Edit: I recently realized that the wrong pictures were on this post. I can no longer locate the correct pictures. They seem to have disappeared from my computer and from Picasa and my blogger account. In the meantime, I've taken down the wrong pictures, and will hopefully be able to put the right ones back up soon. If you happen to notice any other posts askew, please contact me. My e-mail address is located under the where you may find me tab at the top of the page. Thanks!
For years I tried to make homemade bread. I tried and tried and tried. And it never worked. My loaves always came out flat and heavy. After about 3 years I caved and got a bread machine. I used that until last year, when I came across the 5 minute bread. I haven't used my bread machine since.
The 5 minute bread was great for dinner loafs and for pizza crust. It was not so great for sandwich loaves, and just ok for cinnamon rolls and things. And, the fact that I still hadn't successfully made a kneaded loaf really nagged at me.
For a while I've been reading Chickens in the Road. Suzanne has a post on Grandmother Bread, and I've been eying it and shying away from it for months now. After all, I can't make yeast/kneaded bread. I just can't. I've tried and tried and tried.
Well, I tried one more time. The other day I mixed up my weekly batch of 5 minute bread - and decided to go ahead and give Grandmother Bread a try.
The recipe is very similar to the 5 minute bread recipe. It didn't look scary.
So, I started. I kneaded it (the best I know how)
I left it to rise (in my pretty cold kitchen)
Punched it down, kneaded it again, and set it to rise in the pans (a little unevenly, dough wise - oops!)
And baked it.
And peeked through the window.
(ok, the pictures a little blurry - I think I had olive oil on the camera lense!)
Ok, so not quite perfect. But the best I've ever made!
And, the best part is, it's good! Like really, really good! And easy! It's a little bit denser than store bought, but I think that's my kneading, which will get better with time.
My family is pretty picky about their bread. I love whole grain breads, they don't. And even though I can often find sandwich bread without HFCS, there's still always a long list of ingredients. I can't pretend this bread is full of healthy stuff - it's white bread after all. But it's homemade. And to me, that's pretty exciting!
I have the smaller loaf in the freezer as an experiment to see how well it freezes. I know, the point of homemade bread is to have it fresh - but I work some long hours, so if I can have fresh and frozen I'll be super happy.
So seriously, if you've ever had problems with homemade bread like I have - give this recipe a try. It's so easy and so wonderful.