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The bread I was baking during today's early chat

Started by DesertRose, August 04, 2019, 06:31:45 PM

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DesertRose

Just to tease you all further about the fresh bread, here's a picture of it, baked, the tops brushed with butter, and cooling.  (The tantalizing smell aside, you really want to let it cool most of the way before you try to slice it; it falls apart if you try to slice it hot, and as I do want to be able to make sandwiches and toast with the bread, I don't want it to fall apart.  :D )

"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)

Laurna

Oh, heck, DR. I wouldn't have that kind of will power. I would be tearing a loaf apart with my fingers while it is still warm. YUMM.
May your horses have wings and fly!

Jerusha

Pass the butter, please -- the bread looks too yummy to wait!
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

DesertRose

#3
Quote from: Laurna on August 04, 2019, 07:20:22 PM
Oh, heck, DR. I wouldn't have that kind of will power. I would be tearing a loaf apart with my fingers while it is still warm. YUMM.

Quote from: Jerusha on August 04, 2019, 07:29:43 PM
Pass the butter, please -- the bread looks too yummy to wait!

Soon it'll be cool enough to slice!

Just for fun, here's the recipe.  I have no idea why it's named "Texas Bread."  My mom cut the recipe out of a magazine around the time I was born (mid 1970's), and while the recipe was part of an article in the magazine, the article did not explain the name. 

But it's a fairly easy recipe to bake, and it'll forgive you some fairly heinous mistakes (like the time I baked it when I was 14 or 15 and accidentally doubled the water, so I had to double the flour to get dough rather than batter, and the only consequence was that the loaves were VERY tall, LOL).

Texas Bread

2 envelopes (4½ tsp/22 mL or ½ oz/14 g) active dry yeast
½ cup (120 mL) very warm water
1¾ cup (420 mL) warm water
3 tbsp (45 mL) granulated sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) honey
1 tbsp (15 mL) salt
2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable shortening (Cookeen, Trex, and White Flora are common British brands; Crisco is the most common US brand)
2 cups (480 mL or 8.5 oz/240 g) whole wheat flour (wholemeal flour in the UK)
4-5 cups (950-1200 mL or 18-22 oz/500-625 g) unsifted all purpose flour (plain flour in the UK)
1-2 tbsp (15-30 mL) unsalted butter, melted (to brush over loaves to finish)

Sprinkle yeast over very warm water in a large bowl.  Stir to dissolve.

Add the warm water, then sugar, salt, honey, and shortening.

Stir in the whole wheat flour, then the all purpose flour, about 2 cups/480 mL at a time. When the mixture gets too stiff to stir, dump it onto a floured surface and work the rest of the flour in with your hands.  This takes about five minutes.

Knead the dough for ten minutes by folding it over and pressing it down onto itself.  Add as much flour as needed while kneading to keep the dough from sticking to your hands, but it should be slightly sticky, smooth, and elastic when it has been kneaded enough.

After kneading, place dough in a big bowl, cover it with a clean cloth and let it rise to double in size, about 1 to 1½ hours.  (Rising time isn't critical.  15 minutes either way won't make much difference.)

When the dough has doubled, punch it down and let it rest for 15 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F/205 degrees C. Generously grease two 9" x 5" (23 cm x 13 cm) loaf pans.*  After the dough has rested, split it in half, shape it into two loaves, and place the loaves in the pans.  Don't worry if the loaves aren't shaped perfectly; they will shape themselves to the pans as they rise.  Cover the loaves with a clean cloth and let them rise about 45 minutes while the loaves double.

Make sure the oven has heated fully (the bread needs the "shock" of the hot oven to have the texture you want in the finished product), then bake the loaves for 40 minutes.  When the loaves are nice and brown, remove the from the oven, remove them from the pans and brush the tops with melted butter.

Cool them on cooling racks until warm.  (They don't slice well hot.)  Use serrated knife/bread knife to slice.  If you're planning to freeze any of the bread for later use, slice it before freezing.

Recipe can be doubled for 4 loaves (if you have four loaf pans, LOL).

*Additionally, recipe can be made as dinner rolls instead of loaves.  Half the recipe (enough dough for one loaf of bread) will yield 20-24 dinner rolls.  If making rolls with half the recipe of dough, generously grease two 12-count muffin tins at the point where you'd grease the loaf pan (prep for second rise/oven preheating time).

After the dough has rested for 15 minutes (post punch-down), divide the dough in half again, roll each half into a long cylinder, and divide each cylinder into twelve equal pieces.  Shape into rolls and place in muffin tin, then cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise for 45 minutes.  Bake at 400 degrees F/200 degrees C for 15-20 minutes or until tops of rolls are dark golden brown to brown in color.

