Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Part 1: Rise Up!

Irresistible Bread

Not having a laptop for a week means that I have a few recipes built up to share. I've put them all aside seeing as Thanksgiving preparations in my house are about to start. While holidays mean elaborate recipes and tons of food, sometimes you can get away with an easy to make dish that wows the crowd. This week I hope to bring you some recipes for the holidays that are either easy recipes or take a bit more effort but can be made by anyone. Hopefully this week we'll find a way to reinvent Thanksgiving to spare as many turkeys as possible.

This recipe has been a favorite of mine for many years. It was posted on vegweb which is pretty much where I got my recipe collection start. I altered the recipe a bit but not much. It is hard to mess this up and it is a crowd pleaser for sure.  Sometimes I even add some herbs like rosemary or tomato & basil to this recipe to make some savory rolls. This bread recipe can be used to make rolls and loaves of bread. It's a great all-purpose, base bread recipe. It's so simple, anyone can do it.

1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
2 Tbsp warm water (warm! not hot. hot water will kill the yeast)

1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 Tbsp salt
1 cup of hot water

1 cup of whole wheat flour (you can replace this with all-purpose or bread flour if you like)
2 cups of all-purpose or bread flour
2 1/2 Tbsp olive or canola oil

In a small bowl, mix the yeast and warm water. Set aside until it looks foamy.

In your large mixing bowl mix the sugar, salt, and hot water. Once the yeast is foamy and the sugar and salt have started to dissolve you can pour the yeast mixture into the large mixing bowl. Mix it up a little bit.

Mix in the whole wheat flour until well combined. Add the oil and combine again. Add the remaining flour and knead for a couple of minutes.

Place the dough back in the large bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel or saran wrap. Set aside for 1-2 hours (or longer, no rush). The dough should rise noticeably.

Once the dough has risen, knead for a minute.

-If you are making rolls: tear off the dough into pieces a little smaller than the size you would like your rolls to be. Place the rolls on a very lightly greased cookie sheet. A cooking spray will work nicely here.
-If you are making bread: split the dough in half and place each half in it's own average size bread pan.

Cover the cookie sheet or bread pan and let the dough rise again for at least an hour.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Baking time will depend on your oven and whether you chose to make rolls or loaves of bread. It takes me about 10 minutes to bake rolls and 30-45 minutes for a loaf of bread.

TIP: I believe it is always best to set your timer for about 20% less time than any recipe calls for and just keep watch on it for the last bit of time necessary. It's easier to add cooking time to your dish than to try and un-burn it, if that's even possible.

It looks like a lot of instruction but it is really incredibly easy. It takes almost no prep time but leave lots of extra time to let the dough rise.

Bake and Enjoy!

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