun to experiment!) 2/3 cup of honey (preferably local, think of your allergies!), 2 tbs. olive oil, and 2 tsp. salt until it just starts to bubble. Let cool.
3. Mix, the cooled milky mixture and the frothy yeasty mixture with about 3 cups of all-purpose and about 2.5 cups of whole wheat flour. Knead and knead for 10 minutes adding a few bits of flour as you go until it’s just a little sticky but mostly shiny. Turn into an oiled boil and let rise until doubled.
4. Punch down and let rise until doubled again. This should take about an hour.
5. Make an envelope fold (basically into thirds with the ends tucked under) and place in a WELL greased bread pan. I find ceramic works best but what do I know. I have had my bread stick so many times and it is infuriating. So for goodness sake grease that puppy. Let it rise once again for about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375 F.
6. Brush with an egg wash (egg and water) and pop them in for about 30 minutes until “knock knock” they sound hollow.
7. Take out of pans immediately and let cool before slicing. Or don’t. I never do.