Edited because I noticed I'd forgotten a close parenthesis, LOL.
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)

revanne

Looks wonderful. And thanks for providing the translations.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)

Demercia

The light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.

DesertRose

Quote from: revanne on August 05, 2019, 03:15:39 AM
Looks wonderful. And thanks for providing the translations.
Quote from: Demercia on August 05, 2019, 07:01:34 AM
Thanks DR! I need to have a go at this. 

You're welcome!  I'm gradually adding the metric equivalents to all of my recipes (I have enough friends overseas with whom I share recipes, and honestly, IMO, metric makes more sense than imperial anyway), and my mom has become addicted to the Great British Baking Show, so she and I have spent a fairish amount of time figuring out the "divided by a common language" cooking/baking equivalent terms.
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)

Kareina

I really wouldn't have the ability follow that "wait to cool" step in this recipe--I always cut into my bread the second it comes out of the oven, because that is how I love it best--pipping hot with plenty of melted butter.  However, these days, I nearly always bake bread rolls instead of whole loves, so that I can do a bunch on a day I have time, then freeze them, and then be only 30 seconds in the microwave from homemade, almost as good as straight out of the oven, bread, AND by tucking them into the freezer straight away I eat only a reasonable amount at a time, instead of half the loaf at one sitting.  This means that the ones I cut into straight away can't effect the texture of the ones

I am curious about that "fall apart" thing you mention--do you mean the end you don't cut also has issues?  It is a problem with the steam escaping and the loaf drying out too fast?  In my experience if one stands a loaf of still hot bread on the freshly cut surface (still on a cooling rack, of course, one wouldn't want it to get soggy), so that the steam stays inside while it finishes cooling, the bread doesn't dry out anywhere near as much as if the cut surface is sideways.
--Kareina

DesertRose

Quote from: Kareina on August 06, 2019, 01:45:16 PM
I am curious about that "fall apart" thing you mention--do you mean the end you don't cut also has issues?  It is a problem with the steam escaping and the loaf drying out too fast?  In my experience if one stands a loaf of still hot bread on the freshly cut surface (still on a cooling rack, of course, one wouldn't want it to get soggy), so that the steam stays inside while it finishes cooling, the bread doesn't dry out anywhere near as much as if the cut surface is sideways.

With that recipe, the finished bread (or rolls; I've made it as rolls too) has a fairly sturdy, "crusty" crust but the interior is soft, and if you slice the loaf before it has cooled sufficiently, the interior of the slices will basically shred as you (try to) slice them.  I'm not sure why it does that, but experience tells me to let the loaf cool.  It doesn't have to be COLD or even room temperature, but fresh-out-of-the-oven-hot is too hot for the slices not to turn into a big mess on the kitchen counter.
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)

Jerusha

From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

DesertRose

"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)

Laurna

Quote from: Jerusha on August 06, 2019, 06:26:40 PM
Please pass the mess, with lots of butter.  ;D

I am right there with you, Jerusha.
May your horses have wings and fly!

DesertRose

Quote from: Laurna on August 06, 2019, 09:51:10 PM
Quote from: Jerusha on August 06, 2019, 06:26:40 PM
Please pass the mess, with lots of butter.  ;D

I am right there with you, Jerusha.


Y'all are making me laugh until I have to take my glasses off and wipe tears of mirth from my face!  ;D ;)

Seriously, though, the recipe makes two loaves of bread, and I live alone (except for Carys-kitteh, who doesn't care one way or the other about bread, although she'll fight you for apricot preserves, the silly fuzzball). 

I cannot possibly eat two loaves of bread by myself before they get stale (because of my digestive health issues, I can't eat very much at a time at all), so I must exercise some self-restraint (not gonna lie to y'all; it's hard to wait when the warm, homey fragrance of fresh bread fills my apartment [and probably then some; I imagine some of my neighbors are like, "Who is baking?  Which apartment should we go raid ask if they'll share?!"]) and let those loaves cool enough to slice neatly so that I can freeze some for later sandwiches and toast and so forth.  :D
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)

Shiral

You can have a sound mind in a healthy body--Or you can be a nanonovelist!

Laurna

Quote from: Shiral on August 06, 2019, 11:43:14 PM
Please pass the honey, too!

;) :)

Oh YES! Honey and butter on hot bread just out of the oven. Forget the knife. Tear off a chunk of the "mess" slab the butter on and add the honey Kelric style. Yep! I am so there.
We use to do this down in Cabo San Lucas. The whole town would gather around the stone ovens and wait in a long line for the bread to come out every morning. We would take our honey and butter with us and eat it right there on the spot. At night the same ovens produced the best pizzas, best pizza crust ever.  Oh now I remember those pizzas. I'm hungry!
May your horses have wings and fly!