Saturday, 3 December 2011

Yeah Toast!

I am now a breadmaker. To my knowledge I have never before made bread on my own, though I have dabbled in the similar culinary arts of bun making. Saffron and cinnamon, specifically. My friend Kraken, a bread aficionado and Google employee, sent me a recipe for a honey wheat bread, which I tried my hand at and succeeded. Heartily dared, half won, you know. I am always fussing over the water temperature; I am always afraid I'll kill the yeast (I have such violent tendencies), but in the end, I fret over nothing.

2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
5 cups plain flour

Dissolve the yeast in warm water (not too hot or cold--test with finger if all else fails). Add honey and stir well. Mix in the whole wheat flour, salt, and vegetable oil. Work plain flour in piecemeal. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knee it knead until it is smooth and elastic. Place in a well-oiled bowl, turning it to coat the entire surface of the dough. Cover with a red-checked cloth and let it rise in a warm place (I'd recommend on top of the oven) until double in size. 

After it has doubled, punch down the dough and shape into two loaves. Place loaves in buttered bread pans. Allow to rise until dough has risen three centimeters/1 inch over the rim of the pan. Bake at 190 degrees C/ 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes. Let loaves rest (they've had a long day) and settle for at least twenty minutes before cutting and serving. Invite Englishman over for tea and toast.

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