So I did it. And I feel pretty proud about it too. Yup, I made homemade bread. From scratch. With yeast. And then I ate it. The end. Or not.
My love affair with carbs, particularly pasta and bread, is well documented here on Eat Laugh Purr. My fear of yeast may be less well-known but still exists. I make pizza dough quite regularly, but a loaf of bread seemed more intimidating with a higher potential for things to go wrong.
What if it doesn’t rise? Pizzas are flat, so you can convince yourself that you meant to do it. But bread? Beautiful, light bread should be sky high and fluffy.
The other day I found a little extra courage and conquered my fear of making homemade bread. And boy, oh boy, it was delicious! I didn’t have any jam, but it tasted great with peanut butter and made a fabulous foundation for BLTs.
So if you have a fear of bread-making, I understand and sympathize. And one day, when you’re feeling brave, go ahead and give this recipe a try. Your belly will thank you.
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Recipe from Annie’s Eats
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup warm whole milk (about 110°)
- 1/3 cup warm water (about 110°)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 envelope (about 2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
(I used a food processor to help start the kneading process. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, follow Annie’s instructions at her website.
- Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 200°. Once the oven temperature reaches 200°, maintain the heat for 10 minutes, then turn off the oven.
- Mix 3 1/2 cups of flour and salt in a food processor with its dough blade. Pulse a few times to mix.
- Mix the milk, water, butter, honey and yeast in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup.
- Turn the machine to low and slowly add the liquid until the dough starts to form into a ball. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to remove the dough at this point and finish kneading by hand (it’s what I do). If you have a large food processor, you can continue mixing until the dough is smooth, about 10 minutes. If the dough remains sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour (up to 1/4 cup total) until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead to form a smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.
- Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl and turn to coat.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the warmed oven until the dough doubles in size, about 40-50 minutes.
- On a floured work surface, gently press the dough into a rectangle 1 inch thick and no longer than 9 inches.
- With a long side facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing with your fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself. Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch it closed.
- Place the dough seam-side down in a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan and press it gently so it touches all four sides of the pan.
- Cover with plastic wrap; set aside in a warm spot until the dough almost doubles in size, 20-30 minutes.
- Keep one oven rack at the lowest position and place the other at the middle position and heat the oven to 350°.
- Place an empty baking pan on the bottom rack. Bring two cups of water to boil in a small saucepan. Pour the boiling water into the empty pan on the bottom rack.
- Set the loaf onto the middle rack. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim into the center of the loaf reads 195°, 40-50 minutes.
- Remove the bread from the pan, transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Slice and serve.
You heat the oven in the beginning so the stove top provides a warm spot for the bread to rise—just in case you were wondering. Also, I totally did not check the internal temperature of the bread.