Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hot With a Chance of Sweaty!!

Hello my friends! Another installment of Good For The World Wednesday-HOORAY! Today, as suggested by my sweetie, we're going to talk homemade bread. Mmm, bread...*drool*

So here it is, making your own bread not only tastes DELICIOUS but it is also great for the planet and your wallet! Here's why it's amazing for the wallet:

1) buying the ingredients for bread is literally dirt cheap. It's all bulk items or water. Seriously-a bi ol' bag of flour runs $3-20. We just a bought a HUGE bag at Smart & Final for $.

2) the second most important ingredient is water. I'm pretty sure you all have a tap. And if you're very particular you have a brita (or similar brand) filter. Enjoy that y'all. Yay for water!!!

Here is why baking your own bread is good for the planet:

1) You are not buying useless plastic. You might not think that plastic or paper wrapped-loaf within a plastic bag is a big deal but it really adds up. And plastic bags like that take about 10-20 years to break down. Help mother nature out y'all!

2) You aren't buying something that was probably made many, many miles away that took quite a bit of fuel to ship it to your grocery store. Cut out all that needless waste!

Plus this is one of the easiest things in the world to make-promise!

Here is my honey's recipe for all things bread (including hot dog & hamburger buns!):

For 1 loaf, or 8 hamburger/hot dog buns
-3 cups flour
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 tbsp earth balance buttery spread stick, cubed into 1/2 tbsp sizes.
-2 tsp dry yeast
-1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit)
-2 tsp sugar

Note: 2 tsp dry yeast is less than one package of yeast, which is 2.25 tsp. I doubt it makes any difference.

Combine water & sugar, then add yeast to proof for 5 minutes. A layer of foam should form, indicating the yeast is still active (alive that is!) Mix the remaining ingredients in food processor with dough blade attachment and pulse to incorporate the Earth Balance.

With machine running, slowly add water until the dough forms and peels away from the sides. Continue running to knead for 60 seconds. The dough should be slightly sticky still, but not unworkable.

Form into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp towel and let proof in a warm, draft free spot for 60 minutes, until the dough has doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and transfer to a lightly oiled 9" bread pan and cover again. This is the bench proofing. Let the dough proof for another 45 minutes or so, until the top overtakes the top of the pan and begins to resemble a loaf of bread. Place into a pre-heated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven and bake for at least 30 minutes, until the bread is a light golden brown.

Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes and then it should come out with no problem! Set aside to cool for 30 minutes and enjoy!

Notes: I found the bread begins to be inedible due to staleness after 3 days, despite my best efforts to keep wrapped.

To make buns, simply portion and shape into 8 pieces after the first rise. Hotdog buns are about three times as long as they are wide and hamburger buns are round of course! Bench-proof on a parchment lined baking sheet, covered with a towel as before.

That is straight from Joe (I really made him type it-you can tell by his silly side remarks, he prefers me to call them his "witty rejoinders"-NERD!). ;)

Now enjoy this deliciousness out of your own kitchen-just be sure you want to eat it up pretty quick! Have a great Wednesday chickens! :D