Homemade Bread | Toaster Oven Style

My mom was a flower child. She outgrew most all of her flower child ways with the exception of the organic foods trait that goes along with the hippie chick stereotype. since as far back as I can remember we always had (when possible) the most organic and healthy meals. We had a large garden that we always planted as a family every year, and almost every meal we ate at home was from scratch. No preservatives. Granted...there are times that we cannot be preservative free....we also went out to eat a lot.

Since eating natural/healthy/organic or whatever descriptive word you want to call it was so prominent in my childhood (because cooking from scratch is a way of life for me), naturally that is how I cook at home now for my family. There are several reasons for this: it tastes better, it reduces preservative intake, it’s more nutritious, and it’s often substantially cheaper than what you find in the store. It does take time, but once you get used to it, most food preparation doesn’t take much more time than going to the store, buying it, taking it home, popping it out of the package, and following the directions.
Bread making is a prime example of this. Homemade bread is substantially tastier than store-purchased bread, isn’t laden with preservatives, is very inexpensive to make, and doesn’t take all that much time, either.

What I’ve found is that many people are simply intimidated by the seemingly complex and work-intensive process of making bread. It seems difficult and loaded with steps and significant work.
In fact, bread is quite easy to make at home, and you only need a few staple ingredients to make a simple loaf. Here’s exactly how to make a delicious loaf at home from scratch. (PS: I just got my new oven so my toaster oven will get to have a rest very soon!)


Here’s the equipment you need…
One large mixing bowl A second one is useful, but optional – you can get by with one if you’re willing to wash it in the middle of the process.
One cutting board Can use a flt surface but you will have to have somewhere to knead the bread unless you do it in the bowl.
One spoon You need a spoon to stir the dough.
One measuring cup A 1/4 or 1/2 cup measuring cup will do the job.
One measuring spoon A one-teaspoon measure will be just perfect.
One bread pan Obviously, to bake the bread in.
One hand towel This is just to cover the bread dough as it rises so it doesn’t get drafts or dust or anything on it.

Ingredients:

1 tsp  sugar
1/2 cup water, warm
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 cup milk
2 tbsp butter or margarine
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water, warm
5 1/2 cups Bread Flour


Directions:

1. DISSOLVE 1 teaspoon sugar in 1/2 cup  warm water in large bowl. Sprinkle in yeast. Let stand 10 minutes, then stir well.
2. HEAT milk to lukewarm. Stir in butter, 2 tablespoons sugar, salt and 1/2 cup warm water. Add milk mixture and 2 cups  Robin Hood Best For Bread Homestyle White Flour to dissolved yeast mixture. Beat with wooden spoon or electric mixer until smooth and elastic.



3. STIR IN 2 1/2 cups  of remaining flour gradually. If necessary, add more flour to make a soft dough which leaves sides of bowl. Turn out on floured board. Round up into a ball.


4. KNEAD dough, adding more flour as necessary, until dough is smooth, elastic and no longer sticky (about 10 minutes).


5. PLACE in lightly greased bowl. Turn dough to greased top. Cover with greased waxed paper and tea towel.
6. LET RISE in warm place (75°-85°F) until doubled (45-60 minutes).
7. PUNCH DOWN. Turn out onto lightly floured board and divide into 2 equal portions. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
8. SHAPE each portion into a loaf. Place seam side down in 2 greased loaf pans. Cover with tea towel.
9. LET RISE in warm place until dough rises 1 1/2" above top of pan in centre and corners are filled (45 to 60 minutes).
10. BAKE at 400°F on lower oven rack for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from pans immediately. Brush top crust with butter if a soft crust is desired. Cool on wire racks.
11. QUICK NOTE: This recipe makes 2 loaves. For 4 loaves, simply double all of your ingredients.




To see more bread recipe ideas and other recipes that I have collected check out my food pinboard here.


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