Saturday, December 5, 2009

Baking Bread

I LOVE to cook and look for the opportunities whenever I can. I'm pretty consistent about getting 5 cooked meals on the table per week, with one night of sandwiches and one night of leftovers. I also love to cook for friends and family and I usually give baked goods as gifts for new neighbors, holidays, etc.

My FAVORITE thing to make is bread. I love homemade fresh bread and the boys really enjoy it. I started baking bread about a year ago and at first it was only every once in a while, but now I'm making it about 3-4 times a week!

My favorite bread recipe is one I found on 50's housewife's blog. See the left side of my blog for a link to her site. She has MANY yummy recipes. It's a challah bread and it's very simple.

3 TBS butter
3 TBS sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 c. water
1 packet active dry yeast
3-4 cups flour
2 eggs

Add butter, sugar, salt and water to sauce pan and cook on medium heat until about 120 degrees. (if it gets too warm, it will kill your yeast)

In a large mixing bowl, combine yeast and about half the flour. Add wet ingredients and begin to mix. Once it gets party incorporated, add the eggs. After they are all combined, start adding more flour until the dough gets soft and is a little sticky. Pour it out on to the counter that is well-floured. Start kneading by hand and working more flour into it until its a nice soft ball. The dough will still be warm and should make a pretty smooth ball. Put olive oil in a large bowl and drop the dough down into it, covering with oil on all sides. Cover and let rise for 1.25 hours.

Seperate into three balls and let rest another 15 minutes. Then roll out into three ropes and braid. After it's braided, move it to a cookie sheet and cover and let rise another 30 minutes. Before baking brush all over with egg whites. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

GORGEOUS bread and so tasty!

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