Friday, June 17, 2011

Homemade Bread {fast, healthy, & easy}

What makes a house a home?  Well... some people would say it is having things slightly out of order and looking lived in or others would say kids giggling.  Some might say it is how the house is decorated and others how it smells.  Well, I believe a house becomes a home when it is filled with love.  And since I love cooking (and eating) I would definitely lean towards a house becomes a home when yummy smells are coming from it!

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to watch a presentation from BYUtv's Food Nanny, Liz Edmonds.  She shared the following recipe with me.  I kept thinking about it ALL day and was so excited to come home and try it that night.  Even after being at a teacher conference all day and coming home tired, I still had enough energy to make this super simple and fast bread recipe.  And I fell in love.  Our house smelled like a home that night and it was amazing!  I have not made bread for a long time because it takes forever/ isn't exactly healthy.  Well, this recipe counters those--it is fast and is healthy!  We ate a lot of the bread that first night and then the leftovers were perfect for taking with to my teacher conferences the rest of the week.

Both loaves were the same size.  I forgot to take a picture until after we ate...
1 1/4- 1 1/2 c. warm water, divided
1 1/2 T. yeast
2 t. sugar, divided
2 t. salt
3 - 3 1/4 c. flour

Stir 1/2 c. warm water, yeast and 1 t. sugar together.  Set it aside and let it sit for a few minutes to activate the yeast.  (Note:  Yes, I really did use sugar instead of splenda.  This recipe has nothing else to give the bread structure.  No oil, no baking powder/ soda.  And it needed something to help the gluten develop and stabilize!)

In a large mixing bowl, stir salt, 1 t. sugar and 3 c. flour (Note:  I only used whole wheat flour and it worked great!).  Add the (hopefully frothy) yeast mixture and 3/4 c. warm water.  Stir together until mixed and not sticky.  You might need to add either extra flour (~1/4 c.) or water (~1/4 c.) depending upon the day & weather.  Knead dough for about 5 minutes.  Divide in half and roll each half out into a long log (this is supposed to be a French Baguette).  Lightly spray a cooking sheet and put the two bread logs on it.  Using a sharp knife, slice the top (to allow moisture to escape while cooking).  Cover with a damp, hot linen/ thin towel and rise until doubled.  Bake at 450 * F for about 10 min.  Warning: it is highly addictive and tastes amazing with cinnamon honey butter!  :)

Start to finish, the bread seriously probably took about 40 minutes to make.  Once it was rising and then baking, I quickly worked on making the rest of dinner.

I used the cookie sheet method... the bread kind of rose out instead of up.  There is a pan called a baguette pan--which I desperately want now--which would help the bread be more round than oval shaped.  Still tastes delicious though, just looks a little odd shaped.  Casey was wondering if I could just put the whole thing in one loaf pan and try that.  I'm also thinking this would make some delicious rolls or bread sticks.

Happy HOME Smells! :)


Jonessa said...

This looks really yummy! We'll be trying it out this week for sure.

(As a side note, I'm SO glad to hear that you've done your research and don't use splenda.) :)

Lisa said...

I took a food science class. I could tell you what the function of most ingredients are. I'm totally good with using splenda for most things--just not when the sugar is being used for structure and there is nothing else to support it.