A friend (and faithful follower of MLST) recently requested the recipe for my homemade bread after I posted a picture on FB the other day. So I decided to share not only the simple recipe for the dough, but also recipes of a variety of yummy goodness that you can make with the dough. (Yes, I made all those things pictured up there...and they are all pretty dang amazing if I may say so myself.) So I'll be posting some individual recipes in the near future for you to try with your new dough recipe. Today's recipe: dough.
I was always intimidated when it came to making bread. Although not a quick fix, this is a very simple recipe. My nutritionist friend Marisa taught me how to make this dough. And she knows what she's doing since she's Italian and even has a brick oven in her kitchen (seriously, how cool is that?!). If you're looking to throw together a loaf of bread in an hour or less, this recipe is not for you. But if you want the tastiest, chewiest, crustiest bread around, look no further, I got ya covered.
Here's what you need.
I use King Arthur flour since it's unbleached. Sure, it may cost a bit more than the bleached stuff, but it's much better for you.
First, you need to proof your yeast to make sure it's active. You simply do that by pouring it into a small bowl, add about 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, and a little warm water. Wait about 10 minutes and this is what it should look like: nice and bubbly. If it doesn't bubble up, it's not active, therefore shouldn't be used. (I used one packet of yeast for this recipe.)
A palmful of salt
Dump about half the bag of flour in a bowl, the salt, and the proofed yeast, along with some warmish water (I start with about 2 cups, then add more if/when needed). And get your hands dirty. Oh before you get all messy, have a piece of parchment or wax paper ready. You should be able to tell just by working with it how much water/flour you need. If your dough is too wet, simply add more flour. If it's too crumbly, add more water.
Sprinkle flour over your little ball of goodness.
And cover with parchment.
Then grab a couple heavy towels (I used two beach towels) and drape over your bowl. And let it set for 1 1/2-2 hours. After the 2 hours, you want to knead it a bit (nothing crazy) by folding over and punching the dough down several times, dust with flour, and cover again. At this point, I coated the bowl with some olive oil. You'll want to do this step (the kneading part) at least twice, so after you cover it up again, wait another 1 1/2-2 hours and do that process again. It's totally worth the wait, people.
Your dough should be growing in size every time you go to knead it.
When you're ready to make some bread, sprinkle some corn meal on your cookie sheet (I used a Pampered Chef stone), form some loaf-shaped balls of dough, cut some slits in the top, brush an egg wash over them and sprinkle with your favorite toppings (sesame, poppy or leave plain). Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
And that's how you make delicious homemade bread! This bread is good with just about anything: spread with a little butter, with a bowl of hot soup, used with grilled cheese sandwiches, French toast...really the possibilities are endless!
Homemade Bread Dough Recipe
1/2 bag of King Arthur Bread Flour (more for sprinkling)
Palmful of salt
1 packet of whole grain yeast (or 2 packets of rapid rise)
Start with approximately 2 cups of water (have more handy)
Proof yeast for 10 minutes. Pour 1/2 bag of flour in large bowl, along with salt, yeast, and water. Knead dough until incorporated, adding water/flour as needed. Form into a ball, sprinkle with flour, cover with parchment paper and heavy towels. Let set for 1 1/2-2 hours. After that time, remove cover (dough should have risen significantly), punch down and fold over several times, sprinkle with flour and cover again. Do this step 3 or 4 times, depending on how much time you have. The more the better!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle baking sheet with corn meal, form dough into loaf-shapes, brush with an egg wash (just scramble an egg in a small bowl and use a pastry brush to brush it on your loaves), you can add a topping at this point. Bake for 30 minutes.
Like I already mentioned, I'll be sharing more of the recipes I've tried with this dough, so stay tuned!
Pizza recipe here.
Pizza recipe here.