Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mixer & French Bread

I love to bake and have always been pretty good at it, except for when it came to bread. My mother was great at baking bread and I could follow her recipes and intructions exactly and my bread still wouldn't rise right or just didn't taste right. I was told it was because I have shor stubby fingers so I couldn't knead the dough the way it needed to be kneaded. I used a bread machine for awhile, but it just didn't seem the same plus the machine I had was an older one where the paddles didn't come out so the bread always got suck o them. The crust on the bread always seemed too think and you only got one shape of bread. I am extremly hard on hand mixers. I'm afraid to buy a stand mixer because that's a lto of money to spend on something that I'd either be too afraid to use because I'd break it or I would break it not too long after I bought it. I'm okay with buying the handmixers and then they die because they're a lot less money. So my mixer died and it was time to start looking at new ones and I found one that had a dough hook attachement. It only had one hook, but it worked great and I was in love. It soon died though because the one hook couldn't keep up with my new bread making talent. The bread rose correctly and tasted WONDERFUL! When that one went to mixer heaven, I foudn one made by Hamilton Beach (at Wal-Mart) that had 2 hooks plus a wisk! It's lasted a lot longer than any of my other mixers ever did! It came with a case to keep the mixer and the attachements all together. I hate looking for the beaters or the other attachements in which ever drawer I put them in. It didn't matter which drawer I had them in, I was always seraching for one of them. With the case with this mixer, I always know where the attachements are, plus the mixer doesn't get shoved around or beat up in the cupboard. It is GREAT!! I HIGHLY recommend this hand mixer to all bakers!!! In the German Chocolate Pie recipe (the previous post) I used the whisk to whisk the ingredients that needed whisked. The whisk also saves lots of time when it comes to making meringue.
Now for the recipe. I got this recipe from a cook book I have, but can't remember which one. I love this recipe. It's easy and tates great. I like making it when we do lasagna or spaghetti. Toasting it with some garlic butter is very yummy, too! It's really easy to cut the recipe in half to make one loaf, too.

French Bread

Makes: 2 Loaves

5 1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages yeast (or 5 teaspoons)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups warm water (120° to 130°)
1 slightly beaten egg white1 tablespoon water

1. In a large mixing bow stir together 2 cups of the flour, the yeat and salt. Add the watm water to the dry mixture. Eat with an electric mixer on lot to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl constantly. (I go ahead and use the�dough hooks for this part, too.) Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon (or your hand mixer with dough hooks) stir in as much of the remaning flour as you can.

2. If kneading by hand: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a stuff dough that is smooth and elstic (8 to 10 minutes total).If kneading with the dough hooks: Do the same thing but leave the dough in the bowl and kick the mixer on high and move the mixer up and down and side to side in the dough.Shape the dough into a ball. PLace dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to greace the surface of the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double in size (about 1 hour).

3. Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a counter and divide into 2 balls. Let them rest while you warm the oven and get the pan ready. Heat the oven to 375°F and lightly grease a baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal.

4. Roll each portion of the dough into a 15 x 10-inche rectangle. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting from a long side; seal well. Pinch ends and pull slightly to taper. place seam side down on prepared baking sheet. In a small mixing bowl stir together egg white and water. Brush some of the egg white mixture over loaves. Cover and let rise till nearly double in size (dor 35 to 45 minutes). Using a sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across teh top of each loaf.

5. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes. Brush with egg mixture. Bake 15-20 minutes till loaves sound hollow.


1 comment:

Hana said...

My Mom says she doesn't enjoy making bread if yeast is required where you have to wait for it to rise. While it's rising, she'll go off to do something else and won't come back! Haha! Love your cooking/gadget web site!