I've been doing quite a few breads lately, all in an effort to boost my confidence with making loaves of yeast breads. I figured it is high time I try to make a real loaf of bread. I got this recipe from Pantry Secrets. I took a class on how to make this bread, start to finish, in 1 hour. Now this is by no means my favorite bread recipe, but it is a God send on busy days. Like any bread dough, it's very versatile. I use it for braids, calzones, rolls, bread, pizza dough, bread sticks, hamburger and hot dog buns.... You get the picture. This recipe makes 4 loaves, I cut it in half and baked it in a 12" DO.
Busy Day Yeast Bread
10 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbs. salt
3 rounded Tbs. INSTANT yeast
3 Tbs. liquid lecithin (available at health food stores)
4 cups hot water
Mix the dry ingredients. Add the lecithin, don't measure it, just pour 3 quarter sized blobs directly into the bowl. Add the hot water. Mix for 1 minute and check consistency. If dough is too dry, add more water, if it is to sticky, add more flour. Mix for 5 minutes more. Don't add water or flour to the dough after it has finished mixing, or it will mess up the texture of the dough. Oil your counter top and hands, and turn dough out on the counter. Shape loaves or rolls and let rise 25 minutes. Bake at 350* for 25 minutes. Place on a rack to cool. 4 loaves.
The Finished Product
What I Learned
If you cook 2 loaves of bread in your 12" dutch oven as if they are one, it will take twice as long to cook. This cooked for about an hour because it was so big. I'm going to experiment with making 1 loaf in a 10" dutch oven and see what happens. I'm comfortable with the process of making the dough, I've been doing that for years, my questions are about the size of oven to use, how much dough in each size oven and cooking times. I'm pretty sure it will be a trial and error experiment!
I guess this was an okay first attempt. It tasted good and I didn't burn it, so thats a plus. I'm not happy with the look of the loaf. It sunk in and I'm pretty sure it has to do with me checking to see if it was done or not. I really need to make a trip over to Mark's Black Pot. He has some great posts on bread making. I'm going to keep trying until I can get a good loaf! I won't grade this one just yet, we'll call it practice.