Wednesday, July 1, 2009

EASY HOMEMADE WHITE BREAD

IF YOU CAN'T STAND THE HEAT GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, she spends her days fighting evil in her hometown Metropolis, waging war against the phone company, wrestling with bubble wrap and packing tape, weathering the searing looks of a small, insolent Boston “The Marts” Terrier, battling the fiery venom spewed by her teen nemeses, her body pulled this way and that until she is at her physical limit only to bounce back more powerful than ever. Although they try to drain her of her superpowers, she is stronger than they can ever be (she is, after all, a Mom!) and all that she faces every single day as a crime fighter and mom, every load of laundry and “what’s for dinner? Ugh, that again?”, every fight with administrative red tape and high school teachers, fending off complaints and outrageous demands, arch-enemies lurking around every corner, only re-energizes her super powers and reinforces her skills and her determination to get it all done!


Daughter of a modest NASA engineer and all-around good dad and a wondrous do-it-all super powered working woman disguised as Mom, she learned the hard way that if you want to get something done, then you have to leap over tall buildings and pull the punches. She mastered the skills and honed her secret weapons, and aided by her super human strength and her animal cunning, her speed and stamina, she is now able to accomplish it all!


Hidden behind her secret identity as mild-mannered food blogger, this super heroine and ├╝ber woman has single-handedly packed up an entire 200 m2 apartment, cleaned out an evil-infested basement, taken care of all the diabolic utility companies, summoned forth the nefarious junk man and sent him away with the goods, organized faithful side-kick and #2 son’s summer vacation and Americorps application process, used her wits to fend off brother’s mysterious housemate, all the while fielding calls from the Commissioner as he daily appeals to her for her help, dodging giant fireballs and deadly venom and still made sure dinner was on the table and the laundry done all with the confidence, beauty, and grace of the best of her sex!


And then she baked bread! Can she do it? YES! Summoning forth all of her divine super human powers, she breaks from the demanding task of packing cartons to fly at top speed into the kitchen and whip up an amazing bread dough, watching it rise with her laser vision then popping it into the burning oven and waiting, pacing the floor of her secret kitchen hide-away deep in the bowels of Metropolis, tapping the pointy toes of her leather boots with impatience as she flicks her cape over her shoulder, waiting, waiting. And at last she finally pulls two loaves of fragrant, golden bread from the oven just in time! She leaves the bread to cool as she returns to her super hero activities as she remains dedicated to those acts of derring-do that allow her to protect and save her family from the evil that awaits beyond the walls of their humble apartment.


Apologies during these trying times for not visiting all of your blogs as assiduously as I was doing. I will be back to normal, removing cape and spandex, and back to visiting as soon as the move is done in 10 days time. Unpacking should go quicker than packing up. This move, the sons, the brother, the husband and I am short of breath and emotionally drained and I thank you for continuing to come over and visit and leave all of your encouraging comments on my blog. THAT is where I get my super powers from!


I am sending this off to Susan "Super Bread Woman" at Wild Yeast for her weekly Yeastspotting event.


EASY WHITE BREAD
From Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

I have wanted to make a simple white bread for ages and settled on this easy, simple and quick version. I was surprised that it worked so easily and that it rose so beautifully. It wasn’t as light and airy as I expected white bread to be, but it was a rich, dense and slightly chewy loaf that is perfect eaten with a light summer dinner of soup or salad. I toasted a couple of slices today for a sandwich and it was perfect. This is a great recipe for first-time bread bakers!

5 ¾ to 6 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 package (about 7 or 8 grams) active dry yeast
2 ¼ cups milk or buttermilk
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs butter, margarine or shortening
1 ½ tsp salt


In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 ½ cups of the flour with the yeast.

In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, slowly and gently warm the milk, sugar, butter and salt until warm (body temperature) and the butter is not quite melted. Remove from the heat and stir until the butter is completely melted.


Immediately pour the warm milk mixture over the flour and yeast and, using an electric mixer set on low speed, beat for 30 seconds until blended and all the dry ingredients are wet.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and increase beater speed to high and beat for 3 minutes. It will start to smell yeasty.


