Recipe of the Week: Amish Bread
Updated: Feb 11
Good Morning Friends!
I've had some requests to write about the food I make, and some of the recipes I like. In order to make sure I meet this goal, I thought it would be fitting to do a Monday series dedicated to the Recipe of the Week!
Today we are starting with the big mama: B R E A D. And yes, Amish Bread. Am I going amish with all of the long skirts, sewing, and bread making? No. But I like a lot of their recipes, that's for sure!
If you just want the recipe, scroll to the bottom! I know a lot of recipe pages are really annoying because the author rambles on about how a strawberry shortcake changed her life, but really, some people want to know that stuff.
So for the rest of you who want to learn, let's talk bread.
Bread is very intimidating for people and is often shirked off as something one MUST buy from the store, a bakery, etc. But for those of us who don't want to eat processed bread and who also DON'T have $8.00 to burn on a loaf of artisan bakery bread, this post is for you.
First, I will say that you do not need to invest in anything fancy to make bread: a simple bread recipe is only the combination of three things:
You don't need sugar, milk, eggs, salt, or anything crazy. Bread is extremely simple and should probably be the first thing a person learns when they turn 10: I'm all about those survival skills ya know?
Second, bread is the result of these 10 steps:
Punch down & Shape
I have this memorized at this point, and it might sound a lot to you, but it's really not. I remember the process like this: once you do something active to the bread, it needs to rest and rise.
Resting and rising is how bread is different from other flour based recipes like biscuits, cakes, or tortillas. This is why you can't just whip up bread dough, throw in some baking powder, and boom you have a fluffy loaf! Nope.
Yeast takes time to multiply and spread through the dough. A simple bread recipe can be done in as quickly as 3 hours, or as slowly as 2 days! It all depends on the recipe and the other ingredients.
Bread is customizable, which is why it is my favorite hobby at the moment. Once you make a couple loaves of normal bread, I would encourage you to begin thinking about the type of ingredients you want to consume and the flavors you enjoy. My favorite type of bread is cinnamon raisin, but the loaves at the store are PACKED with sugar. My solution? Make it at home and substitute the sugar for a little bit of honey.
If you work 9-5, I also have a solution for you: the mighty bread maker. Yes, she is just as fabulous as making bread by hand and is very effective in churning out delicious loaves. You can get a modern bread maker that most likely has a "delay start" function. This allows you to put in the ingredients you want, delay the start by 5 hours, and come home to fresh bread 8 hours later!
In fact, as I was writing this blog, my neighbor has come over and plowed out our driveway. We were *blessed* with another foot of snow last night, and my husband is away on a work trip. I was all set to shovel today, but thanks to my neighbor, I don't have to! To thank them, I'm going to whip up some bread in the bread maker and bring it over next door.
Bread is tasty when enjoyed with friends, for breakfast, or when given as a gift.
1 and 1/4 cup water
1 and 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tbs Sugar
4 cups bread flour
1 and 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 and 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
In a large bowl, combine the sugar and warm water. Allow it to dissolve, then stir in the active dry yeast. Allow the combination to rest and foam for 5 minutes. *this is important to let the yeast activate*
Mix in salt, oil, and flour, with the flour added one cup at a time. Once mixed, remove the dough from the bowl and begin to knead on a lightly floured area.
I knead for about 12 minutes, so put on a Youtube video and go to work. Afterwards, take the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl, with oil on all sides of the dough. Cover it with a damp cloth and allow it rise until it has doubled in size. This will take 1 hour or more.
When you come back, punch down the dough to remove some of the air, knead again for a few minutes, and then shape it into a loaf. You can divide it into two loaves or leave it as one. Place it into an oiled loaf pan, or leave it on a baking stone. Allow it to rise again for 30 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees F for 30-40 minutes. Check on it to make sure it is not getting too brown.
When complete, allow it to cool and rest for about 10-15 minutes before you cut into it. Serve and enjoy with friends! Remember though, bread made at home has no preservatives and will not keep as long as a store-bought bread. Eat it up within 3-5 days and you should be okay.