Sunday, December 27, 2009

Homemade White Bread

Today my step-daughter Prudence taught me how to make yeast bread. I live in a high-altitude area, so knowing how to make bread rise can be a trick. She learned how to do it from a 90-year-old woman on one of her many travels. I have always wanted to know how to make bread, and now that I know the trick, a whole new world of possibilities has opened up before me! Maybe hubby will even buy me a bread machine in the future, who knows. So here's the recipe for high-altitude bread.

White Bread
(makes 3 loaves)
2 Tbsp. yeast
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk
3 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp. salt

1. Mix together yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Warm water to just before steaming, then add to yeast and sugar. Place bowl in a warm, dark place (such as a cupboard) and let stand for about 10 minutes, or until all the yeast has been activated.
2. Melt the butter, warm the milk to just before scalding, and warm the water, then mix all 3 liquids together in a large bowl.
3. Add the sugar, salt, and activated yeast mixture to the liquid mixture and mix. Mix in flour until mixture solidifies, then turn onto pre-floured surface and knead in more flour until dough is no longer sticky.
4. Grease a large bowl and place dough in bowl and cover with a tea towel. Place in pre-warmed oven that is turned off to let rise for about 2 hours.
5. Grease 3 loaf pans. Turn risen dough out of bowl and separate into 3 balls for the loaf pans. Place in loaf pans, making sure the dough fills the bottom of each pan. Cover each pan with a tea towel and put back in pre-warmed oven that is turned off and let rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
6. Remove pans from oven and set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake loaves for 30-45 minutes.
7. Remove pans and let bread cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Gloss loaves with melted butter to produce a golden color and prevent them from drying out.

Note: While this recipe is likely not the most professional bread recipe available, I do know for certain that in this climate and at this altitude it works!


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