Loafin’ Around…

You know, I went to High School with a guy they called Loaf, and I still think of him whenever I hear the word.  I didn’t even really know the guy.  He was a senior, and I was a freshman, and that’s all I know about him.  That, and that his best friend was a walking advertisement for Hilfiger.  Highschoolers….

But this post isn’t about him.  It’s about the good kind of loaf.  The warm, delicious, and white kind of loaf.  Really, this isn’t about a guy.  It’s about bread.

I ran out the other day, and since I’ve been meaning to make a recipe I found on, where else but, pinterest, I didn’t pick up any more at the store.  The recipe, from here, seemed pretty typical, at first…

I weighed out my flours, and gathered all my ingredients.  Since I needed 4 cups of warm milk, I cooked it on the stove.  Now normally, when making bread, you bloom the yeast before hand, and add it to your flour with the rest of the wet ingredients, but this recipe was different.  This recipe wanted me to add the yeast to the flour before hand.  Well, if you say so…

Then I added the warmed milk to the flour.  This was terrifying.  As I mentioned in my soft pretzel post, high temperatures can kill yeast, and I’m good at that.  What if my milk was too warm?  What if it killed the yeast?  I would be out of tons of flour, and milk.  I closed my eyes, held my breath, and jumped.

I stirred and stirred, slowly adding bread flour one cup at a time.  After a couple of cups, it got pretty difficult.

The recipe said to let this mess sit for 20 minutes, so I covered it, and walked away.  I got a bit distracted.  When I came back, something more like 40 minutes later, it looked like this…

Hmmm.  Ok.  The next step was to stir in the salt.  Uh, yeah, right.  I put the salt on top, and then tried my best to stir, but it just wasn’t possible.  The dough was soo stiff that I could stand that spoon up in it.  I guess that would’ve been a good picture to take.  Since I was to continue adding even more flour, and I couldn’t get that salt stirred in, I took a chance, and did my own thing.  I sprinkled the counter with flour, and dumped the dough mess into it.  I hoped that as I kneaded more flour into the dough, that the salt would also mix in evenly.  I kneaded for nearly 12 full minutes, until the dough was soft, and not too sticky.  Then, I plopped the dough back into my bowl, covered it, and let it rise for and hour, until it doubled.

Once it doubled, I dumped the dough back onto the counter again…

It was huge!  The recipe is supposed to make 3 loaves.  I flattened it out, and divided it into thirds.  I folded them up, and placed two on a sheet to be frozen, and one in a parchment-slung loaf pan.

But I had a problem.  Again.  I got started late, blame a lego-filled play session, and by the time I got around to shaping my loaf for its second rise, it was 8 oclock.  My bread wasn’t getting baked that night.  So again, I veered from the recipe a bit, and put my panned loaf into the fridge.

Come morning, my dough looked like this…

The dough rose overnight, while chilling the fridge, but I knew it needed to rise a bit more, and warm up, a lot.  I pulled it out of the fridge first thing, and let it warm up for an hour and a half.  Then I placed it in my 375 degree oven, and baked it for 35 minutes.  It came out looking like this…

So it’s not as perfect as a professional loaf, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right?

And that was still pretty good, even with all my detours and delays.  I would recommend the website’s recipe, even if it is a bit different.  Be sure to let me know how yours turns out.

 

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2 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Reviews

2 responses to “Loafin’ Around…

  1. Michael McAloon

    So I tried your pita bread recipe and it was great. That got me to thinking about all the different breads we had in the old neighborhood when I was going up. We very seldom had “sliced white bread”, So I started looking for bakeries with good bread. After awhile I started feeling like Don Quixote. So I have been reading up and experimenting with making my own. Then I noticed your blog was having a lot of dough making going on. Great minds….

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