Welcome to my Blog! I have been making a ton of bread lately. I figured why not start my first post with one of the many easy home made bread recipes I make often. This home style bread incorporates milk and eggs. I will have options that don’t need either of these ingredients shortly. Let’s get into it!
You don’t need a fancy mixer
I actually find it very satisfying to knead my bread dough by hand. Maybe it is the natural feel of the elastic dough or just me constantly telling myself (as i knead), “workout for the day DONE!”. This is is also a fun activity to get the kids involved in. I have witnessed a few gleeful faces at this task!
How to make easy loaf bread
There are many ways to make home made bread. I always start with proofing my yeast in a little bit of water (from my measured water) and half teaspoon of sugar (from my measured sugar). If you are sure your yeast is active, then you can skip this step and just include your yeast in your dry ingredients. After about ten minutes, you should see the yeast mixture become frothy. The extra assurance that the yeast are alive and well!
My simple method is to mix to mix all my dry ingredients first, then add all the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. I mix the flour, sugar, salt and dry yeast (if not proofing). Mix thoroughly together.
Now for the wet ingredients
Pour in your proofed yeast, water, milk, beaten eggs, optional vanilla extract. Incorporate all ingredients together with a wooden spatula preferably. I like to mix thoroughly for about 5 minutes, then leave to stand for about 10 minutes for the gluten to develop a bit.
Time to Knead!
Next, pour some flour on your work space, to avoid dough sticking to it when you begin to knead. Get your dough on to your work surface and begin to knead. A good trick is to also do some kneading with your rolling pin as soon as you see it becoming elastic. Your dough is ready to proof when it becomes stretchy; also when you touch, it does not stick to your hands.
You should proof in a bowl big enough to accommodate twice the size of your dough. Grease your dough-proofing bowl with some butter or cooling oil. Mould your kneaded dough into a ball and place into your bowl. Roll the dough around to get the oil all over the dough. This prevents your dough from drying out as it proofs. Cover your dough with a clean kitchen cloth. In the absence of a professional proofing oven, I use my oven to proof. I switch it on to warm for about 5 minutes, then switch it off. Some people like to boil some water and place it in an open bowl in the oven, to create a warm, moist environment for proofing. First proof should be 1 to 1.5 hours. Dough should double in size after proofing.
First proof done!
After an hour your dough should have risen to about twice it’s size. Then it’s time to get the air out, shape and get the second proof going.
Shape and Second Proof
Lightly flour up your work surface and return the dough to work into shape. Flatten out the air (rolling pin works great), a bit of knead and roll your dough into the desired shape and size. Ensure there are no holes in your dough when you shape – else you will have holes in your bread. So, seal and press any openings tightly. Grease your pans and place the shaped dough in. Now that you have shaped your dough into your pans. Return to your proofing space to proof for another 30 minutes.
Ready to Bake
After the second proof, your bread is ready to bake! Place your bread into a 350 degrees Farenheit (preheated oven). Preheat your oven with an open pan of water at the bottom rack, to keep your oven moist for baking. Keep the pan of water in the lower rack of oven throughout the baking process. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
Bread is Ready!
And there you have it! Your own home made bread. Rub some butter on the surface for that glossy richness to your bread. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before eating. Bon Apetit!
Easy HomeMade Bread Recipe
- 3 cups All Purpose Flour or Bread Flour
- 2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 cup Whole Milk
- 1/2 cup Warm Water
- 1.5 tablespoons Butter
- 1 tablespoon Vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract Optional
- Proof your yeast by dissolving with your warm water water and a teaspoon of sugar (from your measured sugar). Cover and Leave to proof for 10 mins in a warm place
- Mix your dry ingredients thoroughly with a whisk. Make a hole in dry ingredients
- Pour your yeast mix into the dry ingredients
- Add all your wet ingredients to dry ingredients
- Mix this all together with your hands, spatula (or mixer) until dry and wet ingredients are incorporated into a thick dough
- Spread some flour on workspace and begin to knead. For 10 to 15 minutes. OR put in your mixer to knead for 10 minutes.
- After successfully kneading, your dough should be elastic and not stick to your hands.
- Mold the dough into a roundish shape, place in a big oiled bowl. Roll the dough around to coat in Oil.
- Cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Put in a warm place to rise to twice its size for 1 hour.
- After an hour, it’s double the size! Punch out the air and return the dough to your floured workstation.
- Work your dough removing all air. (I like to knead for a few more minutes before shaping). Shape into desired shape to fit into your pan, with room to rise.
- Return to warm proof area for another 30 minutes. Begin to preheat your oven after 15 minutes)
- Begin to preheat your oven with pan full of water in lower rack.
- After 30 minutes, dough is ready to bake. Transfer uncovered dough into oven to bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
- It is done when an inserted skewer comes out clean!