I’ve been having somewhat of a bad week.
You know that feeling when you’re waiting for something and you’re about 75%.. maybe 80% sure it’s bad, but maybe it’s good, but you won’t know for sure until it happens?
I am currently experiencing that feeling.
It puts you on edge, it’s extremely distracting and it makes me… well… punchy. Not in a “punch drunk” way, but in a “I feel like punching things” sort of way.
So I made some bread dough.
Punching is good for bread dough. Some soft, squishy, YOU WILL BEND TO MY WILL bread dough.
This bread dough is touched with the sweetness of milk and honey.
Milk and honey. I just like saying milk and honey. Something about it is just so comforting. Not that I ever put honey in my milk so I’m not sure where that reaction comes from. Is this a standard combo I’ve been missing out on? Aside from when I make bread?
Anyhow, the combination in bread makes for an extra plush loaf with a crust that has just enough chew to it.
If the kneading (*cough*punching*cough*) of this bread isn’t enough therapy, the warm, comforting plushness of its freshly baked innards may do something for you.
And if you don’t need the comfort of gnawing on straight-from-the-oven, pillowy, plain bread in a dark corner… not that I do… it still makes a pretty mean sandwich.
Fresh baked bread therapy. It’s a legit science.
Except not really.
Recipe adapted by Sweet as Sugar Cookies from At Home with Haley
- 1-2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/4 cup warm milk 105F
- Combine the milk, melted butter, and honey in a bowl and microwave until it reaches 105-110F. Stir in the yeast and let sit until mixture is foamy, about 5 min.
- Mix the 2 cups of bread flour with the salt. Add to the yeast mixture. Stir in the all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl (I needed about 1 3/4 cups). Knead mixture by hand on a floured surface for 5-10 minutes until dough is soft and pliable. If it is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time. If it is too dry, add a teaspoon of milk at a time. The proportions may vary depending on your climate. (I kneaded in approx. 1/4 cup of flour.)
- Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl, then flip the dough bottom side up to lightly coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a dish towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 30-60 min. or until doubled in size. (I find if your home is cold, a closed oven with the oven light on works pretty well.)
- Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it in half. Roll each half into a rectangle about 10×14″. Starting with the 10″ side, roll the dough up, pinching together as you go to make a log. Pinch all seams together with moist fingers. Fold ends under and place dough seam side down in a well-greased bread pan. Cover pans loosely with plastic wrap and a dish towel and let rise for another 30-60 min. or until doubled in size.
- Bake in preheated 400F oven for about 25 min. Remove from pans and let cool on a cooling rack before slicing.
Considering the fact that whenever I am stressed out, the first thing I do is start punching some dough…I’m going to have to say that I DO believe there is some real legit science behind this. That bread looks amazing! Beautiful crumb.
Joanne – Ooh, we should do a study on it. Lots of stressed bakers all making bread together. Mmm… that room would smell delicious! Thanks! :)
I tried this last week, with the modification of whole wheat flour and a bit of flax meal in lieu of AP flour. It was beautiful and super yummy (ALL of my kids 7, 6 & 2) gobbled it up. Mine didn’t rise over the tops of the pans, so I am trying it again today, no flax this time and an extra 1/2T of yeast. It’s on it’s first rise right now, I hope it isn’t too ginormous!
Here’s a shot of my first loaf: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carlyscholz/5489446023/
Your loaf is beautiful! I love how therapeutic baking bread can be. It is so satisfying. Thanks for citing my blog! Have a great day and I hope your tensions were released. :)
Carly – Ooh, that loaf looks gorgeous, not to mention healthier than mine! :)
HaleyLeann – Thank you for putting the recipe out there! I love it!
This bread recipe was by far the easiest, tastiest and most successful I’ve tried yet (granted, I haven’t tried that many, but I doubt I’ll be trying any others now – this one takes the cake)!
You were right, it makes an amazing sandwich. :)
I’m so happy it worked out that well for you! I need to make another loaf sometime soon, fresh baked bread is sooo good…
In spain is very common to drink your warm milk with some honey when your throat hurts or you have a cold :D I’m trying this recipe right now, thanks :)