Tuesday, October 5, 2010
When I visited Megan at her ranch a couple of weeks ago I had the most incredible homemade focaccia bread. As I raved about it Megan asked if I ever make my own bread. At the ranch they make fresh bread daily, and according to Megan it’s not that hard.
Then this past weekend we had our friends Charity and Jason over for dinner and Charity e-mailed me ahead of time and said she’d bring bread. She now makes all their bread and wanted to share some.
I've always been afraid of yeast, but that's all the inspiration I needed.
Charity’s bread was incredible and she brought me a print out of the step by step tutorial from Dana Made It.
I decided I'd make some to bring to my parent's house but a few things went wrong. My braids were fat and then skinny. I smashed two loaves onto one baking sheet. When they came out of the oven, they were flat and hard, nothing like what Charity's looked like. And most disturbing... Denali the visiting dog helped herself to the entire cinnamon loaf right off our counter. But the good news is that even though it was flat and ugly, the bread was really tasty.
Round two went much smoother. I used King Arthur bread flour (vs. the whole wheat / white mix I had in my flour container). I gave each loaf its own baking sheet, made nice fat even braids and skipped the egg wash. And I let the bread cool way up high out of the dogs reach.
After working through a few kinks, I've decided this is fairly easy. Yes there is a lot of rising time, but hardly any hands on work. It’s so worth it, 100x better than any grocery store or even bakery bread I’ve had.
Makes 2 loaves
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/2 tsp yeast (or one yeast packet)
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup hot water
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. butter
2 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 - 2 cups more flour
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Click here to see the full tutorial and recipe.