It was a tradition in our house when I was a child to eat fresh home made bread, ham and hot sauce on Christmas mornings. Now, even though I am older and have a house and family of my own, I still go to my mom’s house on Christmas mornings to continue that tradition….and get my presents….
I almost always know when bread is done baking and is ready to be removed from the oven. The aroma of fresh bread dances its way around my house and up the stairs to entice me in my bedroom…I hypnotically follow the aroma back down the stairs and straight to the kitchen….There I remove it from the oven, brush the top with butter, slice it ever so carefully, smother it some more with a little too much butter and lift it to my eager mouth(the rest is history)….oblivious to all the commotion being created by two hungry, impatient kids……uuummmmm…the simple pleasures in life…
Bread is love…
Love is bread…
I knead you….
whenever I am blue……
Tis heaven where hot bread meets butter…
After that, not a word can I utter…
Give me my daily bread……
up 'till the day I’m dead….
'Cause there is nothing better..
than [Ria's] hot homemade bread and butter!
After reading that, my husband thinks that I am weird, very weird….for better or worse, right?
I know the thought of making bread can be overwhelming to some, but don’t be intimidated; it is so simple you will wonder why you never tried it before. They say you should try everything at least once, that includes making bread!
4 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 envelope active dry or instant yeast (about 1 tablespoon)
1 ½ cups water
4 tablespoons butter
Makes 2 loaves of white bread.
In a small saucepan or microwave, heat water until lukewarm. Mix in 4 tbsp melted butter and set aside. NOTE: If the water is too hot during the mixing/kneading process it will kill the yeast.
In a large mixing bowl combine 4 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast using a wooden spoon to evenly distribute all the ingredients.
Gradually add the water and butter mixture and continue to mix until dough comes together.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
NOTE: Resist the temptation to add too much flour to the dough at this point because you risk dry loaves.
To hasten the rising process, heat oven, turn off heat and place dough in warm (but not hot) oven.
gently into a 12 x9 rectangle about 1 inch thick. Starting with the narrow edge, roll, pinch seams closed and turn ends under to make loaves to fit pans.
NOTE: If you have leftovers for some strange reason and wish to store the bread, wrap in foil then in a zip lock bag and place in freezer. I hear it will keep for a few months. To reheat, place it in a 450 degree oven still wrapped in foil for 10-15 minutes, then remove from foil and leave in the oven for a few more minutes....Bread never lasts past a day or two in my house, so I have never had to freeze.
Please repeat after me.....BREAD MAKING IS EASY and FUN!!!
Thank you for stopping by!
Cooking with love,