Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

How wonderful … the intoxicating scent of bread baking in the oven is on a blustery day. Just the sight of a bowl full of rising dough fills me with anticipation. Does anything taste as satisfying as a fragrant chunk of bread hot from the oven with fresh butter melting into your hand?

There’s a bonus to making homemade bread, besides the utter freshness and superior nutrient value, compared to many processed varieties. Besides the tantalizing aroma as it bakes, the satisfaction of having made it yourself and the amazing flavor…

When you make it yourself, you have a lot more control over the process. This means you can be more creative.

Letting the Dough Rest After Rising

For me, this means experimenting with some of the ingredients. It also means having some freedom to determine how I want to divvy up the dough. I can make a double batch of bread, baking some into loaves for sandwiches and shaping the rest into dinner rolls, sandwich rolls, hamburger rolls, cinnamon rolls, pizza shells and English muffins. These all freeze well and taste much better than their store-bought counterparts.

I will walk you through the process…

While I prefer a completely wholegrain bread to accompany soup, for sandwiches and toast, this is a good all-around versatile recipe that when mixed up, can be made into many different products easily. I have only recently discovered rapid-rise yeast and for this recipe, it is a great time saver.

Dividing and Rolling the Dough

I recommend the traditional slow-rise yeast for heavier doughs, using all whole wheat or other whole grain flours and those incorporating ingredients like sprouted wheat berries and nuts. I’d also recommend allowing several hours for those dough risings.

Rolling Out Dough for a Large Pizza Crust

Tips for yeast bread to ensure success:

  • Start with all ingredients at room temperature, including yeast and flour, heat encourages the yeast
  • Knead dough for at least as long as the recipe recommends. This gives the dough time to develop the gluten and trap the gas bubbles released by the yeast, making the bread rise properly.
  • Let dough rise in a draft free location, cool temperatures discourage the yeast.
  • Cast Iron Animal Puzzle Mold, Fun to Bake Rolls, Muffins and Cookies in

This recipe is easily doubled.

Basic Light Wheat Bread with Honey

3 cups unbleached white flour

3 cups whole-wheat flour

6 T honey

1 ½ t. sea salt

2 envelopes rapid rise yeast

2 cups water

1/3 cup milk

3 T soft butter or canola oil

Mix 2 cups unbleached flour and 3 cups whole-wheat flour, honey, salt and yeast together in a large bowl or kettle.

In a small saucepan, heat milk, water and butter or oil until just hot (125 to 130 degrees F).

Blend liquid into dry ingredients a little at a time. Add remaining flour until dough remains soft but does not stick to sides of bowl or kettle.

Turn dough onto a large floured breadboard or other clean and floured surface like a counter.

Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, turning dough frequently.

Cover dough with plastic wrap, then a towel and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes undisturbed

Cut dough into sections and shape as desired, into loaves, rolls, English muffins, pizza shells … See below for details.

English Muffins Cooking

For Loaves, cut dough in half and place into 2 large bread loaf pans. Place in a draft free area. Cover pans and let rise for about an hour.

Brush tops with milk. Bake at 375 degrees F for ¾ to 1 hour. Loaves should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Cool on wire racks after removing baked loaves from pans.

Hot Light Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

For Dinner Rolls, cut dough in fourths and shape each section into a long tube, about 1 foot long. Cut each tube into 8 or 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a round ball and place into well-buttered cake or pie pans, each just touching the other.

Let rise 20 to 30minutes.

Brush tops with milk. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Calzone with Basil and Garlic Crust, Hot from the Oven

For Cinnamon Rolls, divide dough in half. Roll into a rectangle about 8 inches by 12 inches. Spread softened butter over dough except for ½ inch all the way around the edges. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Roll from long edge and cut into 2-inch sections. Place rolls spiral side down into a well-buttered cake or pie pan.

Let rise about 20 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Lightly Baked Wheat Pizza Crust Before Topping

For Pizza Dough, Divide dough into 4 sections for large pizza, or smaller sections for individual pizza crusts. Prepare a pizza pan or stone with a light sprinkle of corn meal. Roll dough into a circle shape, about half as thick as you want the finished crust to be and up to an inch larger in diameter to allow for dough shrinkage. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Hint: Add1/2 cup of fresh mixed or 2 tablespoons of dried Italian herbs and 3 crushed garlic cloves to dough before combining wet and dry ingredients, for extra tasty pizza and calzone dough, or herb and garlic rolls.

Let rise slightly, about 10 minutes.

Bake crusts for 5 to 10 minutes until lightly golden.

Either:

Remove from oven and cool on wire racks to store for up to 3 days well wrapped in the refrigerator or up to 1 month in the freezer.

Or

Add toppings and return to over until cheese is melted and golden.

Quickly Disappearing Whole Wheat Crust with Fresh Spinach, Artichokes, Olives and Alfredo Sauce

Red Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust, Italian Vegetables and Meat

Whole Grain Pizza Crust with Alfredo and 4 Italian Cheeses and Mediterranean Vegetables

For English Muffins, cut dough into 2 sections. Roll out about 1 inch thick. Using a large biscuit cutter or a tuna can with both ends cut out, cut circles of dough. Place into a cast iron skillet, heated to medium, with a sprinkling of cornmeal on the bottom.

Bake muffins, in partially covered skillet until muffins have cooked a deep golden brown on the bottom. Turn once, and cook until both sides are deep golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack. Store well wrapped. Split and toast to serve.

Cinnamon Rolls Cooling

Advertisements