Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 1:Friendship Bread

Day one of my Holiday Challenge fell on a day I was already scheduled to bake bread.  My mom made this bread a lot when I was growing up and we all loved it.  We are big bread eaters and it was always so good.  Over the past few years she hasn't made it and I really had a craving for it.  I got the recipe from her and made my starter a week or two ago.  It seems really labor intensive but once you have the starter made it's really a matter or feeding the starter, letting it sit, mixing the dough, letting it rise, making individual loaves, letting them rise and then baking.  Ok I admit it sounds like a really long process and between the time you feed the starter and bake bread it's about a day to day and a half.  But the actual amount of time you are in the kitchen doing something with the starter or bread only totals about an hour.  I think it's worth it.  I want to keep it going through the holidays at least and maybe into the year but not as often.  I've never made it using anything other than bread flour but would be interested to see how it turns out using wheat flour or a combination of the two.

Starter1 pkg dry yeast
1/2 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)

Feed1 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)
3/4 c. sugar
3 tbs. instant potato flakes

After making starter, let it stand all day at room temperature. Refrigerate that night. After 3 days, take the starter out and feed. Make bread as instructed. After feeding starter, leave out of refrigerator all day (8-12 hours). It will be very bubbly. Take out 1 cup of starter to make bread and put the rest in the refrigerator. After 3-5 days feed starter again. Either make bread, give 1 c. of starter away or throw away 1 c. of starter every 3-5 days.

Sourdough Bread
1/3 c. sugar
1 tbs. salt
6 c. bread flour
1/2 c. corn oil
1  1/2 c. warm water
1 c. starter

1. Mix dough
2. Grease a glass or plastic bowl and place dough in it. Roll dough in bowl so all sides are oiled.
3. Cover lightly with foil and let stand overnight (8-12 hours). DO NOT REFRIGERATE.
4. The following morning punch down dough and knead.
5. Divide dough into 3 parts and knead each part on floured board or flat surface.
6. Place each section in a greased loaf pan and brush with oil.
7. Let stand to rise 4-5 hours.
8. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with butter or margarine.

**You can also use this to make cinnamon bread. After kneading a loaf stretch the dough into a rectangle. Spread margarine or butter on the dough. Sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Tightly roll the dough and place the open end down into the greased loaf pan. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with cinnamon sugar after brushing with oil.  Bake as directed.

***I would love to give a specific person credit for this bread but I do not know where it came from.  My mom got the recipe from someone who got it from someone and so on.  Her version is a hand written copy that she wrote out from a friends recipe card.

Dough at 7:15 am after rising all night.

I was in no rush and decided to allow the dough to rise until about 10:30 am.

Dough at 10:30 am

This is the point where I punched it down, divided the dough into three parts and proceeded to knead each part.

Individual loaves ready to rise for 4-5 hours (around 10:40 am).


And lastly the loaves just out of the oven and brushed with a little oil around 4:40 pm.

I wanted to post step by step photos for this because I realize that making bread can be really intimidating if you've never done it.  This recipe is a long process from the time you feed the started until you actually get bread but the majority of that time is spent waiting.  You are either waiting for the starter to bubble, waiting for the dough to rise, waiting for the loaves to rise or waiting for the bread to bake.  But this is what you get in the end.  Three loaves of yummy bread. 

Here are the loaves around 4 :00 right before they went into the oven.

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