Saturday, December 8, 2012

Three Bread Recipes from Mary

Originally posted on facebook

Three Bread Recipes from Mary

December 8, 2012 at 8:46 pm
I hate having to scroll through 100+ notes every time I want one of these recipes, so I'm copying them here :)  Everything that follows is Mary's words/thoughts.


1 cup Sourdough starter (recipe at the bottom of this page)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups warm water
3 3/4- 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I've also used whole wheat)
3 Tbsp sugar (I've also used 1/4 cup local honey)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
Cold water
It really is best with white flour and sugar, but not very healthy.

Mix 1 cup Sourdough Starter, 2 1/2 cups flour and 2 cups warm water in 3 quart glass bowl with wooden spoon until smooth. Cover; let stand in warm draft-free place for 8 hours. (It is best to do this the night before you plan to bake, I've found).

Add 3 3/4 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt, baking soda, and oil to the mixture; stir with wooden spoon until smooth and flour is completely absorbed. Dough should be firm enough to form into ball. If you need to add 1/2 cup more flour gradually to the mixture.

Turn dough out onto heavily floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (I do this step in my kitchen aid with the bread hook.) Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover, let rise in warm place until double, about 1 1/2 hours. (Dough is ready when indentation remains when touched.)

Punch down dough; divide into halves. Shape each half into a round, slightly flat loaf. (I do a baguette shape and slice it diagonally about 3 or 4 times down the length of the loaf.) Place loaves in opposite corners of greased cookie sheet. Make 3 1/4 inch slashes in each loaf. Let rise til double, about 45 minutes. ( I have sprinkled my cookie sheet with corn meal or poppy seeds before putting the loaves on. I use my Pampered Chef Bar pan- the big one- to bake both loaves on... yummy!)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush loaves with cold water. Place cookie sheet in center of oven- don't let cookie sheet touch sides of oven. Bake, brushing occasionally with more cold water, until loaves sound hollow when tapped, about 50 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet, cool on wire racks.

Sourdough Starter
1 teaspoon yeast
1/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup milk
1 cup all purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water in 3 quart glass bowl. Stir in milk. Stir in flour gradually. Beat until smooth. Cover with towel and let stand for 24 hours in warm draft-free place, until bubbles appear. If fermentation has not begun after 24 hours, throw away and start over. Stir well and let sit out an additional 2-3 days, until foamy.

When starter is foamy, stir well and pour into 1 quart glass crock with tightly fitting cover and store in the refrigerator. (I use a glass jar with a screw on lid that I got honey in). Starter is ready to use when a clear liquid rises to the surface. Stir before using. After using 1 cup of starter in recipe, add 3/4 cup flour and 3/4 cup milk to remaining starter in jar and cover and leave on the counter for 12 hours. Refrigerate. If bread begins losing volume, only add 1/2 cup milk and dissolve 1 teaspoon yeast in 1/4 cup warm water, then add to the remaining starter with the 3/4 cup flour.

It seems complicated, but after a few times you will become one with the bread and know exactly what it needs. Mine is my baby, and I guard my start with my life. I've heard of families passing their starts down the generations... like 100 year old starts. That's what I want my descendants to think of when they think of their weird ancestor Mary... really good Sourdough bread. And leopard print...

Just so I don't get sued for plagiarism, I took this recipe out of my old 1970's version of Betty Crocker's cookbook. Now go become a Master Baker, little grasshoppers!

My basic bread recipe that I change to suit my mood.

This is my go-to bread recipe... I have learned that as long as you have the key components to bread, you can switch up what you use as the flour, liquid, oil, etc...

7-8 cups flour (I have used all whole wheat, or all white, or a mix of grains like ground oatmeal with wheat and white)
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast (2 packages)
1 cup warm water
2 cups other liquid (water, scalded then cooled to lukewarm milk, or buttermilk, or I've added powdered milk with the water)
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp oil (calls for shortening, but I like to use a healthy oil)
[If I'm using honey in place of sugar, I put 1/3 cup oil in then use the same measuring cup to pour in 1/3 cup honey... the oiled cup allows the honey to fall out without scraping]
1 Tbsp salt
butter, softened

Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water. Stir in other liquid, sugar (honey), oil, salt, and 4 cups of flour. Beat until smooth (I use my Kitchen Aid with the dough attachment). Mix in just enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic... about 10 minutes (I use my Kitchen Aid for this step as well). Place dough in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Allow to rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour.

Punch down dough. Divide into halves. Shape each half into a loaf and place in greased bread pan. Brush loaves with butter. Let rise until double, about an hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place loaves on low rack, making sure pans do not touch. Bake until loaves sound hollow when tapped (45-50 minutes). Remove from pans and brush with butter. Cool on wire racks.

I like to make whole wheat and honey (the honey moistens the whole wheat). If I make buttermilk bread, I use all white flour, and sugar... not at all healthy, but so good to sop up gravies and stews!!!
I also do 1/3 part whole wheat, 1/3 part white flour, and 1/3 part ground oatmeal. This makes it more nutritious, while still being soft and yummy. I have rolled this recipe with cinnamon and sugar to make a swirled bread, then used that for Kirk's French toast the next morning. Dry leftover bread becomes homemade croutons- I cover the cubed bread with a little smattering of melted butter, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, and kosher salt (and sometimes parsley) and bake at 425 degrees until crunchy. It can be stored in a zip-lock bag for a few days.

Bread makes me happy.

Fresh ground, whole wheat bread...

5 cups warm water
2 Tablespoons salt
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup honey
3 Tablespoons yeast
1/3 cup gluten flour
10 cups (more or less) fresh ground whole wheat

Pour water in a large bowl... I use my big bowl to my Kitchen Aid mixer... add several cups of flour and start mixing with the dough hook. Add salt, oil, honey and yeast and gluten. I have to use my 1/3 cup for the oil and honey... so what I do is fill it first with oil, then honey, then oil, then honey... the honey just falls out and grabs the residual oil with it. :)  Add the last of the flour and continue mixing with dough hook until dough pulls away from side of bowl... you may need to add more flour than the recipe calls for... or pay attention and do not add all the flour if the dough appears to be pulling into a ball before all the flour has been added. Knead for 10-15 minutes... and you may wish to finish kneading it on a lightly floured counter. Place dough in oiled bowl and turn so oiled side is on top. Cover with wet cloth and allow to rise until double. Punch down and divide into 5 pieces... roll each piece into a loaf and place into greased loaf pan. Allow to rise for an hour, or until doubled. Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes... or until brown and hollow sounding when thumped lightly with finger. Remove from oven and cool on racks. :)