Make bread.

While back home in Georgia, I noticed that the cherry trees decided to blossom a couple months early. Time has been folding upon itself of late. I’m under a spell and I think it might be the smell of baking bread.

For break, I journeyed over the Appalachians to Kentucky to visit with my cousin and friends. In Kentucky, the air smells smoky and raw and baking bread seems like the right thing to do. With dinnertime fast approaching, my friend and I tried our luck with quick-rise yeast. We melted butter with milk, added flour and kneaded any frustrations into the counter-top,  and luxuriated in the feeling of dough as soft as a baby’s bottom. In no time (well, about 20 minutes) the loaf had risen double its size. We popped it in the oven and 30 minutes later the lovingly lumpy, bread “baby” was born. The whole process took about 1 hour and 30 minutes, half the time it takes to make bread with standard yeast. Now I know how heaven can rapidly produce the endless loaves of fresh bread that I pray will be there: quick-rise yeast.

Above: admiring my mom’s hand-written recipe book, kneading dough with the dough hook and grinding wheat berries. Below: taking a break for turkey.

Le Pain, Painless

makes 2 loaves or 24 rolls

5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour (can also use bread flour; I use freshly ground red wheat for my whole wheat version)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 envelopes Fleischmann’s RapidRise Yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter (coconut oil is great too)

Combine 2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt in a large mixer bowl.  Heat water, milk, and butter until very warm (120° to 130°F; my grandmother knows if it’s hot enough by putting her pinky finger in the warm liquid and holding for 3 seconds without burning her finger.)
Stir into flour mixture.  Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally.  Stir in 1 cup flour; beat at high speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.  Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough.  Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
Divide dough in half.  Place in greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pans. If you want rolls, form the dough in to your favorite roll shape and place in a circular pie pan. Cover; let rise in warm, draft free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.  Remove from pans; cool on wire rack. Eat immediately for wonderful melt-your-butter bread.

One thought on “Make bread.

  1. What a beautiful blog… Anu and I are looking forward to seeing more of you! We are excited that you’ll be spending some time in this beautiful city and hope that you enjoy it as much as we have.

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