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About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen, the baby of our family.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Braided Bread - Part 1 of 2

 

Good morning,

I'm home for four whole days so just have to make bread before I leave again.  Today is part 1 of 2.  I'll start with the recipe today and get through the first rise, then tomorrow I'll be back with the braiding, second rise, and baking of the bread.

Making your own bread isn't as hard as it seems.  You can get a mix, put it in a bread machine, set the timer, enjoy wonderful aromas while it bakes, then eat very good bread.  If you get more involved with the whole process you can make some really outstanding bread.  My bread machine is only involved in my bread making process for about 40 minutes, then I do the rest by hand.

Here's my recipe for the bread pictured above:

This recipe makes 2 loaves.

Place these ingredients in a large capacity bread machine in the order listed:
1 egg (you'll need one more egg tomorrow to "paint" the loaves before baking)
2 T vegetable oil
1 t salt
2 t sugar
1/2 cup cottage cheese (cottage cheese gives the bread a great texture)
8 oz. warm (not hot) water
3-1/3 cups bread flour (or all purpose, but not self rising)
2 rounded t yeast

Set the bread machine to dough cycle and turn on.  Be sure to stick around and watch the action making sure you get a formed smooth ball of dough by the time you get half way through the mixing/kneading cycle.  If necessary, add a little more water or flour.

 

As soon as the cycle is finished, turn out the dough into a bowl that has been sprayed lightly with cooking oil.
 

Place the bowl in the oven with the light, but no heat turned on.  And now, one of the most important parts of bread making:  patience.  Wait for the dough to rise to about double the size. Today this first rise took about 45 minutes.  Depending on the temperature, weather, or mood the bread is in the time could be longer or shorter.

Tomorrow I'll be back with the braiding, second rise, and baking of the bread.

Questions or comments?  I'd love to hear from you.

Lois

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