Originally posted on November 16, 2012 at 12:30 PM
I was talking to a couple of blind women several months ago about baking bread (I also happen to be blind myself). As I’ve baked bread for about the last 35 years I asked them if they ever made their own. One of them said “You go to the store and buy dough right?” Imagine Beavis yelling “No!!!!” and you’ll have a good idea of the noise that came out of my mouth. So yesterday I taught a bread baking class for the Grant County Housing Authority nutrition program. I had 18 students, a third of them male, and had a great experience, uplifting one might say, even rising.
As I only had an hour I brought from home a batch of dough preassembled and in the act of enlargening then while that rose I mixed up a new batch of dough with lots of volunteer help from class members. I got lots of great questions from alternatives to pure water to add to dough, why does my loaf slump (It’s risen too long)? How can I make glueten free bread? How do you grind wheat? Clear down to ‘where do you buy yeast?’ More experienced bakers often answered questions from less experienced. We shared together that the same bread dough can be used to make pizza crust,
croissants, deep dish pies, Native American fry bread, Kraut-filled dumplings, much else.
The dough batch I brought was devided into 18 small buns which rose and were baked and after class I turned the class-generated dough into offerings for the Housing authority staff who’d been inhaling the baking odors since about mid-class. At least most of the folks seemed to be enjoying themselves and any who didn’t certainly weren’t vocal about it. Class ended with buttered bread topped by honey and apricot freezer jam fetched from home by the Homeless Coordinator. (Good times.)
Into large mixing bowl pour
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 table spoon or one packet yeast
Mix ingredients then pour in one and a half cups hot tap water (not boiling) or warmed fruit/vegetable juice. Mix to dissolve yeast.
Cover bowl with a towel or lid and let stand for about 15 minutes until it becomes frothy. Add one half cup at a time, additional flour, or meal, or seeds, etc. Knead until you can pull the dough away from your fingers, add a little oil to make it easier to work if you wish.
Let dough rise in warm place until it doubles in size, push down. Form loaf in oiled loaf pan or devide dough into 12-16 smaller portions and arrange on oiled cooky sheets. Allow to rise again.
Bake in preheated oven at 375 F.
Check after 15 minutes for buns. Loaf should take 20-25 minutes. Take out of oven when crust looks well browned and as soon as possible, flip buns over, take loaf out of pan and turn over to breathe.
If you have problems please reply.