Friday, July 18, 2008

Best Bread Recipe Ever

This recipe comes courtesy of Morgan over at My Place of Beauty

Here's what you are going to need:
Three Mixing Bowls
One spoon You need a spoon to stir the dough.
Two measuring cups A 1/4 cup and a 1/2 cup will do the job.
One measuring spoon A one-teaspoon measurer will be just perfect.
One bread pan Obviously, to bake the bread in.
One hand towel This is just to cover the bread dough as it rises so it doesn't get drafts or dust or anything on it.
1/4 cup milk
5 teaspoons sugar
(or 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoons salt
5 teaspoons butter (or 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1 package active dry yeast (you can get yeast near the flour at your local grocery store)
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups flour (get unbleached white for your first attempt)
Corn starch or nonstick cooking spray (just to prevent the bread from sticking to the bowl or pan)
Ok, to begin with, you'll need to get the bowl warm. The easiest way to do this? Put hot water in the bowl, let it sit for a minute, and then pour it out, and wipe out the bowl. You could also put water in the bowl and then heat it up in the microwave.
Mix 1 cup of hot water (put a cup of water in the microwave and heat it up for about 1 1/2 mins.) and the package of yeast in the bowl until all of the yeast is dissolved and you have a brown/tanish liquid that has a few bubbles in it. Let it sit for a minute, while you melt the butter in the microwave.
Add the butter, milk, sugar and salt to the yeast mixture and stir in until the liquid returns to about the same color as before (tanish) and everything is well mixed.
Here's where it gets sticky: Mix in 2 cups of flour to begin with. It's going to stick to the spoon at first, but mix hard and fast. When it's mixed in well, add 1/4 cups of flour to the mixture until the dough is sticky, but doesn't stay stuck to your fingers.
Take a bit of flour in your hands and put it on the surface you will be kneading the dough on. Turn on a timer for 10 minutes. Turn the dough out onto the surface and beat on it, twist it, turn it, and beat on it some more for 10 straight minutes. When the timer goes off, take the dough and put it in a bowl. (Do not clean the flour up, leave it for later.)
Take the other bowl you have out and fill it with water. Put it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Take it out and (quickly) put the bowl with the dough into the microwave and cover it with the dish towel.
Wait 1 hour.
After the hour is done, the dough should have doubled in size. If not, it's okay, if so- great. As long as it rose some, it will work out.
Turn the dough back out onto the floured surface and roll it out. Spread it out in a rectangle shape, with one side being roughly the length of the bread pan and the other side being about a bread pan and a half long.
Then roll the bread like you would a soft taco. Take the ends and tuck them under on the side where the seam is, and place the bread in the pan seam down.
Put the bowl with the water in the microwave for 2 minutes again and then put the bread back in, with the towel over it, so it can rise.
Wait one more hour. (You can clean up the flour at this time.)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Put the loaf in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) for thirty minutes. When it's done, pull it out and immediately remove it from the pan to cool.

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