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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Honey Bread

In my search for some good breads out here, I came up empty. I realized that we have no bakery here. Well, there is one in alpine that makes cinnamon rolls and such, but if you want home baked breads, you better learn how to do it yourself. Which is what I've been attempting for years.

Most of the time I end up with hollow bread. Or flat bread... that weighs a ton. Until recently I just couldn't get the hang of making bread. Now that I'm older the good Lord has blessed me with the secret know-how of how to end this long time curse. And since I'm a nice person (OK, ya'll can stop laughing now) I thought I would pass it on to my internet friends and family.

The recipe below will make up to 4 loaves. You can leave it in the fridge for 3-4 days even and make a loaf per day! I like changing it up and in later issues, I'll give you some hints on bread mixtures that start with this one recipe. There is no picture today since I am unable to get to my camera without someone tearing into it. I guess I'm going to have to make this when one of my friends comes to visit.

3 cups warm water
1 1/2 tbs (or 2 packets) Dry Active Yeast
2 tbs Course Salt (I prefer Sea Salt but Kosher works too)
6 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

1) In large bowl ( I used my crock pot for this), mix water, yeast and salt until yeast dissolves. Mix in flour. Batter will be wet and loose. Transfer to a bowl that has a lid or cover tightly with plastic wrap and poke a small hole in it. You want the gasses to escape.

2) Now set it on top of your refrigerator for about 2 hours to let it rise.

3) Place bowl in refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Dough works best after it's been chilled.

4) When ready to make bread, pull out 1/4 of dough and place on a flat, floured surface and shape your loaf, pulling across the top to make it tight. Set on a lightly greased baking sheet and let rise, uncovered, about 30-40 minutes (this is where you put it back on top of your refrigerator again. Its OK if it doesn't rise too much, it will rise in the oven.

5) Preheat oven to 450. If using a toaster oven drop the temp to 400 and do not use the fan. This will burn it. Place a separate pan filled with water on the bottom rack of oven.

6) Just before baking, cut a long slit in top of loaf, down the length. Gently separate it and fill it with honey. Drizzle honey all over it top if you want it extra sweet like I do. Pour water in heated pan (the steam will help to brown the loaf) to fill it and place bread on rack over it. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, turning loaf pan half way through.

7) Now, let this cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before you tear into it. I have to stand over it with a butcher knife in each hand to keep my hunny from getting at it.

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