Leaven for the Rest of Us

Who doesn’t love homemade bread? And can we talk about that smell?!? Personally, I can’t get enough of it. If homemade bread intimidates you, this is a great recipe to try. Good bread just takes a little bit of practice.

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Start with your ingredients.

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Heat 2 cups of water and dissolve a small amount of your sugar in the warm water. Stir in yeast and let sit. The temperature of the water needs to be between 95 – 115 degrees F. Once you make bread a few times, you’ll get an idea of what the temperature should feel like. When I teach my kids about dough, I have them feel water that is too cold, too hot, and then the right temperature. If your water is too hot, it will kill the yeast. If your water is too cold, it won’t activate the yeast. Yeast is what makes the bread rise, so you want to be sure the water is the right temperature. Adding a little sugar just speeds things up.

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After about 10 minutes, you should see a significant change in the yeast. If nothing has happened, you will need to start the yeast over. It should look like this.

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Melt the butter and add butter, honey, 2 1/2 cups of water, salt, remaining sugar. Mix to combine.

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Add yeast to mixing bowl and mix to combine.

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Begin adding flour. I used white flour this time. This is what the dough should look like after 4 cups have been added.

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Keep adding flour, a few cups at a time. This is after 8 cups of flour.

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I ended up adding about 11 cups total. Knowing when the dough is done will come with time and practice. It should be slightly sticky to the touch.

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Knead the dough for 8 minutes in the mixer.

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The dough should have a nice shine to it. Isn’t it beautiful?

Divide dough into 4 equal parts. I use a kitchen scale for this since I’m terrible at eyeballing.

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Spray 4 bread pans with pan spray.

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Shape dough into loaves and place in the pans.

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Place in warm oven and let rise for 30 minutes and doubled in size.

Remove bread and heat oven to 400. Place bread back in oven and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 and bake for another 25 minutes, until golden brown on top.

Remove bread from oven and pans. Place on a cooling rack. While bread is still warm, butter the tops of the loaves.

Enjoy!

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I’m blaming it on my holiday sickness. I forgot to let this bread rise. Apparently it’s my first day. I just made sure the internal temperature was around 200. This proves what a great recipe this is. Of course bread should rise, but know that the bread will still turn out.

Bread
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 loaves
 
Great for beginner bread bakers.
Ingredients
  • 4½ cups warm water
  • 4 TBSP Butter
  • 6 TBSP Sugar
  • ¼ c Honey
  • 1 TBSP Salt
  • 2 Heaping TBSP Yeast
  • 2 TBSP Dough Enhancer
  • 10-12 cups of flour (white/wheat/mixture)
Instructions
  1. Warm 2 cups of water.
  2. Dissolve 1 TBSP of your pre measured sugar in the water.
  3. Add yeast, stir, and set aside.
  4. Add remaining water, sugar, salt, honey, and melted butter into the mixer bowl.
  5. Mix to combine.
  6. Add yeast mixture and combine.
  7. Begin adding flour, 2 cups at a time, stopping occasionally to scape down the sides of the bowl.
  8. Continue to add flour until dough starts to clean the sides of the bowl.
  9. Turn mixer on high and knead for 8 minutes.
  10. Turn dough out onto an oiled surface and form into 4 loaves and place each loaf into a well-greased bread pan.
  11. Place pans in a slightly warm oven to proof for about 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
  12. Take bread out of the oven and preheat to 400.
  13. Place bread into oven and bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 until bread is done. (about 30 minutes)
  14. Remove from oven, remove bread from pans and place on cooling rack.
  15. While loaves are still warm, butter tops and allow bread to cool completely before storing.