Another bread blog has been LONG in the making. I have purchased my last loaf of bread from the grocery store, and I am making it from here on out. Why? BECAUSE IT IS SO EASY!!! Plus, it tastes better. And it is cheaper. What could be better than that? Nothing. Repeat after me. Nothing.
Oh, and did I mention it is best with spice blueberry and peach jam? Homemade, of course.
Basic loaf bread recipe-
These are the ingredients you will need. Amount of each will come later.
- Bread flour- all purpose will do if you can’t get bread flour
- Active dry yeast
Step 1- In mixing bowl
2 cups of bread flour (all purpose if that’s all you have)
1 package of active dry yeast- if you have a jar and no packets, it is 2 ¼ teaspoons of yeast
-Mix together evenly.
Step 2- On stove in small pot
2 ¼ cups of milk
2 tablespoons of sugar- 3 if you want
1 tablespoon of shortening
2 teaspoons of salt (teaspoons, not tablespoons!)
-Heat to 110 degrees. Do not add to flour mixture if over 120 degrees- it will kill the yeast.
Step 3- Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed until smooth
Step 4- Add remaining flour
Essentially, you need 3 ¾ to 4 ¼ of more flour depending on how much you can get the dough to take.
I have used all bread flour before and it turned out awesome. I have also used some whole wheat flour too for heartier and more nutritious bread and it turned out just as great. Don’t use all whole wheat flour. Use a mixture of whole wheat and bread flour (or all purpose)- as long as it is the same measurements it will be fine.
I use 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 3 cups of bread flour.
Step 5- Turn out mixture onto lightly floured surface and knead.
This step is very important because it binds the gluten in the bread making it softer with less air bubbles.
Knead for 8 to 10 minutes and get your arms a workout! Actually, I find kneading bread kind of therapeutic.
When the bread has been kneaded enough, it will have a soft even texture that is not sticky and is kind of stretchy.
Step 6- After bread is done kneading, cut the ball into two equal halves.
Grease two loaf pans very well, shape the bread to the size of the pan and place it inside.
Set aside the pans in a warm spot where they will not be bumped and cover them.
Step 7- Let rise for about 1 hour to 1 ½ hours OR until risen. They will look significantly bigger when they are done. Scour the tops. That is… take a serated knife and make a cut across the bread. Be careful that you don’t deflate it! Take a bit of melted butter and spread it over the top.
Step 8- Put it into the oven at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden on top.
Step 9- Take out of the oven and start eating!!!
In the picture up top, I have spiced blueberry and peach jam that we made from our blueberry and peach pickings last year. It is one of the BEST jams EVER. And very easy to make. So here is the recipe!
Spiced Blueberry and Peach Jam
2 pints of fresh picked blueberries (frozen if you must)
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
2 teaspoon of cloves
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 packet ball 100% fruit pectin
5 ½ cups of sugar
- On medium heat, cook down the blueberries and peaches. Make sure the blueberries are clean and missing their stems. Also, peal the peaches first and pit them. Chop the peaches into cubes. It will be easier to cook like this. Then crush the fruit until it makes a nice sauce. I like mine a little more chunky, so I don’t crush too much.
- Stir in the lemon juice and fruit pectin. Bring mixture to a boil. Add sugar and bring to a boil again. Stir constantly. Be very careful and if needed turn down the heat just a little. If not stirring vigorously, the mixture will foam and boil over the top.
- Boil hard for one minute and then take off the heat. Boiling longer is okay as long as it does not burn. Check with your spoon to see if jelling has started happening. The jelling point is when the mixture does not just pour off your spoon, but kind of starts sticking before it falls off and falls off in one clump.
- Put into half pint jars (makes six) or pint mason jars (makes three- I tend to go for the bigger sizes), leave 1/4 inch headspace, secure the lids and bands, then boil in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes. Don’t start the 15 minutes until the canner is at a rolling boil.
- Take out the jars and set them someplace cool where they will not be disturbed for the next 12 to 24 hours. When they are cooled and sealed, the tops will pop.
- Take off the bands and store in your pantry. Then enjoy as soon as possible on your homemade bread!!!
This is a treat you will not regret! Plus, blueberries are a super fruit!