Sunday, May 3, 2009

The World's Best Bread.

Tonight, I am sharing the super easy recipie for the World's Best Bread. Now, I don't say that lightly. I am the kind of person that grinds my own wheat to make my own whole wheat bread. My mom bought me a special mixer to handle large batches, etc., etc. I think you get the picture :)

However, my friend makes this bread that is so good people scramble over each other to get a piece. It is super easy to make since you can use the dough setting on a bread machine to mix it all together. I like to put the ingredients in the night before so that the dough is ready in the morning. Then all I have to do is split it in half prep it either into pans or braid it , place it in a warm oven to rise, then turn the oven up to bake it.

Even though this bread is white bread, it is more healthy than regular white bread. It uses Canola Oil, Bread Flour (which is healthier than all purpose flour), and lowfat buttermilk.

I hope you enjoy it!!

So here it is - drum roll please................

Buttermilk Bread
from Apryl

*1 and 1/3 cup Buttermilk
(can also do 1 c buttermilk and 1/3 c water, if really need to cut calories by fat--but note that buttermilk is typically between 1/2% and 1 1/2% milkfat)
*4 TBLS canola oil
*1 TBLS lemon juice

*1 and 1/2 tsp salt
*4 TBLS sugar (white granulated)
*1/4 tsp baking soda
*about 4 cups white Bread flour

(must be _Bread_ flour, also sometimes called Baker's Flour. It is flour made from hard winter wheat and has a different gluten and fiber ratio than all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour will not function for bread. It doesn't rise much, just becomes a somewhat larger gooey puddle...)
Another note on flour, the amount of flour needed is very weather specific. In the winter (colder, dryer) you'll tend to use a little less flour. In the summer (hotter, wetter) you'll tend to use a little more flour.
*1 and 1/2 tsp instant yeast
(can also use active dry yeast. I think the conversion ratio is to triple the yeast amount if using active dry. In other words, 1 oz active dry equals 1/3 oz instant. I use instant yeast only because you can typically dry it in airtight packages of larger quanity than active dry, and it keeps much longer with less degradation than active dry. I make bread daily and so go through a lot of yeast, so you'd think degradation wouldn't be an issue for me, but because I make so much bread I like to buy yeast in large quanities. Instant I can buy a bag of--several bags and keep the extras in the freezer--use on it for a couple of months with my container stored at room temperature, without needing to adjust for degradation. And since I use a smaller amount it goes further.)
If using bread machine, place ingredients in canister as they are listed above, with the wet going in first and the dry on top. Set your machine to its "dough" setting. When the machine signals done, take the dough out and separate it into two equal balls. Shape balls into loaves, place in loaf pans, and let rise until the crown of the dough loaf reaches the height of the top of the loaf pan.
Baking bread is very oven specific....
So noting whether your own oven tends to "cook hot" or "cook cold" (ie, temp seems above or below average), try bread within the 350-400 range. You'll have to figure out how long by experimentation as well, somewhere between 15 and 30 mintues. You're looking for a bake that doesn't leave a doughy center and doesn't burn the top. In some of my ovens over the years I have had to cover the top of the loaf (loosely) with tinfoil when the bread is half-way through its bake, because the oven was a hot-top-baking type...
GLASS LOAF BREAD PANS are a must for yeast bread baking, or the loaf will not brown all the way around.
If you are not using a bread machine, then you'll make the dough in the following manner:
Mix wet together and leave out at room temperature until the liquid IS room temperature. Sift dry together except for flour. When you are ready to put the wet and dry together (again, except for flour), then dissolve the yeast in your combined liquids and then immediately combine the yeasted liquids with the drys (again, the drys minus flour).
Add flour gradually, mixing in each cup thoroughly, kneading in the final cup. Add flour until soft and tacky, just past not sticky. It is something you get a feel for over time ;). You'll tend to use more flour in the summer and less in the winter, due to the effects of temperature and humidity.
Allow to rise double in size (amount of time this takes depends on the time of year and state of weather that day), then punch down and knead.
Allow to rise double in size again, then punch down and knead.
Recipes makes two one pound loaves, so separate in half, form into two loaves, and place in loaf pans. Follow rest of directions as noted above.

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