Now, using your wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can before turning the dough out onto a floured work surface.


Knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes, kneading in as much of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball.


Place the dough into a large, lightly greased bowl (I used vegetable oil), turning the dough around until the entire surface is oiled. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap then a clean dish towel and set aside in a warm place (this is the perfect season for that! I just closed my kitchen window!) to rise for about 1 hour until doubled in bulk.


After an hour, the cookbook recommends a test to see if the dough is ready to be punched down: stick two fingers 1/2 “ into the center of the dough. When your fingers are pulled out, the indentations you made should remain.


Remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly-floured surface and punch down. Divide the dough into 2, cover again with the same piece of plastic wrap and towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease or oil two 8 x 4 x 2-inch loaf pans.


Now roll each half of the dough into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Starting at one of the shorter ends, tightly roll the dough up into a cylinder, sealing the seam with your fingers.


Gently place each cylinder of dough into a prepared loaf pan, seam side down. Cover once again with the plastic and kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, about 30 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake the loaves for 35 to 40 minutes until risen and a deep golden brown. The bread should sound hollow when lightly tapped.


Remove from the oven onto cooling racks, removing from the loaf pans when cool enough to handle.


I froze one and we ate the other one right away. These fresh breads are best eaten in a day or two. This bread is great toasted for sandwiches or breakfast or made into French


Thanks to both Action Comics and Marvel Comics for the great images!
...and Clem for helping with the touch-ups!


36 comments:

Heavenly Housewife said...

I baked my first loaf of bread a couple of months ago and you really do feel like a super woman. It gave me the most smug sense of satisfaction ;)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A great post! Now, I'm going to feel like a Superwoman when I'll be hoovering tomorrow and baking bread on Friday ;-P!

What gorgeous loaves!

Cheers,

Rosa

Jamie said...

@RosasYummyYums and @Heavenly Housewife : you are both Super Women! And we have it all over those so-called Supermen with all we do! Smug satisfaction indeed!

Donna-FFW said...

You definitely have to be a superwoman to complete a move. I am still unpacking and we are over 2 week here, 2 weeks, 1 day to be exact. I feel your pain.. one day at a time. Gorgeous bread, btw. Hang in there girlfriend!

Jamie said...

@Donna-FFW : Thanks! I think of you every box I fill, every move I make! You and packing up for a family with 5 kids! You are my hero!

♥Rosie♥ said...

Jamie, you certainly are Superwoman a master of all crafts!

Your bread is very impressive!! I just adore the smell of freshly baked bread.

Anonymous said...

You, my dear, are MY superhero!!! Wish I had your seemingly endless energy! Can I borrow some superpower when you are finished moving? Beautiful loaves!

Hugs, TiredMom

La Table De Nana said...

Very cute post..!

astrid said...

I love your posts!! Always hilarious.
Love the bread, sounds like something we would love to eat here too. bookmarked. Need to bake bread for the weekend anyway ;o)

Hilda said...

Is there anything you can't do? Where in heaven's name do you get your pictures all the time? We haven't left here yet (SIGH) but I might be going to see my sister in Chicago for a little bit tomorrow (traveling with baby - GULP) while A. stays here and tries to free us from the grasp of evil. Let me know what JP decides about your vacay, and I'll let you know where the hell I am.

Chef E said...

LOL, so many funny things popped into my head while reading this!

I am sorry I did not get to bake any bread like this while I was in Texas, but there is always next time...you super kitchen hero'ess...

LoveFeast Table said...

Is there anything a Super Mom can't do? We can relate!!! Congrats on conquering it all! And, the smell of bread has magical powers too!! Way to go!!!! You rock! Chris Ann & Kristin

5 Star Foodie said...

That's a nice looking bread loaf! Perfect for yummy sandwiches!

Mary said...

...and where are the homemade strawberry preserves? You are unbelievable. I think you could be dangerous when the move is completed.
Do you sleep?

girlichef said...

LMAO!!! So true...you are a SuperWoman!! Fun post Jamie!!!

