Or at least, when I can bribe Jeff to take pictures of me doing it
Finally, my long-awaited bread tutorial! I know, I know…y’all can’t wait. I can’t blame you. Because if you can make bread, you can do anything. It really should be one of those essential life skills, rating somewhere between checking your oil and calculating a tip.
So with no further ado…Basic White Bread:
First of all, set your butter out on the counter to soften. You won’t need much–maybe a tablespoon or two.
To start the dough, run your tap till the water comes out pretty warm. How warm is pretty warm? Iunno. Just…pretty warm. I don’t use a thermometer or anything.
(You might notice I’m not wearing my wedding band or engagement ring. That’s because they would get very very dirty in a a few minutes. Don’t bake and bling, please. For the sake of your diamonds.)
At this point I wanted to refill my flour canister so I’d have it handy for finishing the dough. That way I wouldn’t get my sticky fingers all over the bag. That’s just me, though. You may thrive on that sort of excitement.
Just kidding. It’s supposed to look like that. That’s why you add another cup or so of flour:
And stir it in. I always do that by hand, but if you have a fancy pantsy stand mixer with a dough hook, you might as well use that instead.
See that lovely texture? It’s on its way!
It’s at this point that I turn it over to video Katie, the much more awkward and less witty version of myself. I have no editing skills so this is really quality, just forewarning.
Then after Jeff turned the camera off, I kneaded for a few minutes more, until I had this result:
Gawd I hate the sound of my own voice!
Then punch it down. Since I’m sure you’re all bread pacifists and don’t know how to be violent toward dough, I’ve got one more super-handy video:
Well that was enjoyable.
Finally, it’s ready for the oven! Your oven should be preheated to 425*F–I usually start warming mine up about half an hour after I started the dough’s second rising. Also, the oven rack should be on a low setting–so once the loaves are in the oven, their tops will be at the middle. I’ve drawn this handy diagram:
And you’re all done! Yum!
I loooove this recipe–it’s so easy and basic, and it’s actually very little effort. I know it seems like it takes forever since you have to account for rising time, but I’ll tell ya’ that while this batch was rising, I cleaned, did dishes, and went to my boss’s house and picked some stuff up…it’s not like you have to hover over your bread-in-progress or anything! Though you can if you want to…I promise I won’t tell!
I’ve never used a bread machine, and with a recipe this simple I never will. Homemade bread is so much yummier than store-bought, and healthier too–since it doesn’t have any of those yucky preservatives.
I’ll be trying a whole-wheat version soon–may have to adjust some of the amounts a bit to account for a denser flour. I actually can’t believe I didn’t do that sooner!
Now, off to have a homemade bread and turkey bacon grilled cheese sandwich….yummy!
Love to hear if anyone tries this for themselves