I was going to title this post “Fool Proof Yeast Bread” in an effort to encourage some of you yeast phobes to try a yeast bread. And then, haha, I did not account for how freakin’ hot this “new” oven is, and my bread came out rather, well, dark. Making it look not very fool proof.
But it is, I swear! I have made it multiple times before and this MUST be oven error considering it was this dark halfway through the baking time! So I guess if you don’t know your oven well, do pay attention to how dark it bakes–but otherwise this is so easy, I promise.
Anyway, about the bread. First of all, never mind how easy it is or that it is a great introduction to yeast bread making. It is also just flat out wonderful. And because it only requires one rise, it is very convenient.
See? Fool proof!
Buttermilk Cheddar Bread
Adapted from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book Of Breads
Makes one large (9X5) or two smaller (8X4) loaves
3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour, approximately
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 scant T (2 packages) dry yeast
2 t baking powder
2 t salt
2 T sugar
3/4 cup hot water (120 to 130 degrees)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1-2 T butter, melted
In a mixer bowl, combine 1 cup bread flour, the white whole wheat flour, the yeast, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Whisk to blend. Pour the hot water and butter milk into the flour, and beat for 3 minutes with the mixer flat beater to make a smooth batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and stir in the cheese. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough forms a rough mass and clears the sides of the bowl. Insert the mixer dough hook when the mass is too heavy and solid for the flat beater.
Knead by hand on a floured surface or by dough hook in the mixer to make a soft elastic ball, 8 minutes. Add sprinkles of flour if the dough is slack or wet and sticky.
Press and push the dough into an oval (or ovals) slightly longer than the pans. Fold lengthwise, and pinch the edges tightly together. With the seam down, push in the ends. Fit the dough into the pan, pressing it snugly into the corners. Cover the pan(s) with greased plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 hour. You can test by poking a finger in it; the dent will remain if the dough is fully risen.
Preheat the over to 425 about 20 minutes before baking. If your oven runs hot, reduce heat by 25 degrees! Place the pan(s) on a low shelf so the bread will not brown too quickly. The loaves will be done when they are deep brown and pull away from the sides of the pan, 35 to 40 minutes. When tapping the bottom yields a hard, hollow sound, the bread is done. If not, return to the oven – without the pan if you want a deep brown crust – for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. However, if the tops of the loaves appear to be browning too quickly, cover with a piece of foil or brown sack paper. (If using a convection oven, reduce heat 50 degrees.)
Remove the bread from the oven. Turn from the pan(s) and place on a wire rack to cool. While the bread is still hot, brush with melted butter for a lovely rich glow.