I don't know about you, but nothing beats fresh bread straight out of the oven. That is the only time I really like or really eat bread - when it is still hot that it melts your butter, the outside is still a little crusty, and the inside soft and warm.
It was freezing cold this morning when I took the kids to school and so I thought that today would be a good day to make bread. I found this recipe earlier this year in a Martha Stewart magazine. Leave it up to Martha to give you a great recipe. I love this recipe because it is so simple - I have not messed up yet and I have made it so many times!
For this I use a wheat called Kamut, it gives it a great flavor, slightly sweet, and it lighter that regular wheat.
1 TBsp plus 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 1/4 C warm water (110 degrees)
3 TBsp plus 2 tsp honey
4 Tbsp butter melted - I have also used olive oil here
7 C flour ( I use 4 Kamut or whole wheat and 3 white)
2 Tbsp salt
Sprinkle yeast over 1/2 C water. Add 2 tsp honey. Whisk until yeast dissolves. Let stad until foamy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with dough hook attachment. Add butter and remaining 1 3/4 C water and 3 TBsp honey. Whisk flour with salt; add 3 C to yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until smooth. Add remaining 4 C of flour, 1 at a time, mixing until dough comes away from the sides of bowl and forms a ragged, slightly sticky ball.
Knead of floured surface until smooth and elastic, but still slightly tacky. Shape into ball. Transfer to buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap.
Let dough stand in warm place until it doubles in volume - about 1 hour. Butter 2 loaf pans. Punch dough down and divide in half. (I use these little loaf pans because then when my kids want a snack they can just go and get a whole loaf and they do not have to cut the bread and end up with 1/2 inch top and 2 inch bottom slice.)