Saturday, November 3, 2007

:: Bread Love ::

I'm up to my earlobes in portfolios to grade and a novel to reread before teaching it on Monday (anyone wanna come up with a lesson plan for me?), so I thought I'd leave you with a recipe.

breadI'm totally into homemade bread right now. Homemade bread and I are having a serious romance the likes of which I haven't experienced since post-pregnant me got reacquainted with raw eggs (in the form of cookie dough and chocolate mousse). I thought that I couldn't handle a relationship with homemade bread while I was raising an itty bitty baby. Homemade bread's so needy and all. (I'll spare you the kneady pun we all know is sitting right there in plain view.)

But we're at it hot and heavy now. And it's so good.

Now, everyone knows that bread machine bread is only marginally better than wonderbread in a bag. In fact, sometimes bread machine bread is downright worse than wonderbread in a bag. You didn't know this? Hmm. You should. Everybody else does. Bread machine bread gets this inch-thick crust all over it which I can only describe as beard-like. It looks like a mangy lumberjack beard and feels like one on your tongue. It's all thick and uncomfortable and severely detracts from the creamy bready goodness it encases.

But making bread by hand takes hours. Five or six hours, actually. Mix, knead, let rise. Punch, knead, let rise.

What's a girl with a baby and a serious need for homemade bread to do? Use the bread machine to make the dough, of course. Let it rise. Bake it in a regular bread pan in a regular oven. Salivate over the yeasty smell. Enjoy. Eat it so fast you have to make more the next day.

Here's a recipe. I love it because it uses part white flour, part whole wheat so you get the best of both worlds.

Go make it now. Enjoy it soon. While it rises, go buy some tasty jam.

Wheat and Honey Bread
(for the bread machine)

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp warm water
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp butter, softened (but not melted)
1 cup white flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bread machine yeast

Put the ingredients into the bread machine container in the order listed, making a little crater in the flour for the salt and yeast so that they don't end up in the water too soon. Use your bread machine's dough cycle. When it's done, turn the bread out onto a floured surface and roll it flat-ish. Roll the dough jelly-roll style into a cylinder and place it in a greased bread pan with the crease side down. Let it rise for another half an hour or so (longer if you'd like). Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.



Jessica November 4, 2007 at 6:41 AM  

Thank you Julie! Now I just need to ask Santa for the bread machine...

motherofbun November 4, 2007 at 8:24 AM  

Am drooling over that bread! Yummmy.

Toni November 8, 2007 at 7:54 PM  

Now I just knead a bread machine. :)

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