It is amazing how much time can go by before you realize you are out of practice at something. Something you were once so familiar with, you let it slide – just a little bit – and the first time back, it feels oddly foreign. That was the sense I had making these delicious loaves of bread.
Basic bread loaves are incredibly are an incredibly important recipe to have in your file. I admit, I don’t really have a “go to bread.” You know the kind, the loaf of bread you don’t even pull out a cookbook for and you have thrown it together without a second thought. Those people that always said “making a loaf is easier than running to the grocery store” must have at least a few “make this every week” kind of recipe.
For a first-time-back-to-yeast activity, these were perfect! The dough came together easily and nicely. After proofing my yeast, I added almost half the flour and almost half the water and stirred that all together. I repeated that and had a wonderful smooth dough on my hands. Without closely following the recipe, I melted the butter and had forgotten the salt, so I added it to the melted butter and kneaded that in with the last bit of flour. At this point, I thought the dough was just perfect.
The rises were simple and quick, one of the wonderful things about a humid, hot, sunny, summer day! My original plan was to leave both loaves plain white. Of course, as I patted out the second loaf, I couldn’t stand the idea of two plain loaves and whipped up a quick chocolate cinnamon filling.
I baked until the loaves reached 200F on an instant thermometer and quickly pulled them out to cool. As I write, I am finishing my first piece of the plain loaf. I added nothing to it, just wanted to taste it as is. And I am pleased.
Make your own Basic White Loaves!