I was reading Blake Bakes yesterday and it was about making home made bread. He wrote about how over the years bread somehow went from a weekly chore, to an "art" that takes tons of skill and knowledge. And how really that is just bogus. Ive always been intimidated when it came to baking anything with yeast. Im not sure why. Maybe I was always wondering if I was kneading the dough properly or if Id used enough flour. Well, now that I have a Kitchen Aid Mixer, I have no excuse because it will knead the dough for me! So today I set out to make some of my own, home made sandwich bread. I followed Blake's recipe for white country bread, but I used a mixture of whole wheat flour and oat flour in place of half of the white flour, since we normally eat whole wheat bread around here and Im always trying to sneak whole grains into our diet. The best part of making bread is taking out a little agression on the dough after it rises. Every recipe says to punch down the dough. I never really knew what that meant until I saw a pic on Blakes blog of him punching the dough down. So I did it the same way.
This bread turned out pretty good. Im glad I checked it after only 25 minutes because if it had been in there any longer, it would have began to burn. The bread was more dense than what I was expecting. Im sure that is because I subbed whole grain flour for half of it. I do think that I could have let it rise longer. Maybe it wasnt quite double the size. I froze half of the dough, so I can easily make more when this loaf is gone and next time I will let it rise a bit higher. Over all, it was easy and turned out good.
Adapted from Country White Bread from Taste Of Home
2 packages of active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs beaten
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
6 cups flour (I used a combo of whole wheat, oat and white)
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water and let sit for 10 minutes to rest. When yeast is ready, add sugar, salt, eggs, oil and 3 cups of flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Divide in half and shape into loaves. Place in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to cool on wire racks.