Bread #37 old fashioned white bread

When my brother was young he returned from a trip to my aunt’s house with a new found love.  He climbed up to the kitchen counter and began in all sincerity, “Mom.  At Aunt Betty’s, I had this awesome thing.  It’s called white bread?  You ever heard of it?”.  Oh, how my dear mama laughed.  While it is true, around my household we did mostly indulge in the hearty bread chock full of seeds and nuts and the like, by no means did this hinder my love for the gloriously spongy white bread.

This loaf has a tang to it.  It tastes close to a sourdough somehow, perhaps my overheated kitchen has something to do with it?  But ah, the floury top and the bubbly interior will have you slathering on the butter and jam meal after meal.

Or perhaps you will spread on some maple almond butter from this amazing birthdaybook I received (early).

Big Beautiful White Pan Loaves adapted from Amy’s Bread’s

1. Combine 1 3/4 tsp. active dry yeas in 1/4 cup of very warm water.  Dissolve and let stand for three minutes.

2. Mix 4.5 cups of flour with 2.5 tsp. sea salt.  Mix in yeast and 1.5 cups of cool water.  Knead for 5 minutes.

3. Let it rest for 20 minutes covered with a towel.

4. Knead for 7 or 8 minutes and place in a bowl dusted with flour.

5. Let it double in volume.

6. Deflate dough and press into a rectangle.  Fold it into thirds, spin it 1/4 and fold it into thirds again making sure the top is lightly coated in a layer of flour.  Place in a buttered bread pan  and let rise until about an inch over the top of the pan.

7. Bake in a 425 degree oven, spraying the loaf a half-dozen times when your first place it in and three minutes into the baking as well.  After 10 minutes, lower the temperature to 400 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.

8. The last five minutes of baking take the loaf out of its pan and place directly on the racks to crispen up the underside and edges.  Give her a knock to make sure she thumps like a hollow loaf and you’re done.

9. Wait until it’s nearly cooled. Slice, slather and enjoy.

bread #6 Whole wheat sandwich bread with oats and pecans

I needed a sandwich bread this week.  Last winter I made a valiant effort to make all my family’s sandwich bread.  The low temperatures of a northern winter welcomed such constant baking, but here in the sunny south it is a touch different.  Regardless, I missed the hearty loaf to slather in peanut butter and honey so I chose this from another stellar pick by my dad: Amy’s bread.  I will not include the recipe this week for I followed it almost exactly minus the experimentation of a free form loaf (not a success in my eyes).  Oh it is hearty.  And moist.  And has the crunchy outside that store bought bread just cannot achieve.   It has all the nooks and crannies visible to the eye with chunks of pecans galore (purchased at the farmers market this weekend too)!

While the bread ended up a success I have to admit my intense stupidity.  I claim stupidity not because I made a mistake but because this is the THIRD time I have done this exact thing.

When using a pan to steam water in the oven please never use a glass one.  Common sense my dear, common sense.  Ah well, I suppose that is the way the crust crumbles…  After much deliberation and careful examination I decided the bread was free of shards of glass and the show must go on!  It shattered not exploded after all.  Does this make me irresponsible?  I am not sure I want to know.

I know someone who is glad I decided to go through with it!  (Also for staying up late to sample of course… you know you can’t do that alone)

Can you see how spongy and fermented this one was?  I hope so, because this one took quite some time.  Lots of rising but only a little kneading.  This was my first sponge starter bread and I have extra awaiting another creation in my refrigerator at this very moment.  What should I make next…