What with all the self isolation it seems like everyone's discovered baking so at least something good's come out of all this. I started baking just before I moved to Canada and for the past few years I've been making my own bread that I have as toast every morning. That'll probably sound dull to most folks but I appreciate being able to fall out of my bunk and not have to figure out what I'm cramming in my gullet. It's a pretty adaptable and forgiving recipe so it should be perfect for any aspiring bakers. The bread is hearty and filling but you can replace the milk with water and add an egg to make it lighter and fluffy. This recipe makes two loaves.
Foster Breakfast Bread
1 cup Warm Water
2 cup Milk
2 tbl Yeast
2 tsp Salt
1 tbl Canola Oil
2 tbl Instant Coffee
~2 tbl Molasses
6 cups Whole Wheat Flour
- Thoroughly mix everything but the flour in a large mixing bowl
- Add the flour and stir everything together until all of the flour is wet
- With CLEAN hands reach in and knead that dough until it's smooth or at least thoroughly mixed. This doesn't take that long (usually less than a minute) but it'll make sure you wind up with bread and not lump cake.
- Cover the bowl with a thin towel and let the dough rise for 45-60 minutes
- With CLEAN hands, punch the dough down and use a bread knife to separate it into two even halves. Pro tip: A little water on your hands and knife will keep the dough from sticking to it
- Line two loaf pans with parchment paper (or grease them up good if you don't have parchment paper. With clean, wet hands lift each half of dough out of the bowl, knead it a little between your hands, and plop it into a pan.
- Nice, brick-shaped loaves are easier to cut and stow but require a little shaping. Keeping your hands wet, make a fist and with a rocking motion use it to push the dough down into the bottom of the pan. Keep doing that along the length of the pan until they fill the bottoms of the pan.
- Cover the pans and let the dough rise for about 30 minutes. Pro-tip: fold up the sides of the parchment paper and it'll hold the towel up off the dough. Second Pro-tip: Fill the mixing bowl with cold water and keep it handy. You can dip your hands in the water to keep them wet and after awhile you can just rub the dough off the sides of the bowl. Makes clean-up a cinch.
- Start your oven preheating to 375F and there's a little more shaping to do. Make a flat fist and, keeping those fingers wet, form a little trench in the middle of the dough.
- Take a nap while your bread bakes at 375F for 30 minutes
- As soon as your bread comes out of the oven use the parchment paper to lift it out of the pan and move it to a cooling rack. I usually let them cool for about an hour but you might be able to get away with less.
- You could eat these right away but if you're me then you'd graze the top with the bread knife to mark each loaf in 7 segments (about 1.25" or two fingers wide a piece). Then wrap both in a tea towel and one goes on the counter and the other goes in the fridge. They'll keep for upwards of a week that way. You can use the marks to cut your slices each morning even through pre-coffee fog and toast them in an oven or microwave (they're a bit thick for a conventional toaster). Two slices usually equal about 400 calories, give or take, depending on your ingredients.