Friday, October 17, 2008

Real Bread

Real Bread

1 TBSP yeast or one individual package

1/3 cup lukewarm (NOT hot) water


1/2 cup milk

3 TBSP honey

3 TBSP butter, cut up

2 tsp salt

1/2 cup cold water


1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder

3-1/4 cups (altogether) unbleached white flour, or as needed


(these last 2 are added for a flavored bread, leave them out for regular white bread)

about 7 or 8 sun-dried tomato pieces, diced

about 7 or 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped

You can make this with a mixer that has a dough hook or you can mix the whole thing by hand. I've done both. One is a workout, the other isn't. I'll try to give both instructions here. I've separated the ingredients above into the sections worked together.

Start with a really big bowl or the mixing bowl of your mixer. Add the lukewarm water and yeast. Stir to dissolve the yeast. It will start to foam. That's how you know it's still active. If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast.

Now, I use a 2 cup measuring cup for the next part. Measure the milk, honey, butter and salt into the measuring cup and microwave it for a minute or so. Watch carefully while heating milk: it tends to boil over suddenly. Take it out and stir to melt all the butter and mix up the honey. Now add the cold water (I use a few ice cubes with the water to measure up to 1/2 cup) to the milk mixture and stir to cool. As long as it's not hot, you can now add it to the yeast in the big bowl. If you are adding the tomatoes and basil, add them to the yeast/milk mixture in the bowl.

Sift 1-1/2 cups flour with the powdered milk. If you are mixing by hand, add this to the big bowl and beat with a whisk about 3 minutes. If using a mixer with a dough hook, mix on Speed 2 for about 3 minutes. Add the remaining flour and mix another 2 minutes. If dough is too sticky (doesn't start to pull away from the sides of the bowl) add a bit more flour, 1/4 cup or so. You need to be able to handle it. If you are mixing by hand, gradually add the remaining flour. You'll reach a point where you can't stir any more and need to turn it out onto a floured board (or countertop). Knead for about 5 minutes adding flour if needed until smooth.

Now you'll need a clean bowl twice as big as the dough ball. Oil the sides of the bowl.

Put the dough in the oiled bowl, turning it to coat the surface. Cover with plastic and a towel and place in a warm place to rise until double (an hour or so). I use my oven with the light turned on.

When it's doubled in size, punch it down and turn it out on a board and knead a few times. Roll it out flat

then roll it up from one edge and place in an oiled 9x5 loaf pan.

Cover with a towel again and let it rise again in a warm place for about another hour until almost double in size. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and let it cool before you try to slice it.

You can brush the top with olive oil or butter to soften it.

I know it sounds complicated, but once you start baking your own bread, you'll be hooked.


  1. Sounds wonderful. Two of my favorite ingredients...basil and sundried tomatos.

  2. Oh I'm so jealous. Our KitchenAid mixer is sooooo old. It's avocado green. But it just keeps on keeping on. I even looked at painting it a couple of years ago and chickened out.

  3. Mr. H got it for me a few years ago for Christmas. I love it. It makes things like bread so simple. I had a bread machine once, but lightning got it. I really like this much better.