Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Sweet, Buttery, Taste of Victory

Guess who has officially made SIX loaves of bread???!!!! Delicious bread, if I do say so myself...and I think I will :)

I'm sorry that I checked out on the play-by-play during the day, but we had Ashley over for a birthday dinner last night, so I had few other little things to think about. I did manage to snap pictures so that I could show you now.

Ok, so when I last left you, I was in tears over my exploding yeast and milk fortified potato flakes. However, Mrs. Linda (my MIL and the holder of this recipe) saw the blog and called me with some reassurance. While she was not sure what the milkey potatoes would do to things, she did say that the explosions were, not only normal, but a good sign that my yeast was healthy and active. She also strongly encouraged me to ride it out, bake the loaves, and understand that bread making was an art not a science. I just needed some practice.

I received this little pep talk while I was out running errands (one of which was to buy the proper kind of potato flakes for my next batch of bread), and when I came home, I was greeted by this magnificent site:
Can we talk about how my heart flipped over??!!! It has risen! It has risen indeed!!!!! Y'all this was the first time anything I've ever attempted has actually risen. Let that sink in... Oh my goodness, it felt so good.

I soldiered on to the next step, and once you get going in this particular bread-making process, your kitchen will always have three rising processes going on, like this:
(None of those burners are on, BTW. I think that this is the warmest/least drafty part of my home, and I'm so excited that you're all getting a peak at my messy burners :))

Here's a nice little picture sequence. Plop the risen dough in the pans (no kneading required!):
Let it rise for 6-8 hrs (and throw a party like me every time you peek inside and find that things have actually risen!):
Bake it low and slow for 30 minutes:
Butter the bread tops (are you having to swallow the drool so it won't run down your face :)) and breath a sigh of relief that the milkey potato flakes must not have been that big of a deal:
Scream, "Thank you Jesus, I've made bread...and it's GOOD!!!!"
Guess who's not eating canned biscuits this morning? :)

Mrs. Linda's bread recipe:

Starter: 2 cups warm water, 3/4 cup sugar, large package of yeast (2 1/4 tsp if you buy it in bulk at Sams), 3 Tbl instant potato flakes (I hope we all learned that they are supposed to be plain). Put in mason jar with little holes in the lid and let stand in warm place for 8 hrs.

Dough: 6 cups bread flour, 1 Tbl salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 1/2 cup warm water, 1 1/2 cup starter. Mix and cover with a towel to rise for 6-8 hrs. (Add to/remake your starter).

Punch bread down (I actually got to do that this time!) and divide into 3 greased bread pans. Let rise 6-8 hours. (Mix second batch of dough)

Bake at 325 for 30 minutes, and then call and tell me about how it's the best bread you've ever put in your mouth :)

15 comments:

Ivy said...

That first buttery picture...oh my goodness!!! Looks so good!

Kellie said...

Awesome!!! Yay for victory - it is risen indeed!!!!! So yummy!!!!

Natalie said...

this definitely makes me want to bake bread. like NOW.

rando question: did your SIL ashley go to st lucia sandals resort for her honeymoon back in '04? she looks really familiar in your other posts and im trying to place her...lemme know :)

Ashley said...

Abby (random stalker that just HAD to comment here)...

I, too, bake bread, and I have failed miserably in the past. Just this week, I milled up 12 c of wheat, plopped up four loaves, and watched sadly as only 1 rose correctly. Hang in there. I have found there is no method to the madness - sometimes the bread rises perfectly and other times it does not. For this engineer, that concept is MADDENING!

Might try your MIL's recipe - wonder if I could use the fresh wheat for the bread flour? Hmm...

Konie said...

ABBY!!! If I EVER made bread that looked that good...... there honestly wouldn't be any left by the time anyone arrived home to eat it!!!! Looks like you are on a roll with the bread making! CONGRATS!! :))

Elaine said...

Yum. That looks wonderful! Congratulations!

melissa richie said...

good for you!!! you've conquered it, and i am proud.

save me a slice :)

Gail said...

Good for you! You didn't give in or up! Boy...it looks yummy and I bet...smells soooooo good, too! Your MIL is so special! I always did like that woman! :O) Now enjoy the fruits of your labor! Jam sounds good on it, too! Yum!!!

Jennifer said...

I would love to try and bake bread. Oh to come home to such a wonderful homemade smell!

Natalie said...

bingo! ashley and her husband were stephens and my "honeymoon friends." we would randomly eat together and i think we went fishing together one day. sooooo crazy! i think i even have a picture with her somewhere. tell her "hi!" :)

Shannon said...

My mouth is really watering and yes I'm cleaning the drool off my face. Thanks for sharing and I'm glad I'm not alone in my cooking disasters - I usually have to try a few times to get things right. I do really want to try it...it looks so good! What are you going to do with all of those loaves? Can you freeze it?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad your bread turned out well, but I think a more important question in the midst of everything going on in the world today...what are you going to do with your bread?

Carly Winborne said...

thanks for posting the recipe. i will try it myself one day when i muster up the nerve. your experience (and photos and hilarious sense of humor throughout) is inspiring.

Blueprint Bliss said...

This looks WONDERFUL. I am going to try it this weekend. xx- Brooke

Anonymous said...

I am a blog stalker and finally got the nerve to try your inspiring bread recipe.

And it is DELISH! Thanks to your step by step instructions, it turned out so yummy. I was quite proud to say the least!

My mother would rather eat bread than a piece of cake. SHE LOVED IT and is still raving about it. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Thank you for sharing!!!!

Ginger