I’ve always wanted to make my own bread in my very own kitchen. However, I knew that I didn’t have the right oven or bread machine. I researched online… and soon found that I could not even dream of affording the instruments needed to make bread. I felt a little defeated.
I soon found myself with a cookbook from the Barefoot Contessa. I borrowed it from the local library, in hopes I would find some fun, exciting recipes to try.
Needless to say, I found a bread recipe! I didn’t need a special oven or tools – I was so stoked!
I’ve made this recipe couple of times. I love it, and wanted to share it with you all. Have fun making bread!
½ C warm water (110 degrees)
2 packages of dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 ½ C warm milk (110 degrees)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 ½ tablespoons honey
2 large egg yolks
5-6 C all purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten
- Place the water in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. If the bowl is cold, be sure the water doesn’t drop below 110 degrees. Add the yeast and sugar, stir and then allow 5 minutes for it to dissolve. (I didn’t have an electric mixer, so I vigorously stirred! I’m sure you could do the same if you don’t have one.)
- Add the milk, butter, and honey. Mix on medium speed until blended.
- Add the egg yolks, 3 coups of flour, and salt. Mix on low speed for approximately 5 minutes.
- With the mixer on low, add another 2 cups of flour. Raise the speed to medium and slowly add just enough of the remaining flour so the dough doesn’t stick to the bowl. Caution: add it slowly! You can always add more, but you cannot take it out.
- Knead on medium speed for about 8 minutes, adding flour as needed.
- Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for a minute, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Grease a bowl with butter, put the dough in the bowl and then turn it over so the top is lightly buttered.
- Cover the bowl with a damp cloth (I used a damp paper towel); allow it to rise for an hour. It should double in size.
- Grease two 9-inch loaf pans with butter. Divide the dough in half, forming loaves out of them, and place them in the pans. Cover each again with a damp cloth (or paper towel). Let them rise again for another hour, in which they should double in size again.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When the dough is ready, brush the tops of the loaves with the egg white and bake the loaves for 40-45 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped.
- Turn them out of pans when finished and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Here are a couple things to be aware of: (1) when the loaves come out, they are going to smell strongly of the yeast (or wheat beer), that’s normal; (2) store in an air-tight container! I didn’t have one for my loaves, so my bread went stale within a few days.
Some things to try: (1) when the bread comes out and cools off a bit, cut a thick slice, and lay some butter on it, eat, and enjoy; (2) you can also make dinner rolls by divided a loaf into smaller ‘loaves’ – I did this my second time around and baked them in a cupcake/muffin pan, which worked great.
Have fun guys!