Who doesn't love warm, velvety soft bread right out of the oven? When baked well, it can taste like little melting clouds in your mouth. Add in hints of cinnamon or honey and you could be destined for bread heaven. You may also be surprised to know just how many types of homemade bread recipes there are -- wheat breads, sweet breads, flat breads (the choices are endless). Not to mention that making bread at home is a time honored tradition and a great family activity.
We recently launched the Sassafras Bread Dome, giving our community the option to make freshly baked bread recipes right in their own kitchen. If you're a bread lover, but thought making your own would be too daunting, fear no more. Our new friends, Steven and Nancy Schwab have shown us that home baked bread is not only delicious, but easy. And today, they're sharing a few of their favorite bread recipes with us. We hope you test them out. Happy baking friends!
Mediterranean Olive Bread
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
¾ cup warm water (100 degrees F)
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, cut in half
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups bread flour
1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the beaten egg, olive oil (leave a bit extra to grease the bowl later), sugar, rosemary and olives and add the yeast/water mixture. Add flour and knead for 5 minutes. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Add salt and knead for another 5 minutes. Place dough in bowl greased with olive oil. Cover. Let rise for one hour in a warm spot (90?F).
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F with the Bread Dome inside for 30 minutes.
3. Remove the dough. Knead it a bit. Form it into a ball and place on parchment paper. Loosely cover with a towel and place it in a warm spot for 30 minutes while the oven is preheating.
4. Remove the Bread Dome from the oven and lightly oil the inside of the base.
5. Put the dough into the base of the Bread Dome and slash the top of the loaf with crisscross marks using a razor or very sharp knife before baking. Bake for 35 minutes with the lid on and an additional 10 minutes with the lid off until the loaf is a nice golden brown. Carefully, and with a towel, remove the loaf from the base and allow it to cool on a rack for 1 to 2 hours before serving.
Speedy No-Knead Bread
3 cups bread flour
1 packet ( 1/4 ounce) instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Oil as needed.
1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest about 4 hours at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
2. Lightly oil a work surface and place dough on it; fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes more.
3. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6-to-8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under dough and put it into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
4. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
Yield: 1 big loaf.
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
1 cup + 2 tbsp warm water (plus additional water if necessary)
2½ tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp honey
1½ tsp salt
3½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup dry milk powder
2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
non-stick cooking spray
1 cup raisins
¼ cup sugar
1½ tsp cinnamon
2 tsp flour
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water
1. In a medium-sized bowl add the water, yeast, honey and flour (it is helpful to reserve the last ½ cup of flour and add slowly to get the right consistency). Add the salt, milk powder and butter and mix (you may use your food processor) until dough forms a "shaggy mass" that begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If dough is too dry, add extra water, 1 tbsp at a time. If too wet, add the ½ cup of reserved flour, a little at a time. A dough scraper is a handy tool to finish bringing the dough together.
2.Lightly flour your hands and work surface and knead 5-8 minutes, giving the dough a quarter-turn on each knead, until dough is elastic and springs back to the touch. Transfer to a bowl coated with non-stick cooking spray. Cover with plastic and allow to rise 1-1½ hours until doubled in size. After dough has risen, place on work surface and roll or pat dough into an 8" x 15" rectangle. If adding raisins, sprinkling them in evenly. Fold dough in half, then in half again to fold raisins into dough. Stretch dough out gently again to 8" x 15". Mix sugar, cinnamon and flour together in a small bowl. Brush top of dough with egg wash and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Starting with the short end, roll the dough into a tight log. Tuck the ends under, and place the loaf, seam-side down in a pan or bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise for 45-60 minutes.
3. While dough is rising, preheat oven to 350º with The Bread Dome inside for about 30 minutes. Remove the Bread Dome and lightly spray the bottom with olive oil. Place the dough in the base of The Bread Dome, cover and bake for about 30 minutes then remove the lid for an additional 10-15 minutes.
4. Remove bread from pan and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Gluten Free No Knead Hearty Seeded Sandwich Bread
Courtesy of the Breadchick blog
1 2/3 cup white rice flour, divided (may need more depending on your dough)
1/2 cup cornmeal or brown rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup flax seed or golden flax seed meal
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
1 1/3 cup ice water
1/3 cup corn or canola oil
1/4 cup molasses (not black strap)
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup plain yogurt, drained of excess liquid
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 Tablespoon of mixed seeds (millet, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, etc)
1. In large bowl, stir together 1 1/3 cups of white rice flour, cornmeal or brown rice flour, tapioca flour, flax seed meal, salt, yeast, and 2 Tbsp seed mixture. In another bowl, whisk together water, oil, molasses and mix thoroughly with flour mixture.
2. If too stiff to blend, add more water to form a barely firm dough. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap. For best flavor, refrigerate dough for 3 - 10 hrs then let stand at cool room temperature for 12 - 18hrs. Dough will stiffen as it stands and it is alright if it doesn't rise very much.
1. Whisk egg and set aside 1 Tbsp to brush top of loaf. Stir the yogurt, baking powder, and 1/3 cup white rice flour into the remaining egg. Vigorously stir the yogurt mixture into the First Rise dough until completely mixed.
2. If it is too soft, you can add more of the rice flour (white or brown, doesn't matter which). Turn dough into a well greased 9" x 5" loaf pan and brush a little oil on top of loaf.
3. Brush the reserved egg and seeds over the surface. Using a well oiled serrated knife, make a 1/2" deep cut lengthwise down the loaf. Cover the pan with a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap.
4. Let dough stand for 2 1/2 - 4 hrs in a warm room until dough extends 1/8" above the pan rim.
5. Loosen plastic wrap as dough nears top of pan to prevent dough from smooshing down.
15 minutes before baking, place a rack in the lower third of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake bread on the lower rack for 55-60 minutes, until the top is nicely browned. If the top starts to over brown, cover with a piece of foil. Continue baking until a skewer inserted comes out with few crumbs or the internal temperature of the bread reaches 206-208 degrees. Bake for 5 minutes more. Remove bread from oven, and leaving bread in pan, let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and let cool completely before slicing.
Home-style Honey Wheat Bread
1 package active dry yeast
2 cups warm milk (about 110 degrees F.)
1/4 cup honey
3 to 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups stone ground whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons cooking oil or butter
Melted butter, or egg glaze
1. Dissolve the yeast with the milk and honey in a large mixing bowl; let it proof until foamy.
2. Add 1 cup all purpose flour, all of the whole wheat flour, salt and cooking oil; beat by hand until smooth. Stir in remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, to make a firm dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured board; cover and let rest 10 minutes. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking, about 10 minutes.
3. Place dough in a greased bowl and turn to coat the surface. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk (about 1-1/2 to 2 hours).
4. Preheat oven to 400º F. and put the Superstone Baker into the oven to heat for 30 – 60 minutes.
5. Punch down the dough. Shape dough into a round loaf and place it in the center of a mixing bowl, cover with a towel and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk (about 30-60 minutes).
6. Remove the Superstone Baker from the oven and spray the inside bottom of the base with olive oil and dust with flour. Place the risen dough in the center of the base of the Superstone Baker, brush with melted butter or egg glaze and cover with lid. Reduce oven temperature to 375º F. and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until loaf sounds hollow when tapped (remove cover for last 10 minutes of baking). Remove the finished loaf carefully holding a towel and place bread on a cooling rack for one to two hours before serving.