Farmhouse White Bread #2
Well, I decided to try baking another loaf of Farmhouse White bread that I wrote about in my previous post.
This time I used the same basic recipe as last time with just a few tweaks. I added 1/4 teaspoon more instant yeast and I cut way back on the salt, using only about 1/4 teaspoon this time, since I found the first loaf a little salty for my taste buds. I also didn't have any bread flour available, so I used all purpose flour with some extra wheat gluten added in (1 teaspoon gluten per cup of flour to make bread flour substitute). Again, I used my favorite brand of flour, King Arthur.
Just for experiment purposes and also because I was too busy today to tend to mixing and kneading bread dough all by hand, I put the ingredients into my bread machine and let the machine do the work for me. After first rise the dough was ready for me to remove and shape into a loaf. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I was distracted by other things and let the risen dough sit in the machine for about 30 minutes longer than I was supposed to.
Well, I took it out and flattened it out a bit into a large rectangle, then rolled it up like a jelly roll into a log shape and plunked into the same loaf pan that used for the first loaf I baked a few days ago. Making sure to crimp the edges together so it would stay together as a nice loaf shape. I covered it with a damp tea towel and set it on a TV tray in front of the fire in my woodstove to maintain a temperature of about 74 degrees F while the dough rose in the pan.
Well, either the warmer room, the little more yeast, the smaller amount of salt or the gluten enhanced flour made this loaf rise a lot more than the first one did. After about 60 minutes it had doubled in size and was pushing the tea towel up and up. So into the oven it went to bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees F.
It came out fluffy and beautiful. Much more the shape that I desire in a homemade sandwich loaf of bread.
Better shaped sandwich bread
It tasted a better to me than my first try because it isn't as salty, and I like that better. I have already eaten 3 warm pieces of bread with butter, and I usually don't use butter even when I bake. I only use it on fresh warm bread, so this bread baking hobby of mine may not be so good for my saturated fat intake. Perhaps I should try my fresh bread dipped in extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Yes, that might be good.
I will have to see how this second loaf performs as toast and in sandwiches. Will it fall apart or will it be elastic enough to hold substantial sandwich contents? How long will it stay fresh? So much experimenting to do!
I do plan to make bread completely from scratch, doing the mixing and kneading completely by hand again, but I had to try it out at least once using the bread machine. Now I know what results I will get on those days when I don't have time to do it all by hand. I may also have learned something about the kneading process from the bread machine. I may have kneaded the dough a little too roughly by hand, perhaps making more gluten than I needed to, in my endeavor to be thorough my first time out. I am after all, a massage therapist by profession, one whose specialty is deep tissue work which involves a lot of heavy kneading of my client's muscles. I may have taken the kneading job a bit too seriously when making bread the first time. So the next time I make fresh bread completely by hand, I will lighten up a bit, perhaps giving my bread dough a lighter "spa massage" instead of the full up "sports massage". Ha!
Happy baking everyone. Good thing to do on a cold winter's day.
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