On Tuesday afternoon, I crossed two of my May goals off the list. After making a few phone calls and getting organized for some weekend apartment-hunting, I baked a loaf of bread from scratch.

img 1828 - In Which I Manage Not To F*** Up Homemade Bread

Not the prettiest loaf ever, but not bad for a first try!

Because this was my first time baking bread since my Intro to Food Science lab two years ago (seems so much longer!), I played it safe and stuck with the recipe on the Fleischmann’s yeast packet. I halved the recipe and made a couple small substitutions due to availability of ingredients, but the final product was still really tasty! Why had I been so intimidated? For dinner, I enjoyed a couple slices with hummus alongside a bowl of leftover split pea and kale soup.img 1836 - In Which I Manage Not To F*** Up Homemade Bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I’d run out of whole wheat)
  • 1 packet rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c water
  • 1/2 c unsweetened soymilk
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Directions:

  1. Combine 2 cups flour, undissolved yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Heat water, milk, oil, honey, and sugar until very warm (120-130 degrees).
  2. Gradually add warm liquids to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed with an electric mixer (I used a hand mixer), occasionally scraping the sides. Add 1 cup remaining flour and beat 2 minutes again at high speed.
  3. Add remaining flour and stir in with a spoon.
  4. Knead on a lightly-floured surface until dough is smooth and elastic, around 6-8 minutes. Cover kneaded dough and allow to rest on floured surface for 10 minutes.
  5. Roll dough into a 12″ x 7″ rectangle. Beginning at the short end, roll up tightly as you would for a jelly roll. Pinch seams and ends to seal. Place, seam sides down, in a greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan (original recipe called for a 8.5″ x 4.5″ pan). Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30-60 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake 35-45 minutes or until done. Let cool before serving.

That wasn’t so scary after all…

It doesn’t get much better than soup and bread on a dreary day (I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the warm weather to come back ASAP). Every time I eat that combination, though, I am reminded of the Pixies song “Cactus” (you gotta wait for the 2nd or 3rd verse).  Does that kind of thing ever happen to anyone else?