Baked some bread

Recently I started cooking bread at home so now we are rarely buying it from the grocery store. I prefer to knead the bread by hand, the traditional way (most Americans seem to use a bread-machine). The funny thing is that when I was living in the Greek mountains where we had no option but to bake our own bread, I hated doing it. I think the fact that my JBQ absolutely appreciates it and loves it though, makes me wanna bake bread 3 times a week.

home-made bread

Seen above cooling down is the bread I baked tonight, which we will enjoy with tomato salad with French dressing, beef stew with pasta, and feta cheese.

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moleksine wrote on December 13th, 2006 at 11:27 AM PST:

What recipe are you using for this delicious-looking bread?

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Eugenia wrote on December 13th, 2006 at 11:51 AM PST:

I am using my mother’s. Here’s the recipe:

In a big bowl place 2 cups of white flour (and 1/2 cup of wheat flour if desired), salt, 1 tbspoon olive oil and 2 tbspoons yeast. Get 2/3 cup of warm water and pour it in the middle of the flour. Use a whisk and work with it for about 1 minute.

In the meantime, turn on your oven at 400F for about 2 minutes, and then turn it back off. Then, back to your bowl, pour handfuls of white flour in the mix and knead the bread. Add as much flour is required until the mixture is pretty solid, and well knead.

Get a bread/loaf pan and smear olive oil everywhere in it with a brush or your fingers. Move the knead bread from the bowl to the pan. Place it in the now-warm oven and wait for about 1 hour until the mixture has doubled in size.

Turn ON the oven at 400F, and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until golden. When baked and done, use a knife to remove the bread from its pan and place it in a cooling rack. You can either wait to cool down and then eat it, or you can eat it hot with feta cheese and olives. To store it for 1-3 days, ideally use a paper bag instead of a plastic bag.

The difference from the traditional Greek way is that they would use cloth put above the bowl in order for the yeast to double the size of the mixture. This procedure used to take up to 3 hours. What the Greek women didn’t understand is that it wasn’t clothes and darkness that the yeast required in order to work, but warmth. This is why I use directly warm water and a warm oven to force the rising within 1 hour, rather than wait 3 hours… After all these years, I still can’t convince my mother to do it my way. ;)

moleskine wrote on December 13th, 2006 at 11:59 AM PST:

Yummy. Thanks very much. I’m going to try this one.

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