Okay, I do have to preface this post with.. while I do try to bake my own bread,that's just my hot button. Believe me, my kids eat their own fair share of Happy Meals and occasionally even Taco Bell. And, while I try to be as green as possible, all bets are off when it comes to aging. I'd put straight DDT on my wrinkles if they would make them just go away...
Any way.. a few people asked me for my bread recipe. Here's my modified Whole Wheat bread. I am going to call it "Rizzo loaf." Please remember, I am not a cook. I burn pasta.
Meet the Rizzo loaf.
It's a good one, but does dry out after a few days. If someone has a better recipe, I am all ears.
To make 1 loaf, you need:
4-4.4 cups of whole wheat flour
(Use 3 in the initial mixture and add the rest until it's the right dough consistency when kneading.)
3 1/8 tsp of yeast.
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp salt.
1.5 cups of water
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup honey
1/8 cup olive oil
2 big bowls, 1 greased
greased loaf pan
Put your dry ingredients in one mixing bowl, set aside.
In a measuring cup put slightly (1 cup) hot tap water (110-115 degrees) in with your yeast and 1 tsp. of white sugar. This "proofs" your yeast so you can make sure it's active. It will get all bubbly and "yeasty" smelling.
In the mean time mix up the rest of your wet ingredients, water, molasses, honey and oil.
Once your yeast shows some action, I dump all of my wets including the yeast water into the dry and start mixing with my BIG spoon.
On a clean, lightly floured countertop, start kneading and adding flour until it is a good doughy consistency and is just a teeny bit sticky. If it's humid out you'll use less flour, drier out, more. It's take about 5-8 minutes of kneading to incorporate all of the flour.
In a greased bowl (I just rub the inside with a bit of olive oil on a paper towel), put the dough into it and turn it over a bit so all of the dough is greased.
Put a clean towel over the top and put it in a warm place and go do something for 1-1/2 hours while it rises and almost doubles ( set your timer). You know, fun stuff like laundry, toilet scrubbing, take the kids to gymnastics, etc.
At an hour and a half, punch it down in the bowl, then take it out and shape it into a loaf shape. Put it into a greased loaf pan, then make a few pretty slashes across the top with a sharp knife like they do back in the old country at Pepperidge farm
Cover it again and let rise another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 F and bake 40 to 45 minutes until it's brown and sounds hollow when you tap on it, you know, like my head.
Remove it from the pan and let cool.
Resist ALL temptation to cut into it right away. It supposedly makes it dry out quicker. It is of course best the very first day.
Let me know if you make it and how it turns out for you. I only make about 3 with a hockey puck like consistency until I got it right. :)