I’ll be the first to admit it.. I love bread. No, I mean I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE bread! Give me some butter and warm bread and I’m set. Probably one of my earliest baking memories is sitting on our kitchen table, indian-leg cross style playing with a mound of flour, my baby rolling pin and some extra dough. As I played with that I mimicked my mother as she would knead and roll the dough over and over. She did this faithfully every Sunday making 6-8 loaves of bread. The smells of fresh baked bread filled our house with such amazing aromas. Sunday was family dinners, usually roast with potatoes and those amazing loaves of soft breads.
Today I must have been channeling my childhood and my mother as it was a bread-baking kinda day.
The first one were these French Deli Rolls. They had a crusty exterior with a pillowy soft inside. I made Mr. Fantabulous a roasted turkey sandwich on one and per his comment they were ” Mmfphrt, rwealwee Muuuoud!” Now one thing you have to know about Mr. Fantabulous. You never, EVER mess with the man’s food. If you put your fingers in front of him while he’s eating… well, consider yourself warned. LOL Nah.. he’s not that bad. Mama Fantabulous raised him with manners. However when it comes to stuff he really, really likes it seems those manners fly out the window and he’ll answer you with a “mouf-full”. LOL So you don’t speak ‘Mouthfullnese???” LOL Let me translate “Mmmm, REALLY good!
Now, if some of you are still leery on making bread from scratch. Stop it, really! This is not hard and you don’t need any special equipment other than 2 hands or a mixer with a dough hook. Homemade bread is so much cheaper and it’s a bajillion times better tasting! Plus you can control what all you put in it!
- 4–4 1/2 cups Bread Flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon yeast (I use the dry for this)
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 egg white + 2 tablespoon water
- 3–4 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 cup very hot water plus a spray bottle full of hot water
- Combine 2 cups flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of your mixer
- Add 1 cup warm water and mix well.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for about 20 minutes.
- Add 2 more cups of flour and the 1/2 cup of warm water and mix for 4 minutes with a dough hook.
- Add in the oil and salt and continue mixing for 5-8 minutes or until the dough is slack and starts to climb up the hook.
- The dough will be tacky but not enough to stick to you fingers. If it is, add up to 1/2 cup more flour but adding in 1 tablespoon increments.
- Transfer to a bowl that is sprayed with oil.
- Spritz top of dough with oil, cover and allow to rise 1 hour or till double.
- Divide dough equally into 8-pieces (about 3.5 ounces each) and shape into mini loaves.
- Place on lightly sprayed parchment paper. I turned a lipped cookie sheet over and put the parchment paper on that.
- Cover with plastic and allow to rise until almost doubled.
- Put old pie tin or metal pan in bottom of oven.
- Place one rack in the center of the oven.
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Brush tops w/egg white wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds, then slash tops about 1/4″ deep. I find that using a serrated knife works best
- Put the pan in the oven.
- Working fast, spritz the loaves and the walls of the oven with hot water.
- Working quickly and safely, dump the 1 cup of hot water in to the metal pan and close the oven door fast. You are trapping the steam in here. This is how you get that crusty bread exterior!
- minutes later, spritz the bread and walls again closing the door fast.
- minutes later repeat.
- Bake for 15-17 min. rotating pan half way through baking till golden brown.