Let me start by saying I love bread. Fresh hot bread with butter smeared on thick cut slices. That’s probably the reason I could never do the South Beach or Atkins diets. There is a problem though with homemade bread…
I know you’re saying “What problem is there with homemade bread?”. I’ll tell you, it takes way too long! That’s right, between the mixing, first rising, kneading, second rising and baking a simple loaf of bread could take anywhere from two and a half hours to three hours and twenty-five minutes. That’s way too long too wait for bread. After some reading, research and good old-fashioned trial and error I figured out how to have bread from start to finish in a little over an hour!
Yes, I did say an hour. The magic is using your microwave as a proofing box to help raise the dough . If you are anti-microwave stop reading right now this blog post does not concern you. By using microwave to proof your dough you cut the rising time dramatically.
So here is how you can make bread in a little over an hour too:
Amish White Bread
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup white sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten (Look for this in the baking aisle where the flours are. Hodgson Mills and King Arthur are two companies that make it. It helps improve the texture and elasticity of the dough)
Preheat oven to 350.
1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.Usually about 15 minutes or so depending on how warm your kitchen is.
2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix vital wheat gluten with flour. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled microwave safe bowl, and turn dough to coat. Place in the microwave with an 8 ounce cup of water. Put your microwave at it lowest setting (usually 1 or LO)and microwave for 3 minutes. Let rest in microwave for three minutes without opening the microwave. Microwave at the lowest setting again for three minutes but this time let the dough rest for six minutes. By this time the dough should be doubled in size
3. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into a well oiled glass 9×5 inch loaf pan. Place in the microwave with an 8 ounce cup of water. Put your microwave at it lowest setting (usually 1 or LO)and microwave for 3 minutes. Let rest in microwave for three minutes without opening the microwave. Microwave at the lowest setting again for three minutes but this time let the dough rest for six minutes. By this time the dough should be ready to be placed in your hot and waiting oven
4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Next time someone tells you that making homemade bread takes too long just smile and show them this post.