I’m so glad that I keep up w/the food blog…it’s nice 😉

Anyway, our garden has been exploding w/veggie-goodness over the past few days, and it’s honestly pretty inspiring, food-wise, when you see so many yummy, home grown things coming into the house.

For instance, those beautiful tomatoes and gorgeous basil had me drooling over bruschetta…only we didn’t have any good bread in.  But then, that got me thinking of using my stand mixer to just make some bread, only quickly, bc most bread recipes seem to take hours for rising time.

I found this recipe on Pinterest, and it’s for French Bread (used for pizzas), and I loved it bc it only took about an hour and a half, start to finish, including rising time.  And, there were like, four ingredients.  Sold!

I forgot to take “before” pictures, so after mixing the ingredients together and then letting the dough rise for an hour, here’s the almost-finished product:

(I was pretty surprised that my dough had actually doubled like it should, bc I normally don’t have the best luck w/dough.  I love the stand mixer!)

Then, I formed the dough into a long sort-of log shape, and set it to bake for 30(ish) minutes:

Tada, bread!

PS- this is soooo good, too!  I couldn’t help cutting a few pieces off while it was still hot, and wow, warm bread and butter?  Really doesn’t get any better, if you ask me!

Later that night, I cut up the tomatoes, ripped up the basil, and we had bruschetta (w/chicken alfredo…bc we’re super-healthy over here!).  The bread was perfect- definitely a recipe I plan to use again and again 🙂

Presented beautifully on the prettiest cookie sheet I could find! 😉

Making bread came from a suggestion for my 2012 Challenge (thanks,Marjorie!), but it’s definitely something I had been wanting to do.  I’ve avoided doing it before, though, bc as previously noted, I am a terrible baker.  Truly.  I hate the exactness required for baking, which is why most of my baking adventures turn into baking disasters.

However, I’ve been reading through bread recipes lately, specifically the comments, to see if I could find a seemingly “fool proof” one.  And, after choosing this one from AllRecipes, armed w/my measuring cup (ugh) and ingredients, I set out to give honey wheat bread a try.  I picked honey wheat bc this is what we usually use for our sandwich bread.

Start out by dissolving the yeast into warm water.  Then, add in the honey.  After that, the rest of the ingredients follow- I had a tough time trying to get the dough to accept all of the flour, though.  Seven cups of flour is a lot!  Then, leave the dough in a greased bowl and cover w/a damp towel.

It’s supposed to rise to near double in about 45 mins- mine took a bit longer.  Some of the comments on the recipe said to put it in a warm oven (heat up the oven on low for just a few minutes, turn it off, and add the dough, just to keep it warm), which is what I did w/the dough loaves later on bc they were taking forever to rise.

Once it rises, punch the dough down, divide it into two loaves, and add each loaf to a greased loaf pan.  Now, it needs to rise to about 1-1/2 inches above the top of the pan.

Only one of my loaves has risen this high- the other one might never bc I think I divided the dough unevenly between the two pans…we shall see.

Anyway, the first loaf is in the oven- 375 for 25-30 mins.  I am dying w/anticipation- seriously, it looks like real bread!  It’s kinda lumpy and bumpy, but y’know what?  It smells like bread!  It’s risen, it looks like a loaf of bread…I couldn’t be happier at this point!

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This is a really great recipe- first, the bread is delicious, and second, I successfully made bread!  The credit totally goes to the simplicity of this recipe!

It did take me a lot longer than the recipe suggested (they said 2 hrs, it took me about 5-6) bc my bread took its sweet time rising, but that wasn’t a problem since this was just an experiment, not something I needed at a certain time.  And, I think I will use the warm-oven trick for next time, to see if it speeds up rising time.  The second loaf is a lot smaller, since I didn’t divide the dough completely in half, but it still looks good!

Anyway, this is a great recipe, and I’ve even used some slices tonight for grilled cheeses…E loved it, too!

I’m really happy that I tried this- it’s no longer hanging over my head as one of those elusive or scary things anymore.  I guess I just thought that I’d go through all this work, and wind up w/bread dense as a brick or something equally inedible.  However, after today’s experiment, we found out that t’s totally possible for a non-baker to bake bread! 😉