Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Best Soft Bread

Homemade Bread!  Does anything smell better baking? Is there anything better then fresh baked bread hot out of the oven slathered in butter or jam?  Ummmm ... not!  It is all so good, so I was really happy to discover this recipe via my friend, Mary, at Bunny's Warm Oven.

I've since made it many, many times, and my only change to her recipe was to add half organic hard white wheat flour. It is still very soft and delicious every time I make it. We use it for sandwiches, toasted with butter and jam, French toast and more. And it freezes well ... what could be better than that?

2 1/2 cup hot water
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup oil (your choice)
1 1/2 tbls. yeast
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups hard white wheat flour*
*Or use all-purpose flour if desired

Mix water, honey, and oil together. Whisk in 3/4 cup flour and yeast. Using a stand mixer, add 2-3 cup flour and mix until blended, add remaining flour 1 cup at a time (total amount of flour is 5-7 cups not counting the 3/4 cup you added in the beginning) and mix 5-7 minutes allowing the mixer to do the kneading for you. The dough should be very soft and not too stiff.

Turn out onto a floured board and knead a few minutes more until you have a smooth dough ball. Lightly grease mixing bowl and add dough turning once to coat; cover with plastic wrap and raise dough 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size. (*Tip - turn oven on to 400 for 1 minute, turn oven off and place bowl in oven).

Punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured board. Divide dough in half and shape each into loaves; roll the dough out into a rectangle removing air bubbles then roll up tightly, pinch ends and place seam side down in lightly greased bread pans. Let rise in warm place 30 minutes (repeat oven tip above).

Remove from the oven. Preheat to 350 degrees and bake loaves 30 minutes. Bread should sound hollow when done.

Remove loaves from bread pans and let cool on a cooling rack. Brush tops of loaves with butter if desired. For best storage, only slice what you'll use each time and store the loaves well wrapped.

This bread also freezes well.



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