The Cooking Photographer said...

And you blogged!!!!! Jamie you really are a super hero. I am in awe!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Maybe this is where we all get our super powers.
This is a fabulous post Jamie, thank you since I really needed a good dose of super power and humor to send me out into the heat to do errands today.
Great bread Super Woman!

Reeni♥ said...

You baked bread amidst all that activity! Your so awesome! You define Superwoman! It looks like delicious sustenance to keep you going!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe I really enjoyed reading your post! I do come over all superheroish when I make basics like bread-it's so satisfying :)

burpandslurp said...

funny, I was just saying how I totally failed at trying to be Supergirl! haha!
But all your accomplishments are impressive! Superwoman, indeed!

asiangrrl said...

Jamie, you're more than Superwoman--you are FABULOUS Woman! I admire how well you're handling the move.

As for the loaves? Marvelous. Those sandwiches look sooo yummy! Mmmmmm.

Debbie Kroll said...

Jamie,
Your blog makes me SMILE big time :) I had these visual images running through my head as I read through your adventures...you take us all on your journey(and I was not only superwoman but supertired after reading all you've been up to). Hang in there and grab your kryptonite from your wonderful legion of loyal followers...we know you're super busy with it all, but please keep taking these breaks to blog...it keeps us all going! XOXO

Jamie said...

You really are Superwoman! I give you alot of credit for making your own bread. It's something I still need to attempt.

Also, I'm giving you a blog award. Please stop by my site to pick it up.

Sophie said...

Indeed, easy yet so lovely it is! you are our super woman!

squeejums said...

My simple cottage home lingered with the aroma of freshly baked bread, leaving the neighbors to wonder, can she really do ALL THAT? Naturally, feeling sympathetic to their hunger, I was compelled to share. My family won't mind, I'll bake more, perhpas today, alongside a pan of brownies.

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

There she goes again, leaping tall ovens in service of truth, justice, and the perfect sandwich bread!

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

Well done , you Super Bread Woman...great loaves I want to bake this too...& then make sandwiches like you! They are gorgeous!

Junglefrog said...

Great job, superwoman!! That breads looks fantastic and with all else you have going on... I would say a superjob indeed! Good luck with everything!

Lisa Michelle said...

It's amazing what kneading does for the muscle tone in your arms, so Superwoman, indeed - especially with everything else you tackled! I just made a few Challah breads last week, and it had been ages since I was able t stand up and knead, and I sure did feel super afterward, albeit a little sore LOL

Your bread looks phenomenal!

astrid said...

Hey Jamie,
I made your bread and it was soooo good. I made two loafes and one was gone within a few hours yesterday when I had guests (2 adults and a toddler) for breakfast and lunch!
thin one will sure be baked again soon here!! :)

raj said...

i LOVED this post! its my first time over at your blog!

i was thrown into the whole keep-house/cook/chauffeur-my-family-around deal a month ago and you made me realize how amazed i am at myself every single day!!! screw ups every now aside, i AM superwoman!! hahaha! thank you! :) you made my day!
shan't feel depressed at not being able to foodblog regularly anymore!

Sippity Sup said...

You are a great read. I am not a mom (but I had one) and do appreciate the metaphor. Besides your graphics are always reason enough to stop by. GREG

the ungourmet said...

I loved reading your super hero story! Very cute!

I also love the smell of bread baking in the oven and the taste of homemade bread is simply amazing! Your bread is beautiful!

gastroanthropologist said...

Yahoo Superwoman. I look at my mother and grandmothers and I really do think they were superwoman. It's amazing the stuff moms do. Living really away from home for the first time and making my own home with my husband has been a huge challenge. I don't have kids or a dog and I can't get the things I need and want to get done, just don't know moms do it. I loved your post - you are really a gifted writer. Bread looks amazing too!

maris said...

Mm your bread looks so fresh. Homemade bread just does something for me that sliced bread doesn't!

Chow and Chatter said...

awesome bread

By the way I changed my site address to https://chowandchatter.blogspot.com
To match the name ! Love Rebecca

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