Baking Bread

Baking bread from scratch the old-fashioned way is not hard to do. The smell of bread baking in the oven also puts a pleasant aroma in your kitchen and makes it an inviting place. There are two categories of breads – kneaded yeast breads and batter breads. In kneaded breads you mix the ingredients, knead them, allow them to rise, shape into rolls, let rise again and bake. In batter breads, you mix the ingredients, allow to rise and then bake.

A typical recipe for kneaded white bread is:



Dissolve the yeast in warm water for about 5 minutes. Add sugar, butter, salt, eggs and 4 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Then stir in dough a cup at a time forming a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. This takes about 8 to 10 minutes. Place the dough into a greased bowl and crease the top. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, for about 45 minutes.

When the dough has risen, punch it down and turn it onto a heavily floured board and divide into thirds. Shape each portion into a loaf. Place in greased baking pans and cover to let rise again until doubled. Bake at 350º for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the pans from the oven and tip out the loaves of bread. Grease them again with melted butter for a soft crust.

To knead the dough when you turn the mixture onto a floured surface, shape it into a ball. Fold the top of the ball toward you and use your palms to create a rolling motion pushing the dough away from you and then bringing it toward you. Turn the dough and repeat. To know whether or not the dough has risen enough, press two fingers about ½ inch into the dough. If the dent remains, then the dough is risen enough for the next step.