I'm not really sure how long I've been on pinterest but I know that I have accumulated over 3000 pins. Obviously I cannot say that I have used every single one but I do reference the things I pin quite frequently from home decorating to photography related pins, and of course the recipes.
The bounty of food that is being cooked, shared and pinned is staggering. I've had a couple of not-gonna-do-that-again moments...oreo pops anyone? But by and large I've enjoyed the foods I've made and some are family favorites now. Mmmmm, brussels sprouts!
The other night I posted our dinner menu on facebook and it included a simple homemade bread. I am not a bread maker. I love the idea of baking bread from scratch and I certainly love the smell of freshly baked bread but I just don't have the skills (or the desire to perfect the skills necessary) for consistent good bread making. What can I say? It's a romantic notion in my brain but I lack the wherewithal to make it happen. It's kind of like the idea of having a garden.
But then I stumbled across this bread recipe. It was one of the very first pins I tried and it is seriously the easiest way to make bread short of popping open the Pillsbury Dough can. And, it is extremely economical. One batch will make four loaves of bread. In the past I have added a little extra sugar and some cinnamon to one loaf to make a sweet loaf which is rather tasty but a slightly squattier bread. I think the extra sugar prohibits the dough from rising as much. (I am clearly showing my bread making ignorance here aren't I?)
So all you do is mix 5 1/2 cups of warm water with three packets of rapid rise yeast, 3TBS of sugar, 2 TBS of salt and 11 cups of flour. (I use all purpose but if you read my original source she notes that her mother uses bread flour. She also explains what needs to happen differently if you use regular yeast.) It will be a big sticky mess of uncooked doughy goodness that you will divide evenly between four well greased loaf pans. I just use the disposable ones for convenience sake since I don't own, nor feel the need to own, four loaf pans. You could always have a bread making party with some friends and share your pans though.
I put my pans into a cold oven and turn it onto my lowest setting which is about 170 degrees. When the oven signals that it has reached that temperature I turn it off and allow the dough to rise until it is even with the top of the pans. (Thank you, Donna Marchlewski, for that handy little trick!) Next, I put the oven on 350 degrees and cook the bread for 35 minutes. Then I brush the tops with melted butter and bake for another 10 minutes.
While it cools on the counter I stand back in awe at my fabulous loaves of bread and text Rob to let him know what an amazing wife he has. He pretty much agrees with me. Seriously, he loves this bread so much that he went out and bought me a huge bread bowl so that it would be easier to mix up the ingredients.
As you probably noticed in the earlier picture my loaves where oddly mismatched in size. I may have an eye for photography but eyeballing amounts and separating dough is not my strong suit although it didn't affect the taste or the cooking time of any of the loaves. And this time instead of a sweet loaf I added some Italian herbs into a batch for a savory loaf which was delicious.
How lovely would it be to make some loaves up, use this recipe for flavored butter and prettily package it as a gift? Or maybe even do a basket that includes a loaf along with the recipe, a bread pan and bread knife? It's really good just plain, toasted, made into sandwiches or as french toast.
Sharing the goodness with Melt in Your Mouth Mondays, This Gal Cooks, and Couponing and Cooking.
I'll also be linking up to Sweet Sharing Monday. Last Monday's test kitchen is featured on her site this week...cool beans, huh? I guess everybody loves nutella. I even have a nifty blog button over on the right ;-)
PS I've also added a way to follow the blog in the side bar. If you'd like to keep up with what I'm seeing you can click a button and know when a new post comes up.