Bread and Thanks

I genuinely can't say thank you enough for all the love I have been shown since Bon Appétit posted my cookie recipe. I am honoured that many of you have already jumped right in and started baking them. And before you ask, yes it's acceptable to eat the whole batch in one sitting. I promise not to tell!

In other news little Hazel is settling in nicely. I had completely forgotten what the puppy days are like but we're managing! I feel I'm getting a handle on things, if only I could keep her out of the cats' litter box!! *face palm* So gross!

Okay, enough about that! On to better, tastier things. I seriously need to figure out how to harness the smell of bread baking because, honestly, nothing makes a house feel more welcoming than the smell of baking bread (except perhaps cookies). Someone needs to make it into a candle. I'd burn that constantly!

But since I don't have access to "fresh baked bread" candles I just bake my own bread! I love a good crusty boule for quick and easy bread - perfect for chili, and soup. But my daughter finds the crust tough to get through so it's not great for sandwiches (for her anyways, I love it for a grilled cheese). So I found myself a good sandwich loaf recipe: this one from TheKitchn (they are super reliable and always have excellent instructions).

Classic Sandwich Bread (adapted slightly from TheKitchn)

1 C warm water
1 packet active-dry yeast
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 C whole milk
1 tbsp kosher salt
5 1/2 - 6 1/2 C all-purpose flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle combine the water, sugar, and yeast. Allow yeast to dissolve and foam up.

Combine the melted butter, milk, and salt. Add this and 1 C of the flour to your stand mixer. Mix until it comes together into a lumpy batter.

Gradually add another 4 1/2 C flour (holding back remaining 1 C to use as needed). Mix until a shaggy dough forms. 

Switch to a dough hook and knead until a smooth ball forms. Dough should be slightly tacky and spring back when poked, 8-10mins. You could also knead by hand on a counter. In either case add the remaining cup of flour 1 tbsp at a time but only as needed if the dough is too sticky.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, roll to coat, cover the bowl with plastic or a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. About an hour.

Lightly coat your work surface with flour and dump out the risen dough. Divide into two equal halves and shape each into a loose ball. Rest for 10mins.

Grease 2 loaf pans with oil, or baking spray. Shape each ball into a loaf* and place into prepared pans. Cover with a towel and allow to rise a second time. 30-40mins until puffing up over the edge of the pan.

While rising for second time preheat the oven to 425F. Once loaves are risen and ready make a long slash down the centre of them with a sharp knife. Place in oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 375F. Bake 30-40mins. Finished loaves will be dark brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from pans and place on a rack to cool.

Cool completely before you enjoy!

*Instructions for shaping a loaf can be found here.

As always I want to see what you've been baking so be sure to tag your Instagram photos with #ragebake !