Monday, June 23, 2014

Shaker Bread

     I hope I never develop a gluten intolerance, because I love bread dearly. I love baking bread. I imagine The Wife, in large part, stays with me because I regularly bake bread. We could easily just sit and stuff our faces with hot buttered bread. This particular bread, a "Shaker Daily Loaf," comes out of one of my old Frugal Gourmet cookbooks. It's a simple, yeasty bread that toasts well and has a great crust. This would be a rock solid PB&J bread. As always, notes or changes are in blue.

Shaker Bread
via The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American

  • 2 packages fast-acting dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1-3/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • Soft butter for greasing the bowl and top of dough, about 2 tablespoons (or if you're like me and counting calories, just use non-stick cooking spray instead)
  1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl. Warm the milk and melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in it. Stir in the sugar and salt and allow to cool to lukewarm. Add this to the yeast bowl along with 3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth (I used the KitchenAid since I am too lazy to do the beating/mixing by hand)
  2. Add the remaining flour and knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (3-4 minutes on the KitchenAid if you're using the dough hook)
  3. Place the dough on a plastic counter and butter the top of the dough with half of the remaining butter. Cover the dough with a very large stainless steel bowl and allow to rise until double in bulk (let it rise for about an hour. That should double it. As for the plastic counter nonsense, I just took the dough out of the mixing bowl, sprayed the bowl with nonstick cooking spray and rolled the dough in it and then left it in the bowl with a towel over the top.)
  4. After the dough has risen, punch down and shape into two loaves for loaf pans (spray the pans with nonstick cooking spray). Again brush the top of the dough and allow to rise until doubled in bulk (this will be about 30 minutes. I skipped the butter brush and just put a little cooking spray on the tops of the loaves)
  5. Bake at 400F (200C, Gasmark 6) for 30 minutes (this took exactly 30 minutes for us. Cooking times may vary)
Good Times!

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