Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Breadmaker Night

Who doesn't love fresh-baked bread, right?  And sometimes, we have time for the whole (lovely) experience of making it from scratch.  But, often times -- we don't.  Never feeling satisfied with the "breadmaker bread" recipes I try, I decided I didn't have anything to lose by trying a homemade bread recipe we love -- in the breadmaker!  (This would be an example of the "Sure, let's try it," I mentioned a few posts ago.)  Guess what -- it turned out pretty well!  Well enough to keep making it that way.  In fact, we're waiting on the breadmaker right now.  (Imagine our fingers drumming, drumming, drumming in anticipation...)

sally lunn bread
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
6 Tbsp butter
2 eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp sugar
3 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp breadmaker yeast

Heat milk & butter on the stove.  After the butter is melted, pour in cold water.  The mixture should be about 110 degrees, or, if you don't have a thermometer, like baby's bath water.  Think "Goldilocks" -- not too hot, not too cold.
Stir together sugar, flour, and salt in separate bowl.
Pour liquid mixture into breadmaker pan.
Add beaten eggs.
Pour in dry mixture, and make a well -- taking care not to uncover any of the liquid mixture below it.
Pour yeast into well.
Plug in breadmaker and follow the instructions specific to your machine.

According to Felicity's Cook Book, from which we adapted this recipe,
Some people say Sally Lunn bread came from the French phrase for sun-moon, soleil-lune (so-lay-LOON).  Each loaf has a golden top (sun) and white bottom (moon).  In English, soleil-lune became "Sally Lunn," which is how the bread is known today.
(Felicity is an American Girl character, growing up in colonial Virginia in 1774.  We've made many of the recipes from this cook book.  It's been a great way to study US history, and one of these days, I'll tell you all about it...)

And if you don't have a breadmaker -- or you just like to follow directions rather than make stuff up -- here's another way to do it.

Warm the milk over medium-low heat.  Measure the warm water and pour in small bowl.  Add 1 packet of yeast to the water and stir.  Stir in the warm milk.
Combine the sugar and softened butter in a large mixing bowl and stir until creamy.  Crack 1 egg into the bowl and beat.  Add the second egg and beat again.

Stir the flour and salt together in a medium bowl -- are you getting this?  Three bowls.  I love this bread, but seriously -- breadmaker.  Anyway, stir 1 cup of the flour mixture into the butter & sugar mixture (large bowl).  Then stir in about 1/3 of the yeast mixture (from the small bowl).  Add more flour and beat.  Add more yeast and beat.  Continue adding both, beating until smooth.  This is really good bread, and I've made it this way several times  -- it actually is worth it. 

Now your batter is done.  Cover it with a clean towel and let it rise in a warm place for an hour.  When it has doubled in size, remove the towel.  Stir the batter quickly to take out the air.  Grease a tube pan or round casserole dish.  Pour the batter into the pan, cover it with a towel, and let it rise for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350o.  Remove towel and bake 40-45 minutes.

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