Bread-making when shelves are bare
By Guest Columnist Al McSwain
With the shortage of bread in some stores these days, I have resorted to making my own. What I like about this recipe is that it uses all-purpose flour, requires very little kneading and only minimal kitchen utensils. It is my interpretation of the Mi’kmaq Mama recipe from Youtube. If you can, watch her video to get a better understanding the kneading and rolling process.
Recipe for two loaves.
2 cups of lukewarm water (as warm as a baby's bottle)
¼ cup white sugar
2 tablespoons of active dry yeast*
2 teaspoons of salt
3 tablespoons of oil
4 cups of flour plus more for board
¼ cup melted butter
*note: 1 packet of yeast = 2 1/4 teaspoons (double check your packet), so 2 tablespoons = 6 teaspoons = 2 & 2/3 packets
1.In a large bowl, mix water and sugar, add yeast. Let set for about seven to eight minutes until yeast is foamy. Add salt, oil and two cups of the flour; mix until dough is about the consistency of a pancake batter. Add the remaining 2 cups of flour. Fold and mix until all the flour is incorporated. Dough will be very sticky.
2. Dump dough onto a well-floured surface and knead for about three to four minutes. Keep adding flour as you knead, until dough does not stick to surface. Knead until you have a fairly smooth surface. Place in a well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled (about one hour).
3. Divide dough into two equal parts. Roll dough into a rectangle not wider than bread pans until all air bubbles have been removed. Tightly roll dough into a log, seal the seam and edges. Place in a well- buttered loaf pan. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Brush generously with melted butter. Place pans in center of cold oven, set temperature to 375°F and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, brush generously with melted butter. After five minutes, remove from loaf pans to wire rack. Let stand for one hour before slicing.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Al McSwain owns Porches Restaurant in Wesson.