The Worth of a Challenge

If you give a child a fish, you feed him for a day.
If you teach a child to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.
But if you teach a child to learn, you feed him for a lifetime
and he doesn't have to just eat fish.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Home Economics: Bread(white)

You don't have to be a pimple faced teen in junior high(or high school) to learn skills that will help you in at home. We made this awesome bread that took just a few ingredients and and a few steps and was delicious. I got my recipe from the February 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living. Thank you Martha, this bread is so easy and yummy and my kids get wonderful knowledge and experience from helping me make it.

The recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (two 1/4-ounce envelopes)
  • 2 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees)
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for bowl, pans, and brushing
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and dusting
  • 4 teaspoons coarse salt

Step 1

Sprinkle yeast over 1/2 cup water. Add 2 teaspoons honey. Whisk until yeast dissolves. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Step 2

Transfer to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle or dough-hook attachment. Add butter and remaining 1 3/4 cups water and 3 tablespoons honey. Whisk flour with salt; add 3 cups to yeast. Mix on low speed until smooth.

Step 3

Add remaining 4 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing until dough comes away from sides of bowl and forms a ragged, slightly sticky ball. Butter a large bowl

Step 4

Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes.

Step 5

Shape into a ball.

Step 6

Transfer to prepared bowl; cover with plastic wrap.

Step 7

Let dough stand in a warm place until it doubles in volume (it should not spring back when pressed), about 1 hour.

Step 8

Butter two 4 1/2-by-8 1/2-inch loaf pans. Punch down dough.

Step 9

Divide in half.

Step 10

Shape 1 dough half into an 8 1/2-inch-long rectangle (about 1/2 inch thick). Fold long sides of dough in to middle, overlapping slightly. Press seam to seal. Transfer dough, seam side down, to pan. Repeat with remaining dough.
* I run a knife down the middle of mine and drizzle honey on the slit 

Step 11

Brush each loaf with butter, or dust with flour for a rustic look.

Step 12

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drape loaves with plastic. Let stand until dough rises about 1 inch above tops of pans, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake, rotating pans after 20 minutes, until tops are golden brown, about 45 minutes. Transfer to wire racks. Let cool slightly; turn out loaves. Let cool completely before slicing.

Things to do with the bread:
  • make toast
  • make french toast
  • cut thin and use to make sandwiches
  • use to make bread pudding
  • eat warm with butter and honey
  • share a loaf with others

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