Bread Baking and Breaking Bread

There’s something fantastically home-like about the smell of bread baking in the oven, about kneading the dough, even about the way that rising bread smells so yeasty, earthy, and sharp.  I’ve not been the most successful with bread-baking, but I am excited that I finally have a good recipe, as follows:

Round-Loaf Bread Recipe

3 cups bread flour

0.25 oz packet of quick-rise yeast

1.5 tsp salt

1.5 – 1.75 cups warm water

Combine all dry ingredients, then add the water and mix.  Cover loosely in bowl and let rise for 4

hours.  After 4 hours of rising, heat oven to 450°F, and fold dough out on to oiled cutting board.  Fold over a few times (nothing serious or tedious), then place into a oiled round casserole dish and let rise for another thirty minutes.

Cook for thirty minutes covered, then remove cover and bake for additional fifteen minutes.  Let cool completely, then pop out of dish.  Viola!

Baked Bread
Baked Bread… ain’t it pretty?!

The bread has a beautiful golden crust and is substantial enough to cut into wide sandwich slices.

This weekend, I have volunteered to bake three of these loafs, as well as 4 dozen cookies for various events.  Making food and giving it away is perhaps one of the most heart-filling works I have yet to experience.  Having the opportunity to provide for friends and strangers, and to put a little love into it as well, gives me hope that life is something we do together, and is something we do better together, too.

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