Friday, April 10, 2009

Bread, Butter & Happy Easter

To wish you a Happy Easter/Ostara I wanted to share this BEAUTIFUL picture & my favorite bread recipe along with a butter tutorial. Have a wonderful weekend with your families & friends!
Ostara Comments

~Magickal Graphics~

White Bread/Rolls

(I let my bread machine do the mixing, kneading and rising...it is SOOO slick that way!)

6 c. unbleached white flour (really any white flour will do, but I don't like bleach in my bread)

1 pkg (or 2 T.) active dry yeast

2 1/4 c milk (may substitute some cream or the buttermilk that comes out of your butter making - HOWEVER, too much cream will make your bread very crumbly

1 T. butter (or an extra dash of cream/buttermilk)

2 T. sugar (I use organic sugar)

2 1/2 tsp. salt

Simply measure all of these ingredients (in any order) into your bread machine and set it on "Dough" - let the machine do the work! Takes about 1 1/2 hours in the bread machine. When it is done, turn it out on a floured work surface, and knead it about 3-5 times before letting it set for about 20 minutes under a towel. While it is sitting, I preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and I VERY liberally spray my glass loaf pans - the bread WILL stick anywhere that isn't sprayed or buttered. After the dough has had time to sit and rise again, divide it in half and roll it up nice so that the "seam" is underneath, and the top is nice and smooth when you plop them into the loaf pans. Put a towel over the top of these and let them rise again just until they are over the top of the loaf pan.

I'm sure this depends on different ovens (I have a gas stove that is very hot on the bottom, so I put them higher in the oven). I cook these for 30 minutes and then for another 10 minutes I put a piece of tinfoil over the top of each loaf so it quits browning on the top. If you tap the loaf and it sounds kind of "hollow" and it is a golden brown all the way around, it is done!

Pop the loaves out on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before you cut into them. I found that if I cut into them too soon, they "bunched" up where I was cutting and smashed the bread needlessly. It needs to sort of "set up" or something before you cut into it.

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Making Butter

~because now you KNOW what is in it & it is too easy not to~

1. First thing, you need HEAVY double whipping cream (should be about at least 40% milk fat)

(I love making my own butter, as I can buy Organic - Hormone Free cream for this)

2. Put it in your stand mixer, and set it on Medium speed until it looks like this:


The fat is starting to separate from the liquid here. It isn't done, but you need to turn your mixer down to low now, as if you leave it like this and it suddenly separates completely while you are away, it makes a mess, splashing every-which-way.

It is almost done here, as you can see the fat is starting to stick together...I know it isn't done yet because there are still bits stuck to the sides. When it is done, all the fat sticks together in the bottom of the bowl. The time this takes depends on how fast you are mixing and how much cream you put in the bowl - it can take anywhere from 20 - 45 minutes...or more probably.
3. When your bowl looks like this, you are done.
4. Take off your rings, and wash your hands, because you HAVE to get your hands buttery to do this. Reach into the bowl and clump the butter together in your hands.
5. Now you have to sqeeze and squeeze and squeeze that butter between your hands until you get as much of the buttermilk out as you can. I squish it between my fingers like crazy and flatten it in my palm and squish and squish. I keep the buttermilk for making bread or buttermilk biscuits.
6. Now, you turn on the tap to the coldest it will get, and rinse and rinse until your butter is as clear of the buttermilk as you can possibly manage. If you leave buttermilk in this, your butter will go rancid fairly quickly. The cleaner you can get the butter, the longer it will last!
7. Now it is time to either use it unsalted (some recipes call for unsalted butter), or salt it. For about this much butter, I add about this much salt. All you do is pour the salt on top of the butter, then you grab it back up with your hands and work it in. When it seems that you've worked it in, take a pinch and try it. It is best to add just a little at a time so it doesn't get too salty.
8. Now put it in a covered dish and keep it in the fridge. I use this pretty old sugar bowl for my butter. Not fancy, but it does the job right well! **tip - you can freeze your butter as well!**
Now, enjoy it on your homemade bread! mmmm...that is the best feeling to have made your own bread & butter
...and then getting to eat it.

3 comments:

Carole~Maynard Greenhouse said...

Hi Katie,
Thank you for the new bread recipe. We make our own bread too but lately we've been working so much we haven't had time.I miss it so much. Ours is a no-knead bread that is so easy. I'm going to tell my husband about the butter you made...he adores butter and I may add eats a ton of it and never gains weight....BRAT!!! I can't wait to try it. Looks like fun working it with your hands.
Hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter.
Carole

Heather said...

Happy Easter!~
The bread sounds yummy...I just made some Tasha Tudor oatmeal bread today (the house smells so good!) i dont have a bread machine...do you think I could do this recipe by hand and it would turn out ok?

Doreen said...

Everything looks so wonderful.

Thank you for this bread recipe...I shall have to give it a try. I too let my bread machine do the mixing, kneading and first rise..then I take it out..knead it a bit..let it rise again and bake..so much easier.

Take care,
Doreen