Monday, February 28, 2011

Baking Bread

I love food blogs, and I don't think I will ever have a food blog, but I made bread today and I wanted to document the process with some photos.

First of all I got all of the ingredients out and placed them on the counter in a very photogenic manner.

Next, I took the bowl from my mixer and put a heaping tablespoon of yeast, 2 1/2 cups of warm water and two tablespoons of brown sugar in it to proof. I let it stand for 10 minutes until it gets foamy like this next photo.

I then stir in an egg, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp of molasses, a tsp of salt, 1/3 cup of ground flax seed, 1 cup multigrain cereal, and three or four cups of whole wheat flour. I stir it with a spoon until it is too tough to mix then use the dough hook and the KitchenAid Mixer.

I thought this was a fun picture of the mixer in action! I keep adding flour until I am left with a nice ball of dough that isn't too sticky. Usually I end up adding about 6 1/2 cups of flour in total. I typically add about 4-5 cups of whole wheat flour and the rest white flour. I let the mixer 'knead' the dough for about 5 minutes or so.

Next I pour a little olive oil in the bowl and roll the ball of dough around until the whole thing is coated in oil.

I then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a slightly preheated oven (turn the oven on to 200F for a couple of minutes then turn the oven off) to rise for 40-50 minutes until doubled in size.

I am always amazed when I go back to check on the dough and find this overflowing bowl. Then I punch the dough down (which is super fun!) and divide it into two relatively equal portions to make two loaves of bread. I have also made buns at this point by dividing the dough into small bun sized portions.

To form the loaves, I roll the dough into a long oval like this then tightly roll it into a loaf shape by tucking in the ends as I roll it.

Place the loaf in a loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise again for 30-40 minutes.

This is how it looks after it has risen the second time. At this point I preheat the oven to 350F and put them in to bake for 30 minutes.

There is nothing quite like the smell of baking bread. It smelled soooooo good in here this afternoon. I never got around to taking a picture of the bread after it was baked, but it looks a lot like this last photo but with a sun tan :)


Jay said...

Such great bread and so well documented!

Well done, sweetie!

Karen said...

Hey.. I think I could do that! Not sure my mixer can handle that much flour tho. I should really give it a go sometime.

Angie said...

Karen, I imagine you could cut the recipe in half...or use a different recipe that only makes one loaf.