When you’re the mother of three little girls who my girls are twenty seven love bread and when they were little would choose it, hands down, over all other food, you bake a lot of homemade bread. I was constantly on the hunt for the next great bread recipe. Yesterday, in my humble opinion, I wrote the best bread recipe of my cooking career. In saying that, let me describe what great bread in my kitchen looks and tastes like. My favorite shape is rectangle. The crust is crispy. The interior is soft. The taste is neither too fresh nor too salty but somewhere in the middle. Honey is my sweetener of choice. Then there’s the stuff…I love a nutty after taste that seeds and multi-grain flour produces. Finally, it needs to have a touch of dried fruit for moisture and a hint of perfume. So if that sounds good to you, this is your recipe.
No doubt, when my daughters read this post they’ll accuse me of bread blasphemy. Their favorite bread is classic, don’t mess with perfection, white bread made by my mom. Even though I used Mom’s bread recipe, it never tasted exactly the same. The girls would gobble it down and say, “good Mom, but not like Nan’s”. Notice they were clever enough not to say, ‘not as good as Nan’s’. They knew where their bread was buttered!
With all the literature available today on the need for as much whole grain as possible in our diets, I can’t limit my bread making to white flour. So my darlings, although this bread is chocked full of stuff, it will be the bread your children will be served in my kitchen. And the recipe you never quite get right…
I’m going to love being a grandmother!
Best Homemade Bread
Makes 2 loaves
¼ cup warm water
5 teaspoons active dry yeast
Place in small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, place: this can be done by hand
1 cup large flake oatmeal
¼ cup wheat bran
¼ cup golden raisins
½ cup butter
3 tablespoons honey
1 ¼ cup boiling water
Allow to sit until butter has melted – stir often.
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
¼ cup pepitas
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons salt
Stir well then add yeast mixture, stirring again.
Using the dough hook attachment, add 3 cups multi-grain bread flour.
Add an additional 3 cups all purpose flour in half cup increments.
Knead for 5 minutes.
Dough will be slightly sticky.
Butter a large mixing bowl to raise dough in.
Cover and allow to double in bulk.
Punch dough down, knead slightly and raise again until doubled.
Shape loaves and place in greased bread pans: cover and raise until doubled.
Preheat oven 375*F
Bake loaves for 45 minutes
Remove from oven onto a cooling rack.
THE LOVE: Give your bread the time it needs to raise properly.
one year ago: maple marshmallows
two years ago: spatch-cocked chicken with roasted apricots and crispy herbs
Thanks for reading.