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Posts tagged ‘Bread’

Proofing Bread Dough

A reader has asked me to further explain the term “proofing” used in my post Honey White Bread.

In my own words, proofing is the second rising of your dough. It works better at a warm temperature, so many cooks proof their bread dough in a warm (not very warm though!) oven.My oven has a proofing feature, so it does the work for me. However, if your oven doesn’t have that feature, merely turn your oven on for a few moments, then turn it off. This should make the temperature inside your oven around 100 degrees F… perfect for proofing your bread dough.

Also, please take a look at this video which further explains “proofing.”

 

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Honey White Bread

I love making this bread because it smells so beautiful, and because it tastes really good too!

Normally I wouldn’t do something like bread for a New Year’s Eve recipe, but since Madison county is covered in ice, and it’s now snowing, I decided that a nice homey bread-baking recipe is in order.

What really makes this smell so wonderful is when you scald the milk with butter, honey and salt. I like to use desert honey because it has such a wonderful taste and smell, but any honey will do. (List of ingredients plus all instructions are put together at the bottom of this post.)

Ingredients –

2 cups milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup honey
2 tsp. salt
2 cups water
11 cups bread flour (approximately)
2 pkgs. active dry yeast

1/4 cup lukewarm water, 110 degrees F
1 tsp. sugar or honey

Grease four 9-inch loaf pans.

Combine milk, honey, butter and salt in a saucepan.


Bring to scalding temperature – nearly to a boil, at 185 degrees F.

Put the scalded mixture into a bowl and add the 2 cups water. Add 1 cup flour. When the mixture has cooled to lukewarm, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup water with sugar or honey. Let sit to proof, approximately 5 minutes. When the yeast is foamy, it is ready to add to the lukewarm milk mixture.

Add the rest of your flour, or enough to make a workable dough and knead for 10 minutes, or five minutes in your stand mixer. Both are pretty satisfying… if you have a stand mixer, it means you don’t have to do the kneading yourself. If you don’t have a stand mixer, or if you truly enjoy the process of kneading, then you get the pleasure of taking out your frustrations on bread dough!

Place dough in a large bowl which has been greased or sprayed with PAM. turn the dough over so that the top of your dough has a slight coating of grease or PAM, then allow to rise in a warm place until approximately double in size. I put mine in the oven because I have a “proofing” option.

When the dough has risen, punch it down. Trust me, it’s very satisfying. Let it rise again. Evidently I had some pretty active yeast, because my second rising worked remarkably well!

After your second rising, divide dough into four loaves, placing the loaves in your previously greased pans. Again, allow to rise until nearly double. While the dough is rising preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. When your loaves are ready, bake in preheated oven for approximately 1 hour until they are a crusty brown and sound hollow when you tap on the top of the loaf. Remove the loaves from the pans and cool them on racks. Enjoy your beautiful homemade bread!

HONEY WHITE BREAD

Ingredients –
2 cups milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup honey
2 tsp. salt
2 cups water
11 cups bread flour (approximately)
2 pkgs. active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water, 110 degrees F
1 tsp. sugar or honey
Grease four bread loaf pans.
Combine milk, honey, butter and salt in a saucepan. Bring to scalding temperature – nearly to a boil, at 185 degrees F. Put the scalded mixture into a bowl and add the 2 cups water. Add 1 cup flour. When the mixture has cooled to lukewarm, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup water with sugar or honey. Let sit to proof, approximately 5 minutes. When the yeast is foamy, it is ready to add to the lukewarm milk mixture. Add the rest of your flour, or enough to make a workable dough and knead for 10 minutes, or five minutes in your stand mixer. Both are pretty satisfying… if you have a stand mixer, it means you don’t have to do the kneading yourself. If you don’t have a stand mixer, or if you truly enjoy the process of kneading, then you get the pleasure of taking out your frustrations on bread dough! Place dough in a large bowl which has been greased or sprayed with PAM. Turn the dough over so that the top of your dough has a slight coating of grease or PAM, then allow to rise in a warm place until approximately double in size. I put mine in the oven because I have a “proofing” option. When the dough has risen, punch it down. Trust me, it’s very satisfying. Let it rise again. Evidently I had some pretty active yeast, because my second rising worked remarkably well! After your second rising, divide dough into four loaves, placing the loaves in your previously greased pans. Again, allow to rise until nearly double. While the dough is rising preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. When your loaves are ready, bake in preheated oven for approximately 1 hour until they are a crusty brown and sound hollow when you tap on the top of the loaf. Remove the loaves from the pans and cool them on racks. Enjoy your beautiful homemade bread!

Honey White Bread

Blue Cheese Pear Crostini

Recently I was solicited by foodbuzz.com to create a unique recipe using Nature’s Pride bread. The nice people at Nature’s Pride even sent me a coupon for a free loaf of bread, just so I could create a tasty tidbit. If I happen to be one of six lucky entries selected, I will be one of Nature’s Pride bread ambassadors at the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival in San Francisco, CA!

I thought about ideas for a few weeks, and thought I had settled on mini quiches using bread as the crust. However, I couldn’t get past the thought that bread would make for a soggy quiche crust. Finally, I remembered a crostini I had several years ago at a now-defunct local delight called Younkers Tea Room. At least I think that’s where I had it! I put my own spin on the recipe, and here’s the result.

Ingredients –

4 oz. crumbled blue cheese (being a loyal Iowan, I used Maytag)
2 T. unsalted butter
2 T brandy (being a loyal German, I used Asbach Uralt)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
5 slices Nature’s Pride 12-Grain bread, cut into thirds
1 medium ripe pear, cored and thinly sliced

Let blue cheese and butter come to room temperature. Mash with a fork until well combined.

Stir in brandy and chopped walnuts. Top each pear slice with 1 tablespoon blue cheese mixture.

Place bread slices on a baking sheet. Broil 5-6 inches from heat, about 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot. Makes 8 to 12 servings.

Note – Don’t forget to put the walnuts on because somebody called you while you were in the middle of putting the toppings on the crostini. They were still good, but would be even better with the walnuts!

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