But I wanted to make something fairly uncomplicated, so I went to allrecipes.com and found this recipe for Amish White Bread. Am I the only one who finds it ironic that the original recipe for this "Amish" white bread called for a bread machine?
Right off the bat, the recipe called for a technique I had never tried before-- proofing. You mix the yeast, water, and sugar (yes, sugar! But I decreased it from 2/3 cup *gag* to 2 Tablespoons) and let it sit for about five minutes until the yeast gets all foamy. I took the picture after I added the oil, so that's what the blob is in the foam.
After rising, the recipe called for yet another technique I'd never done with bread before: kneading the dough after the first rise. Usually, my recipes call for chucking it right into the baking dish. But I kneaded it again, and set it out for the second rise.
They rose really well! I had a very good feeling about these loaves.
When I pulled them from the oven, I was elated! My number one problem with my breads are that they never rise much. These ones were by far the tallest loaves I've ever produced!
The one on the right looks like it needs to go on a diet.
My one complaint is that they're somewhat mooshy inside-- maybe I should have baked them longer. And it's white bread. I just can't get past the lack of substance, even though this is way better than store-bought. I'm definitely going to have to cleanse my palate with a batch of whole wheat next week!
How do you like the little graphic I made for my weekly bread posts?