Thursday, November 17, 2011

Homemade Bread Day

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By Diane Forrest,

15 years ago a friend gave me a jar with some liquid in it.  She told me it was a starter for Friendship Bread.  After trying the bread, I was hooked.  So, I decided to give baking it a try.  I bought some loaf pans, and set about mixing the dough.  I mixed it and set it on top of my VCR because it had to sit in a warm place.  After it rose overnight...I kneaded it, placed it in the loaf pans and let it rise again.  The next day it was ready for baking, and the smell of the house was incredible.  The recipe made 3 loaves, and the first loaf was gobbled up immediately.  The remaining loves were frozen for later use.  Many loaves were given to friends and family since the recipe had to be made every week.  Once the pounds started to add on, I stopped making the bread and went on a diet.

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I didn’t think much about it afterwards until my son went to college.  One day out of the blue he called and asked for the recipe.   He lived in a dorm, and there was a small kitchen on each floor.  I don't know how many batches he made, but I'm positive the aroma from the baking bread had his whole floor drooling for a taste.

These days baking homemade bread is a simple procedure with the use of a bread machine and a box of mix, however if you want to get your hands in the dough this is a great recipe to try.  It takes 2 days to prepare, and about a week to start your "starter” so if you want to make this for supper tonight, you are out of luck.  However, this will make a great Christmas gift for friends, neighbors, teachers, co-worker and family.   You can also roll out the dough, add some cinnamon and nuts before baking, and then top with icing for a wonderful Cinnamon bread.

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Today is Homemade Bread Day, so why not start baking a loaf for your family.  Oh...and if you are looking for a quick bread for supper, you can try the cornbread recipe below.

Potato Bread

Starter (first time):
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 package (2-1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast
3 level Tablespoons instant potato flakes

Starter Feeder (subsequent times):
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons potato flakes

To Make Bread:
6 cups bread flour
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1-1/4 cups warm water
1 cup starter (See notes below)

First Time Starter Directions:
Mix water, sugar, yeast, and potato flakes.
Let ferment on counter for two days. Then feed with starter feeder (below).
If you get starter from someone else, you can omit this step.

Starter Feeder:
Combine water, sugar, and potato flakes. Add to starter. Let stand on countertop eight hours. Refrigerate 3 to 5 days, then make bread.

After using 1 cup of the starter for dough, pour one cup back into container and refrigerate. Discard any other starter. Store starter in refrigerator.

When you are ready to make more bread or every 3 to 5 days add starter feeder mix again. Stir well and leave on the counter overnight or all day (about 12 hours).

To Make Bread:
Add flour, salt, sugar, oil, and water to starter. Mix well.
Knead on a floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes.
Put dough into a greased bowl.
Cover with a wet dish towel and let it rise in a warm place overnight or all day (about 12 hours).

Punch down. Knead on a floured surface to get any air bubbles out.

Spray 3 loaf pans with cooking spray and divide dough approximately equal into the 3 pans (shaping into loaf form). Let rise 6 to 8 hours, covered loosely.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 to 30 minutes.

Cornbread Recipe

1 cup corn meal with Hot Rize
1 cup milk
1 egg
Cooking oil

Preheat oven to 425, places 8 in cast iron skillet with cooking oil covering the bottom in the oven while preheating. 
Mix meal, milk and egg. 
When oven has heated, remove pan, pour the hot oil in the mix and stir. 
Pour in skillet and bake for 25 minutes. 
Flips right out on a plate, cut, spread with butter and enjoy!

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