My First Home-Baked Bread
For the longest time, I’ve wanted to bake my own bread from scratch. It seemed like a wild and hard thing to do. Spoiler alert: it’s not. This project is also part of my goal to use cookbooks to try new recipes. This one comes from A Feast of Ice and Fire yet again. You’ve seen me cook for King’s Landing, dine in the South, and bake for The Wall. We are at The Wall yet again, cooking for the Night’s Watch. And yes, we’re making crusted white bread, just like they would eat. Two dreams coming true! All it took was a little bit of yeast. I would say the hardest part is kneading it out and keeping it non-sticky. Otherwise, it’s pretty simple: mix the ingredients, knead it out, let it rise, and bake!
- 2/3 tbsp dry yeast (3/4 of a packet)
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 1/4 cups flour (add more as needed)
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- Mix together yeast, warm water, and honey in a bowl
- Add in the flour and salt and work it in
- Once it has become dough, place it on a floured surface and begin to knead it out for 5 minutes, pushing with the heel of your hand (if it’s feeling too sticky, add more flour)
- Grease up a large bowl, place the dough in there, cover with a towel, and leave in a warm place for 2 hours (or you can put in the refrigerator overnight)
- After 2 hours and the dough has risen twice its first size, divide it into fourths with a sharp knife
- Pull each side of the fourths and tuck them under, creating a ball, and then place them far apart on a baking sheet
- Let rise uncovered for another 40 minutes
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F and also prepare a baking dish with 1/2 cup of water inside
- Once you’ve allowed for 40 minutes, place the baking dish with water on the bottom rack and the baking sheet with the dough on the rack above it
- Bake for 30 minutes until the crusts are dark and the loaves sound good when you tap them
- You’ll know when the dough is ready because it will bounce back when you poke it
It was pretty exciting and incredibly satisfying for these to come out right. I was so happy! A few things to note…one, when you take out that baking dish with now no water in it, resist the urge to rinse it off in cold water right out of the oven, well because science and glass exploding (definitely did that–I was tired!). Two, this bread goes beautifully with a sauce or simple olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Mmm-mm! This process was great and I’m excited to try baking different kinds of bread! Did you know that putting that bit of water underneath your baking bread helps put that crust on it because it’s steaming it? I love all the tidbits you can pick up while using cookbooks. Trying new things helps you stay hungry and fit!
*Question of the Day: Have you ever tried to bake bread? What was your experience like?