What’s the one dish you think about when you’re ready to start baking again after a long, hot summer? For a lot of people, opening the oven for business again means baking loaf after loaf of warm, wonderful bread.
That’s not to say you couldn’t have made bread in the summer. Bread makers mean you can have fresh bread without heating up your kitchen, but there’s just something about fall that makes you want to put on your fluffy socks and start baking bread in your kitchen.
What kind of bread should you bake? The sky really is the limit when it comes to bread recipes. I like to start with a whole grain of some sort before moving onto rye, sourdough, and even a delicious cheese bread. If you’ve got the freezer space you could spend a whole weekend baking bread and saving it for a rainy day. Or, you could do what I do and give a few loaves away. There’s nothing like sharing a nice warm loaf of fresh bread with a friend.
Weekends are for baking, and if you’re in the mood to make a few loaves of bread this weekend, I have some great bread recipes for you.
San Francisco Sour Dough Recipe
To make sourdough you need to prepare ahead of time by making your own sourdough starter. If someone has given you some of theirs you’re already ahead of the game, but creating your own is easy. Recipe for starter from www.exploratorium.edu.
How to make sour dough starter
1 small handful (1/4 to 1/3 cup) white flour
1 or 2 tablespoons of water
A small bowl
A towel, napkin, or other piece of cloth
A large spoon
In a mound of flour, make a small well and add the water.
Slowly mix the flour and the water, bringing more flour into the center of the well. The mixture will gradually transform from a paste into a small piece of dough.
Knead this small piece of dough with your fingers for about 5–8 minutes, until it becomes springy.
Place the dough in a small bowl, cover it with a damp towel, and let it sit in a warm spot for 2 or 3 days.
When it’s ready, the dough will be moist, wrinkled, and crusty. If you pull off a piece of the crust, you’ll find tiny bubbles and smell a sweet aroma.
Throw away any hardened crust. “Refresh” the remaining piece by mixing it with twice the original amount of flour and enough water to make a firm dough. Set aside as before.
After 1 or 2 days the starter will have a new, fresh look. Remove any dried dough and mix with about 1 cup of flour.
Once again, cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave it in a warm place for another 8–12 hours.
When the starter is ready, it will appear fully risen, and a small indentation made with a finger won’t spring back.
Now that you have your starter, you’re ready to make authentic San Francisco Sour Dough. Photo and recipe from allrecipes.com.
4 3/4 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups sourdough starter
1 extra large egg
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup chopped onion
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, and dry yeast. Add milk and softened butter or margarine. Stir in starter. Mix in up to 3 3/4 cups flour gradually, you may need more depending on your climate.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turn once to oil surface, and cover. Allow to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in volume.
Punch down, and let rest 15 minutes. Shape into loaves. Place on a greased baking pan. Allow to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled.
Brush egg wash over tops of loaves, and sprinkle with chopped onion.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 minutes, or till done.
Honey Beer Bread Recipe
From OhSweetDay.com, this Honey Beer Bread is one that tastes amazing when paired with chili or a big bowl of hot soup.
Ingredients (one loaf)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
1 can beer
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Using a wooden spoon, stir the beer and honey into the dry ingredients until just mixed. (Microwave the honey for 5 to 10 seconds beforehand to make it easier to stir in)
Pour half the melted butter into the loaf pan. Then spoon the batter into the pan, and pour the rest of the butter on top of the batter. Use a pastry brush to spread it around.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until top is golden brown and a toothpick/knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Homemade Rye Bread Recipe
Rye bread is great in the morning and perfect for tea time. If you’ve ever had a pastrami and rye, you’ll agree that it’s also pretty amazing for lunch. Photo and recipe from foodnetwork.com.
1 envelope (1/4-ounce) dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup warm milk (about 110 degrees F)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup rye flour
2 1/2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large egg, beaten
Combine the yeast, sugar, melted butter, egg, and milk in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Add the salt, rye flour, all-purpose flour, and caraway seeds. Beat at low speed until all of the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. Then, beat at medium speed until the mixture forms a ball, leaves the sides of the bowl and climbs up the dough hook. Remove the dough from the bowl. Using your hands, form the dough into a smooth ball. Lightly oil a bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it to oil all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 5 1/2 by 9-inch baking pan.
Remove the dough from the bowl and invert onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead the dough several times. Tuck and roll so that any seams disappear into the dough and place in the prepared baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in size, about 1 hour. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg lightly over the top of the dough. Bake until lightly brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
With these three bread recipes you can kick off an entire winter of baking bread. Take a look at all of the small appliances and kitchen tools you can use when baking bread.
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