Today I decided I wanted to make bread for dinner so I thought it would be a great time to take pictures as I go so you can see what yeast and the bread dough and such are supposed to look like!
I decided I was going to try a recipe I saw on Pinterest for Oatmeal Molasses Bread. Here’s the link to the original post with the recipe – http://tornadoughalli.com/2016/09/oatmeal-molasses-bread/
This bread tastes wonderful and makes up nice and easy.
As I mentioned in the earlier post, I think my troubles all along were that I either wasn’t kneading properly or else I wasn’t using fresh enough ingredients. I can’t stress enough that the number one rule is to make sure you are using fresh yeast. Check out the best before date on the package/bottle before you use it! It makes a world of difference.
As for my lack of skills when it comes to kneading, I found this link explaining the best way to knead bread. I use my KitchenAid now for all my bread making but it might be helpful if you don’t have one and are making bread kneading by hand – http://lovefoodies.com/how-to-knead-rise-and-shape-dough.html
This is what I started with for my ingredients
First I added the warm water and sugar (in this case the recipe called for honey) and the yeast to the bowl of my mixer, or to your mixing bowl, and stir it by hand until just mixed. It will look like this.
Next you cover the bowl and leave it alone for about 10 minutes to let the yeast do it’s thing. It needs to be nice and bubbly, like in the next picture.
Then you will add the flour, salt and other ingredients, in this case it was molasses, oatmeal, brown sugar and salt to the yeast mixture. Mix until it’s no longer sticky and the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Usually you will start with about 3/4 of the flour called for. It will look like the picture below.
This is where the fun part begins if you are kneading by hand. Now you will place the dough on a clean counter and start kneading, adding the remaining flour as needed. You will have to knead for about 8 to 10 minutes. (Now you see why I love my KitchenAid lol). When you are done, the dough should look like this.
At this point, you are going to place the ball of dough into a greased bowl, flip it once so it’s greased on both sides. You will now cover it and leave it to rise for 1 – 2 hours until it’s doubled in size. You can put it in your oven with the oven light on to provide a bit of heat. (My new Range actually has a proof function so I cover and leave it in on Proof for the time it takes it to double. Have I mentioned yet how much I love my new range??) When it’s done it should look like this.
See how much that has risen??? Now with this recipe, it makes 2 loaves so I had to split the dough in half and shape. You shape the dough into a sort of log shape and place in your prepared pan(s). It now has to rise again. Same thing, about 1 – 2 hours, closer to the 1 hour mark.
This is what they looked like after the second rising.
This is where you put the loaf or loaves in the preheated over for the allotted time and just wait for your house to smell of freshly baked bread! I can barely wait for it to cool most times. I leave mine to cool on cooling racks for about 5 – 10 minutes and then remove from pans and either return to cooling racks or just start eating!!!