Monday, March 19, 2012

One Hour, Two Loaves

So, let's talk about bread.

I don't know many people (in fact, none come readily to mind) who don't like bread. Fresh. Baked. Bread. Mmmmm....
Sorry, just having a moment there.

Would you like to make bread for your family? What's stopping you?

Is it the time commitment?

Yeah, that can be a deal breaker for me, too.

A couple of years ago, I shared this very recipe with you, but I don't think you heard me. So I'm putting it out there again.

I often make bread for our family. (Note that I said often and not always.) I like doing it. It's fun! But it can be both labor-intensive and time-consuming. This bread, however, can be made from the mixing bowl to the cooling rack in the space of one hour.

It's whole wheat, but light and fluffy, without being flimsy. It makes fantastic sandwich bread, and great toast. Yum!

Oh yes, and did I mention that it makes two loaves? Two loves, one hour -- this is my kind of ratio!

Here's how you make it:

One Hour Sandwich Bread

via Caroline's Bake Shop

5 c. whole wheat flour, divided
1/3 c. vital wheat gluten (Bob's Red Mill is a good brand, which you can usually find in the natural foods section of your local grocery store)
1 1/4 Tbsp. "quick-rise" or highly "active" yeast
2 1/2 c. steaming hot water (120-130° F)
1 Tbsp. salt
1/3 c. oil
1/3 c. honey or molasses (I prefer molasses, myself)
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice


* I do all of this in my stand mixer with the paddle attachment.

Mix together 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour, vital wheat gluten and yeast. Add steaming water all at once and mix for 1 minute. Cover mixer with a dishtowel and let rest for 10 minutes (this is called sponging, but let's not get too technical).

Add salt, oil, honey, and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute.

Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time, beating between each cup. Once the flour is incorporated, beat for about 6-10 minutes until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This makes a very soft dough.

Pre-heat oven for 1 minute to lukewarm and then turn off. Turn dough onto oiled counter top or pastry mat (I just spray the counter with cooking spray); divide, shape into 2 loaves, and place in greased bread pans. Squish the dough gently into the corners of your loaf pans to ensure even baking.

Let rise in warm oven for 10-15 minutes, or until dough reaches the top of the pan. Without removing pans from the oven, heat to 350F and bake for 30 minutes. (This is 30 minutes total, not 30 minutes after your oven comes to temperature.) Remove loaves from pans immediately and let cool on wire racks.

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