Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Home Baked Loaf Bread, part 3 of 3

Baking and Cooling - Place the loaves in oiled loaf pans. I use spray oil for this, and then dribble a little melted butter in the bottoms of the loaf pans, and on top of the loaves, for tenderness and flavor.

Cover and let rise until almost double, about 1 hour. Put the loaves in a COLD oven. Turn the heat on to 375 degrees, and bake for apx. 35 minutes.

Some people can make these perfect looking beautiful loaves. I am Not One of Them. I have to fall back on: Don't admire it. Eat it.

Walter doesn't like to have little dog-ears hanging over the edge of his loaves, so sometimes I press it down when I put the loaf in the pan.

Now they're all risen and ready to bake. Uh, these ones have those darn dog-ears. Probably I took these pix from a different batch of loaves.

All done! YUM!

If the crusts are getting too brown for your taste towards the end, you can put a sheet of aluminum foil loosely on top of the loaves.

Test for doneness by turning a loaf out onto a wire rack and thumping it with your finger. It makes a hollow sound when it's done. In my own environment, 35 minutes is just right, so I don't need to test.

When they're done, immediately turn out all four loaves on a wire rack to cool.

Storing - This recipe makes 4 loaves. That's way too much for some people, but instead of cutting the recipe in half, I either give a loaf or two away to friends and neighbors, or freeze it.

It's best when very fresh, of course, so I freeze any excess as soon as it's cool. If I slice it first, I find it easier to use out of the freezer, just taking out a slice or two as I need. I nuke it for just a few seconds, say 25 or so, and it's almost as good as just-made.

Eating - Some cookbooks warn you against eating fresh bread hot out of the oven, saying it's *not as healthful.* Bah! It will leave a dry edge on the remaining loaf after you cut it hot - unless you've got some company and all y'all eat up the whole loaf in a matter of seconds.

Either way - so what? Hey, we cooked 4 loaves here! We got enough to mess one up if we like. Me, I cut it very hot, and slather whipped butter on it and scarf it down. YUM!!!


Joyce Ellen Davis said...

YUM is right. My cousin Billy could always smell the beautiful loaves baking when Mama made bread, and he was the first in line for an end piece running with melting butter. My dad, my brother and I were there, too. What a memory!

k said...

miss assissin, your cousin Billy likes it exactly like I do! I love the heel, hot out of the oven, with that melty butter on it.

Walter and Livey don't like the ends, just the middles. Another perfect fit, there. We each get the bits we like the most.

You're ever so fortunate to have those memories. My mom is a wonderful cook, but feeding her family 3 tasty and nutritious meals a day for 25+ years didn't leave *space* for her to do things like baking bread.

When you're not a natural-born lover of cooking, feeding the family is a job, really. She retired from that job as soon as she could. She did the right thing. The older I get, the more awed I am at how she did that for us, day in and day out, forever and ever until we grew up.

To my grown up shame, we didn't even consider appreciating it properly. So all I can do is tell her now.

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

And that's enuf!

k said...

I hope so. I sure hope it is.

We had our share of family difficulties, growing up. But one thing I always knew, knew from babyhood, was that I cannot have been an easy child to raise.

Now, the older I get? The more I can see that even beyond that, we three siblings, so often, were simply Not Nice Kids.

It's hard not to be really ashamed of that.

Chickie Carmarthen said...

I have never but have always wanted to, make homemade bread. I feel like I can do it after reading/seeing all of this. I'm printing it all off. WIsh me luck.

k said...

chickie, welcome! The bread's easier than people make it sound, really. Like anything, a little practice helps.

I'm so glad to hear you're ready to give it a try! Let us know how it goes, okay?