Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bread. The Lost Art.

*Insert Raiders of the Lost Ark song*

Anywho!  I was given an amazing bread machine for a graduation present almost 2 years ago.  And I have to say I was a little rusty.  I used to watch my mom make rolls and even help her form them, but I knew nothing about actually MAKING the bread.  So I started dabbling after I got my own.  After many MANY tries, and not so much fails as they were just not great attempts, I finally made a near perfect loaf.  As I've mentioned, I keep forgetting to take pictures during the preparation processes.  But it's usually because I'm up to my ears in food!  I need a nice waterproof camera, that'll do the trick!  So I got a few pictures of the loaf, but none of the helpful steps are illustrated.

Onion Bread
*I'll give amounts for 1 lb and 2 lb loaves.

1 lb
8 oz. Water
1 Tbsp. Butter
1/4 C. Dried Onions
2 C. Flour
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Dry Milk
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/4 tsp. Yeast

2 lbs
12 oz. Water
2 Tbsp. Butter
1/3 C. Dried Onions
4 C. Flour
2 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Dry Milk
1 3/4 tsp. Salt
2 1/2 tsp. Yeast

1. (keep in mind, I use my bread machine to make my dough and this is also instructions for a 1 lb loaf, a 2 lb comes with much more dough and would make at least 2 loaves)  Add water, butter, and onions (and for the onions, you can be more liberal.  I usually just grab a big handful.)
2. Add all dry ingredients on top of the wet ones.  Then make a well in the center to add the yeast.
3. Add yeast and set machine on dough.  (Takes 90 mins for mine to process.)
4. Close to the time being up, grease a cookie sheet with Crisco and heat the oven to 200°.
5. Pull out the dough when it's done.  (I use Crisco on my hands instead of flour on the counter because I don't want it to dry out)  Kneed it for about 2-3 mins and then form your loaf of dough.  There are many many different shapes and sizes out there.  The loaf in my picture is a braided loaf.  You cut the dough into three parts and start each strand in the middle working your way out careful not to push too hard.  You want some bubbles left in there!
6. Once all three are as long as you want them (around 12-14 inches) stick the three together at the top.  Start braiding and mash the end together or tuck it under.
7. Lay the loaf on your greased cookie sheet and cover with a flour cloth.  Set at the back of the stove top and let it rise for 45 mins.
8. Separate an egg from it's whites and use a pastry brush or a bbq brush to lightly coat the top with the egg whites.  If you find it difficult, add a tsp of water to the egg whites and beat it together.
9. Raise the oven temp to 350° and wait for it to fully warm up.  Put the bread in and bake for 30 mins.
10. Take the bread off the pan and onto a cooling rack.  Enjoy fresh bread once it's cool!

 This is while the bread machine works on the dough.  About 15 mins into the 90 mins.
 Like I said, no helpful instruction pictures, but here's the finished loaf! (after I ate the end of course!)
And the pretty sammich I made with the loaf.

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