10 TIPS FOR MAKING HOMEMADE BREAD
- 3/4 cup warm water (95 F to 110 F)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (approximately)
Mix the Bread Dough
- Gather the ingredients.
- Pour the warm water into a large bowl.
- Slowly stir in the yeast until it is dissolved.
- Add the salt, sugar, and milk to the bowl. Stir until everything is thoroughly combined.
- Mix in the shortening and the first 2 cups of flour. The shortening will continue to integrate into the dough while kneading, so it may be small lumps at this stage.
- If needed, begin adding more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough chases the spoon around the bowl.
Prepare and Bake the Bread Dough
Once you have mixed the bread dough, it is time to work it and let it rise This is often the stage that turns many bakers away from homemade bread because it takes time for the bread to rise as well as practice. After making a few loaves though, you’ll be a natural.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead for about 10 minutes. Add small spoonfuls of flour as necessary, until the dough is soft and smooth (not sticky to the touch). You may not need all of the flour, or you may need a little more. Keep the surface floured to prevent the dough from sticking to the board and your hands.
- Put the dough in a greased or buttered bowl and turn the dough over so the other side is also greased.
- Cover and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot, such as an oven with the light on, for about 1 hour, or until doubled.
- Punch down the dough
- Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead for 5 minutes.
- Form the dough into a loaf
- Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes, or until doubled. If your kitchen is chilly or drafty, place the pan in a cool oven with the light on for this step, or you may not get a proper rise.
- Heat the oven to 375 F.
- by cutting three slashes across the top with a sharp knife. While not essential, this step controls the direction in which the bread expands as it bakes. (If you forget to do it, the bread will taste the same.)
- Place the bread in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.
- Turn out the loaf of bread and let it cool completely on a rack or clean dish towel before slicing.
- Serve and enjoy.
culled from thespruceeats.com