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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Life Skills Bread

This is a fabulous basic bread recipe.  Completely doable by hand and by novice bread makers.  But tasty enough to please bread affecianados.  This is the recipe I used to teach my daughters about bread making--temperature of yeast, feel of the dough, rising, shaping, etc.  Adapted slightly from this King Arthur recipe.

Makes: 2 loaves
Time: about 3 1/2 hours start to finish

2 cups warm water
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 t yeast (or one packet)
2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup White Whole Wheat Flour
3 cups All-Purpose Flour

 In a large bowl, combine warm water, sugar, yeast, and 2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour.   Cover mixture with a clean towel and let stand 10 minutes until bubbly.

Stir in salt and vegetable oil.

Stir in the rest of the flour, 1 cup at a time. When the dough holds together and most of the flour is mixed in, plop dough out onto a clean, floured surface. Knead the dough. Sprinkle your hands or the work surface with just enough flour to prevent sticking. Use your dough scraper, too. After 5 minutes, take a break and let the dough rest.

Scrape out the mixing bowl, and smear a little oil all around the inside. Knead the dough for a few more minutes. (When you lightly press the dough with your fingertips, it should bounce right back.  The dough should be tacky but not overly sticky).  

Put the dough into the oiled bowl, flip the dough once, and cover with plastic wrap and a clean towel. Put the dough in a warm place to rise until double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Gently deflate the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Divide the dough in half and form into desired shapes. Grease a baking sheet; put your loaves on it. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and a clean towel and let the dough rise again for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375F. Carefully remove plastic wrap and slash the tops of the loaves or baguettes with a sharp knife. Bake the loaves for about 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool the bread on a rack. Enjoy!

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