Yeah, I know, bad internet-money-making-scheme reference as metaphor for baking bread. It’s totally legit though, since I am VikingDad the Bread-Master.
OK, so it’s not that hard to be a bread-master, really. To show what I mean (and with the help of the shield-maiden) I’ve documented the process I use for baking bread that has earned me the bread-master moniker.
Anyroad, the ingredients are simple, the process easy and the required tools are pretty easy to come by. This process takes about 4 ½ hours.
(I’ve adapted it from this recipe)
Cooking utensils you’ll need:
Large bowl x2 (you’ll want the bigger one to hold your rising dough and the other big enough to hold the flour below)
Loaf pans x2
Mixing spatula (though you could also use a butter knife)
Oven (of course)
3-cup (minimum) capacity measuring cup (or you could use a smaller, 1-cup measuring cup and empty contents into a separate bowl)
Brush (used to coat the loaf pans with the cooking oil, so if you don’t have one, that’s OK, you can use a paper towel or even your fingers, if you’re not concerned about getting a little dirty)
Cooling Rack (optional, but handy)
6 ½ cups: All Purpose (though any other type will work as well) Flour.
1 ½ tablespoons: Active Dry Yeast.
1 tablespoon: Salt.
3 cups: Luke-warm Water.
Cooking Oil (I use olive oil, but other cooking oil will work just fine): this is used to coat your loaf pans so you won’t knead (hah, see what I did there… another bread-making play on words) it right away.
(Helpful Hint: 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon, so I use a teaspoon measure for the yeast and salt putting in 4 ½ teaspoons and 3 teaspoons respectively)
- Put the yeast and salt in the larger of the two bowls.
- Put the flour in the smaller of the two bowls.
- Get the water and put it in the bowl with the yeast and salt, mix with your fork until almost all of the yeast is mixed in and the salt is dissolved (there shouldn’t be any sediment on the bottom of the bowl).
- Once it’s mixed, pour the flour in and stir it with the fork. You’ll want to make sure that it is mixed well enough so that there are no more dry spots of flour in the bowl.
- Cover with the kitchen towel and let rise for 2 hours.
- Once the two hours have passed, your dough should be pushing up against the towel. This is totally OK. You should coat the entirety of the loaf pans (make sure you also put the oil on the lips as sometimes the dough overflows a bit and rises past it. You really don’t want the bread sticking to that, otherwise getting it out of the pan later will be a hot mess) with the cooking oil.
- Uncover the risen dough, pour into the loaf pans, separating the giant glob of dough with the spatula (or bread knife) by applying pressure with the utensil against the edge of the bowl and in a cutting motion, working it along the edge until it separates. It may take some practice to make the two loaves almost equal in size. Don’t worry, they taste the same.
- Once the dough is separated in the loaf pans, re-cover them with the same towel (or if there’s a bunch of dough stuck to that one, use another) and let rise for another 45 minutes.
- At the 35 minute mark, turn your oven on at 450 degrees and lower your oven racks to the two bottom most levels.
- At the 45 minute mark (or after your oven has been heated to 450 degrees for about ten minutes, in case you forgot the above step) uncover and put the loaves in the oven for 22 minutes.
- At 22 minutes, open the oven, check the tops of the loaves, if they are golden brown and solid, then your bread is done and pull it out.
- Give the loaf pans a twist, like you’re separating ice cubes in an ice-tray. This will help separate the bread from the pan. If you’re lucky (and did a great job coating the loaf pan) then the bread will clearly separate. If not, you can use a bread knife (leading with the dull side) to separate them.
- Allow them to cool for a bit and ta-DAH, you have two loaves of bread. Enjoy!