Nothing satisfies like making your own bread. In a country overflowing with prepared foods, instant puddings, rocket-fast drive-through-windows and energy drinks sure to make you impatient with those slow-pokes doing the speed limit, slowing down to prepare the most basic staple-of-life elevates your status as a gourmet cook. Cast aside the bread machine for a moment. 100% hand-crafted tastes like nothing else.
You might have doubts, but baking a memorable bread stays in the mind. When you hear the words, "Remember that delicious beer bread you made 5 years ago for us? That was the best bread I ever tasted," you know you're onto something.
If you have never ventured into the world of bread-making, read my two articles on the subject:
The Art of Breadmaking with Beer - The Basics
The Art of Breadmaking with Beer - Basic Recipe
Roguish Herbed Weizen Bread
Recommended Brew: Half-E-Weizen, Rogue Brewery, Newport, Oregon, USA
Style: Witbier – Cloudy golden mist, like a sunrise over the ocean – Light and well-balanced, with flavors of banana, orange, coriander, and ginger.
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 packages dry yeast
1/3 cup non-fat dry milk
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons caraway seed, crushed
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 cup water, heated to 120°-130°
1 cup Half-E-Weizen, heated to 120°-130°
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, room temperature
1 egg, room temperature
2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (approximate measure)
Using an electric mixer with dough hooks, blend together the whole wheat flour, dry yeast, non-fat dry milk, sugar, salt, caraway seed, nutmeg and sage in a large mixing bowl. Add warmed water and Half-E-Weizen and beat at medium speed for 1 minute. Add oil and egg. Beat for 1-1/2 minutes.
By hand, stir in the all-purpose flour, a half cup at a time, until the mixture cleans the sides of the bowl. If dough is sticky, add a bit more flour.
Turn the dough ball onto a floured surface. Hand knead on a floured surface for about 5 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, grease top of bread, and cover with a linen towel. Let rise in a warm place (80°-85°) for about 1 hour, until dough has doubled in size.
Dough is doubled if a dent remains when poked with your finger.
Punch down dough and cut in half.
Generously grease two 9” x 5” loaf pans. Form dough into two loaves, and place in prepared pans. Cover with towel, and allow to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes. When loaves have doubled in size, bake in 375 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden in color. Brush tops with butter while still warm. Bread should have a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.
* Health Benefit: Rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber, B-complex vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, choline, biotin, inositol, calcium
It's always good to have a number of different types of loaf pans. Here's the French bread style:
Chicago Metallic Commercial II Non-Stick Perforated French Bread Pan
I love Cuisinart appliances, and this one is great for making the art of bread a cinch!
Cuisinart CBK-100 2-Pound Programmable Breadmaker