Amy in Amish Country; Give Up Carbs? Over My Bread Body!
The Amish culture is largely steeped in good, homemade food - what anyone else would call comfort food. The Amish are known for their pastries, breads and baked goods and the recipe below of no exception. Join me...not on a diet, but on a recipe journey as I cook and bake my way through some amazing Amish dishes and goodies!
Hey y'all! If you enjoy cooking, baking or just eating, then you're in the right place. However, you're counting carbs, we may not be your people.
Is there anything better than the smell of fresh baked bread? I've got a recipe that will knock your socks off....or at least make you break out your stretchy pants. The recipe below makes one loaf so I like to double it!
Here's what you need:
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
2 Tbsp soft shortening (I used plain Crisco)
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour (I used bread flour instead)
Get out your stand mixer and pop on that dough hook attachment. To the bowl, add the warm water and and the yeast. Give it a little time to dissolve. Next, add half the flour, the shortening, the salt and the sugar to the yeast/water mixture and beat on medium for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently. Add the remaining flour and blend with a spoon. I like a small, sturdy wooden spoon but you do whatever feels right to you!
Pull the bowl free from the stand mixer, cover and place in a warm place to rise. I use a tea towel; you can use plastic wrap or even a lightweight dish towel. I put my bowl o' dough near the oven or my cooktop to rise until it doubles in size. This usually takes 30 minutes to an hour. After the dough has doubled in size, stir down with 35 strokes of the spoon (don't ask me why 35, I have no idea. I just know if that impacts the end results, then 35 it is!)
Butter a loaf pan; and I mean BUTTER that loaf pan! Get the bottom, the sides, those inside edges all evenly coated with a thin layer of butter. I use unsalted butter, but you could always go with shortening, non-stick baking spray or even olive oil if you so choose. Spread your bread evenly in the loaf pan. This is a sticky dough so dip your palm in a little flour and gently pat it down so it forms to the shape of the pan. Cover that good-smelling, sticky dough again and let her rise until the dough is close to the top of the pan. This usually takes about an hour. Preheat your oven to 375 and bake for about 50 minutes. The top should be a light bolden brown. I brush the top with melted butter and turn it out to cool before slicing.
The smell of this bread is just heavenly and the texture is as close to perfect as you can get. I've used it for toast, sandwiches, French toast, or just slathered with some butter while it's still a little warm.
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