Friday, April 12, 2013

Give Us this Day Our Daily Bread

One of my FB friends asked me earlier this week where my bread recipe was. After all, I share all the pictures of fresh baked bread. Yes, and my profile regularly contains an ode to fresh baked bread.

I love the taste of fresh bread. And the yeasty smell of fresh bread. And the sight of fresh bread. It is a veritable feast for the senses, to say nothing of simply being a feast.

I enjoy making bread. I love the feel of the dough on my hands as I knead and shape it. I love the satisfying feeling I get knowing I am making something healthy for my family. I love the fact that it real is easy, and not time consuming.

I have shared techniques for making good bread in other posts. Nutshelled...

Mix dries.
Add wets.
Mix together well.
Knead in additional flour.
Let rise a few times.
Shape, rise, bake.
Enjoy that freshly baked sensual feast.

I have shared my pita bread recipe and my french bread recipe, but I don't think I've ever shared my every day, nothing special, bread recipe.

Barefoot Hippie Girl's Bread Recipe
(makes 3-4 loaves of bread, or bread and rolls)
4 c whole wheat flour
5-7 c white all purpose or bread flour
1/2 c white sugar or honey
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 cup cooked oatmeal (optional)
1 T salt
2 T active dry yeast
3 cups very warm water, around 120 degrees

Mix whole flour, yeast, sugar and salt in your mixing bowl. Add oil, water, honey (if not using sugar), and oatmeal. Mix together until combined. Then, if you are using a mixer with a dough hook, turn on your mixer to the lowest speed, and let mix for 3 minutes. If you are mixing by hand, just let the ingredients sit for three minutes. In mixer or by hand, add as much of the remaining flour as you can, kneading the dough until it is no longer sticky, but still soft. If you are using oatmeal, the amount of white flour you use will be closer to 7 cups than 5 cups.
Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about an hour. Punch the dough down, and let rise until doubled again, about 30 minutes. Divide into 3-4 equal pieces (4 if you used oatmeal). Let rest for 10 minutes. You can then shape the dough into loaves by rolling out into a rectangle and rolling up jelly roll style, or into buns by rolling into small balls.
Let raise until doubled in size. Bake loaves at 375 degrees for 32 minutes, and rolls at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes-until golden brown.

I know, if Marie Antionette had been thinking clearly, she would have declared, "let them eat bread!" Enjoy!