Ok so, I don't know about all of you but I love, love, love love cooking with yeast. I don't know if it's the anticipation of how beautifully it magically (oh maybe it's more chemically) rises, or the punching down, or the wooooonderful taste of the homemade bread. Does anything really beat the taste of homemade bread?? I grew up on homemade bread and I remember my mom making 5-6 loaves at a time and one of the loaves was used strictly for fresh from the oven eating. That's right, anyone that was home at the time got to have a thick slab of bread spread with rich real butter. YUUMMY! Now that I'm a mom, it's all I make and my little one year old is a total bread snob. He won't even touch the store bought stuff! Can you really blame him? The great thing about homemade bread is that you control the ingredients that go into it. Store bought bread has loads of salt...loads! My diet consists of low sodium foods so one of my bestest friends in the world (yes and the other gal writing this blog with me) taught me how to make my own bread. So this recipe is hers (taken from America's Test Kitchen) but along the way I've added a key ingredient: potato flakes. I took a cooking class where I learned that this ingredient adds a softer, chewier texture that is unmatched!! So here you are, and make sure that you cut yourself a thick slab of the bread fresh from the oven!
Here's a picture of the ingredients that you'll need
Ok so first off Whisk the milk, water, butter, and honey in a large measuring cup (or bowl).
Next, combine your flour, yeast, salt, and potato flakes in a standing mixer using the dough hook attachment.
Add the milk mixture and mix on low until the dough comes together like this picture. The sides should be pretty clean and the dough will be sticking to the bottom of the bowl. If you need to add more flour, add it only a couple tablespoons at a time.
Next you'll turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead by hand to form a smooth round ball.
Next just plop your dough ball into a greased bowl. Grease some plastic wrap and put over the top. Then just put this in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size--1-1 1/2 hrs.
This is what it will look like. (This recipe is doubled so that's why it's overflowing).
Turn the dough out again on a floured surface and roll into a 9 inch square.
Then you'll tightly roll the dough into a cylinder. Pinch the seam and put into a 9x5 inch loaf pan (greased). Now spray the top of the loaves with some vegetable spray.
Let rise in a warm spot again, until doubled in size--45-75 minutes. Here's what it'll look like.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until the bread reads 200 degrees, or until the loaf is golden brown on top. (I only ever bake my bread for 30 minutes so just watch them if it's your first time making bread). Here's what they'll look like.
Yummmmmmmmmmy! Quick, get some butter (real stuff) out and spread it on fresh out of the oven. My husband and I have to "paper-rock-scissors" for the end piece of the loaf!
American Sandwich Bread
1 cup warm whole milk at 110 degrees (you can use 1% milk if you are watching your waistline)
1/3 cup warm water at 110 degrees
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons honey
3 1/2 cups bread flour (you can use 1/2 wheat flour too which is what I did in these pictures)
1 envelope instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup potato flakes
Bake 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.