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How to Make Delicious Homemade Bread

How to Make Delicious Homemade Bread

Anyone who has ever sliced into a loaf of bread while it’s still warm from the oven and taken a bite knows how glorious freshly-baked bread can be. Few of us are lucky enough to live next-door to a bakery, but homemade bread is far easier to make than you realize, and the end result is as economical as it is delicious.

What You’ll Need:

  • A large bowl
  • A mixer (a hand-mixer will work if you don’t have a countertop one)
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoons
  • Spatula
  • Rolling pin
  • Two 9″ x 5″ bread loaf pans
  • Cutting board
  • Kitchen knife

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • Butter or margarine

Step 1 – Mixing:

Mixing Dough

    In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, yeast, and 2 cups of flour. In a medium saucepan, heat milk and 3 tbsp of butter or margarine on low heat until very warm.

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    Step 2 – Beating:

    Beating bread dough

      Gradually beat the liquid ingredients into the dry ones using your mixer at low speed, until they’re just blended. Increase the speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes, occasionally scraping the bowl with your spatula. Beat in another 3/4 cup of flour (or enough to make a thick batter), and continue to beat for another few minutes, scraping the bowl often. Then use a wooden spoon to stir in enough flour to make a soft dough (approximately 3 cups).

      Step 3 – Kneading:

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      Kneading Dough

        Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes, then form into a large ball, and place it in a pre-buttered bowl, making sure to roll it around so it’s greased all over. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and let rise until it doubles in size (roughly 1 hour).

        Step 4 – Rising and Resting:

        Bread

          Punch into the dough by pushing your fist into the center of it, and pulling the edges in. Transfer the dough to a floured surface, cut in half, and cover with the bowl. Let it rest for 20 minutes or so.

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          Step 5 – Forming:

          Forming bread dough

            Butter your two 9″ x 5″ loaf pans. Use your rolling pin to roll out the dough halves into 12″ x 8″ rectangles, pat them all around to shape them into loaves, and then place them, seam-side down, into the pans.

            Cover them with towels and let the dough rise again in a warm place until doubled (about an hour to an hour and a half).

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            Step 6 – Baking:

            Whole wheat loaves

              Preheat your oven to 400F, and brush the tops of the loaves with a bit o melted butter. Bake them 25-30 minutes until the tops are golden-brown and spring back when you press on them lightly. When you tap the loaves, they should sound slightly hollow inside.

              Set the loaves on a rack to cool for a few minutes, then use a serrated knife to saw off a piece, slather it with your favourite topping, and enjoy. There’s nothing quite like biting into a fresh loaf of bread that you’ve baked yourself, is there?

              Variations

              This is a very basic bread recipe, but you can tweak it various ways to create many different kinds of bread to suit your tastes:

              • Use 4 cups whole-wheat flour and 2 cups all-purpose for a more whole-grain loaf, and add a tbsp of molasses to balance the bitterness of the whole wheat.
              • Add grated cheddar and minced green onions into the dough before it rises, and sprinkle with fresh herbs and a bit of garlic powder.
              • To make cinnamon-raisin bread, pre-soak a cup of raisins in warm water for an hour, drain well, and add them to the dough before setting it to rise, along with 1/4 cup of sugar mixed with 1 tsp ground cinnamon.
              • You can add a handful of chopped nuts, fruit, or seeds into the bread for texture and added nutrition, but they may delay the rising time. Try combinations like walnut and chopped apple, flax and honey, or even just pre-soaked sunflower seeds.
              • You can make a pseudo-foccacia bread by adding a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the wet dough mixture (reduce the milk by the amount of oil that you’ve used), and add ingredients such as chopped oil-soaked sundried tomatoes and rosemary, or sliced olives and capers.
              • With this dough, instead of making loaves, you can divide the dough into 6 rolls and bake them as individual kaiser buns instead. These can be made plain, or filled with spinach and feta, broccoli and cheddar, caramelized onion and swiss, etc.

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              Catherine Winter

              Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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              Last Updated on July 18, 2019

              10 Small Changes To Make Your House Feel Like A Home

              10 Small Changes To Make Your House Feel Like A Home

              Your house is more than just a building that you live in. It should be a home that makes you feel welcome as soon as you open the front door.

              Making your house feel like a home is not something that simply happens on its own. You need to make some changes to a house when you move in, to give it that cozy, warm feeling that turns it into a true home. To help you speed the process, follow this guide to 10 small changes to make your house feel like a home.

              1. Make the Windows Your Own

              When you move into a home, they often come with boring Venetian blinds or less than attractive curtains.

              One of the best ways you can instantly warm your home and make it showcase your style is to add some new window dressing. Adding beautiful curtains not only improves your home’s appearance, but it can also help to control the temperature.

              2. Put up Some Art

              If you have a lot of bare walls in your home, it will seem sterile no matter how beautiful your paint or wallpaper is.

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              Hanging art on the walls will instantly give it personality and make it feel like home.

              3. Improve the Aroma

              A house that is not filled with inviting smells will never feel like a home. There are loads of ways you can make your home smell nice. There are tons of air fresheners on the market you can use.

              Incense and scented candles are a nice option as well. Don’t forget that baking in a home is also a great way to fill it with an aroma that instantly smells like home as soon as you open the front door.

              4. Put out Lots of Pillows and Throws

              A great way to make your home look warm and inviting is to place lots of pillows and throws out on the furniture. It is much better to have too many pillows than not enough.

              There is nothing like the feeling of sinking into a cushiony pillow that feels like a cloud to make you feel like you are at home.

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              5. Instantly Class up Your Closet

              If your closet is filled with wire or plastic hangers, it will never truly feel homey. To instantly make your closet feel classy, change out your old hangers for wooden ones.

              Not only do they look great, but they are better for hanging your clothes as well.

              6. Improve Your Air Quality

              One of the most overlooked ways to make your house feel more like a home is to improve its air quality.

              The easiest and best way to upgrade the air quality in your home is to change the old, dirty filters in your furnace regularly. Get some air filters delivered to your home so that you always have some on hand.

              7. Fill it with Plants

              Another way to improve the air quality in your home is to fill it with plants. You should have plants in every room of your home.

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              They help to improve the air quality and they look beautiful. As well as making your home appear homier, plants also help to boost your mood and lower your stress levels.

              8. Change the Doorknobs

              Most people don’t really give their doorknobs a second thought unless they are broken. That is a shame because changing your doorknobs is an easy way to add personality to your home.

              Changing your old, boring doorknobs to new ones that are works of art will instantly brighten your home.

              9. Upgrade Your Tub or Shower

              There is nothing like luxuriating in a whirlpool bath or steam shower to make the cares of the day melt away. Your family deserves a bit of luxury when they are in their bathroom.

              Install a new shower or tub today to make your bathroom worthy of a place in your home.

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              10. Fresh Cut Flowers

              You can make any room in your house feel homier by placing a vase full of beautiful flowers in it. The gorgeous look and intoxicating aroma of fresh cut flowers will immediately brighten your day when you encounter them.

              You don’t have to make all these changes at once. Try one or two a day though, and your house will feel like a home before you know it. The trick is to constantly keep adding these homey touches to make your home a place worthy of its name.

              Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-wooden-round-analog-wall-clock-on-brown-wooden-wall-121537/ via unsplash.com

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