Farmhouse White Bread. I do so love white bread. Getting older means that I eat whole wheat bread most of the time, but every once in a while I like to indulge myself in a nice loaf of white bread.
Especially Amish farmhouse white bread. What is it about Amish food that gets all of our tastebuds tingling? I think its because we all know that they are a simple folk that make simple food, that is always delicious.
And our hearts long for simplicity. Am I right or not?
What better excuse to bake a lovely loaf of bread than when you have a new knife to try out.
And what better bread to try a new knife on than a hearty white bread recipe. Its win/win any way you look at it.
I have never made any secret of the fact that I am severely challenged when it comes to making bread. Its not really one of my strengths. I do have a modicum of success when using the bread machine, but that's cheating a bit I think.
Today I used my kitchen aid to help me knead the dough. I think the success of bread lies in the kneading. It can make all the difference between producing a light loaf or a doorstop.
Usually I produce doorstops, but today I thought with the aid of my stand mixer I would at least have half a chance of success! But first some more about this knife!
This is a part of their professional series of knives and boasts an edge which is serrated on both sides. This helps to insure the integrity of your loaf and means that you won't squash your bread while you are cutting it. A few other features include:
Precision-forged, high-carbon German stainless steel at 56±2 HRC
The edge is painstakingly sharpened to 8-12° per side to ensure you a razor-sharp blade
Beautiful hand-polished satin finish blade
Tapered design for hardness and flexibility
Precisely tempered for added durability
Ergonomic handle shape for maximum comfort, grip, and maneuverability
Full tang for incredible robustness and quality
I will talk more about it's performance later. First the bread.
HOW DO I MANAGE TO MESS IT UP EVERY TIME! DUH! My loaf ended up much higher at one end than the other. (I cut the recipe in half and made only one loaf. Perhaps that's the reason, but I suspect not.)
Yes, that is my loaf, fresh out of the oven and it is decidedly higher at one end than the other. A nice brown crust however.
Perfectly cooked on the bottom however. Nice and golden. You can tell when a loaf is properly cooked through if you tap it firmly on the bottom and you are rewarded with a nice hollow sound.
Mine sounded perfectly done, and it was. Golden, crisp crusted and baked through and through.
Why one end of it rose higher when baking than the other is a complete mystery to me. It just doesn't make sense.
I guess I can chalk it down to being one of the great mysteries in life.
This really is a beautiful knife. I love the shape of it. Its not long and narrow like most bread knifes and has a strong looking serrated edge.
This is a serious bread knife. The handle is beautiful and fits and feels wonderful in the hand.
I just love the colors in it. The fact that it has a full tang means that there is a solid piece of steel that runs through the handle right to the end cap.
This not only adds to the strength of the knife. Robust, reliable and steadfast. A knife with a full tang is built to last a lifetime with proper use.
I can tell you it did an excellent job of cutting this bread. I didn't need to exert much pressure. It simply cut through the bread easily, without squashing it down.
You really need to use a serrated knife when you are slicing bread. Their sharp aggressive teeth are designed for piercing through the hard outer crusts of breads with ease, using a sawing motion.
They are also ideal for cutting soft spongy cakes such as Angel Food Cakes.
As you can see I was able to easily cut nice even slices from this fresh loaf of bread. I did wait for the bread to cool completely. (What restraint on my part!!)
I knew if I tried to cut it while it was still hot, or even warm, I would ruin the integrity of the bread and spoil the crumb on the cut edge.
I was really pleased with how my bread turned out. It has a beautiful crumb and a lovely light texture.
In short, it looked perfect to me, and cut beautifully.
As you know I am kitting my kitchen out from scratch, just like a young Bride I suppose. Good knives are a part of setting up a proper kitchen, so I am very grateful for this knife. Thank you Tuo Cutlery!!
Of course I had to treat myself to a slice of freshly baked bread. Spread with plenty of cold butter.
The proof of the texture of this bread is the fact that it did not tear as I was spreading the butter onto it! Wow!
Fresh white bread and molasses. Did you grow up eating bread and molasses? You might think this is pretty strange, but I have been waiting a long time to enjoy this pleasure.
You don't really need a lot. Just a tiny bit will do. When you are talking about Molasses, a little bit goes a very long way.
Don't you just love this little mini set of my sisters. The tiny crystal jug and butter dish? Perfect for sitting on a breakfast tray. The butter dish is a Victorian butter dish and you can find it on her IG page Lost Lovelies Found. Its sooooo cute!
She really has a beautiful collection of dishes and antiquities on her page. I am really enjoying using it when it comes to staging my recipes. I will miss being able to do that when I get into my own place!
But then I will have my boxes un-packed and I know I have some really nice things in there such as those Swedish design bits and bobs I had purchased right before I left to come back to Canada.
I wasn't leaving them behind if I could help it. I do so hope they made the trip intact.
In any case, this is a lovely loaf of bread and it went down a real treat with the cold butter and molasses. I had almost forgotten how very much I enjoyed that light indulgence.
If you are looking for a nice loaf, you really can't go wrong with this loaf, adapted from a recipe in my Big Blue Binder, from long, long ago. It may even have been mom's recipe. I can't remember.
Anyways, bake it. You won't be disappointed!
Farmhouse White Bread
Yield: Makes 2 loavesAuthor: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 30 Mininactive time: 2 H & 15 MTotal time: 3 H & 4 M
Simple and easy. If I can make it anyone can.
Combine half of the water and the sugar in a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over top. Allow to stand for 5 to 6 minutes until foamy. Add the butter, milk, remaining water, half of the flour and salt, using a wooden spoon. Mix well together. Add the remaining flour a bit at a time until you have a coarse and shaggy dough. Tip out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead in the remaining flour, for 8 to 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic, feeling fairly soft. You may add extra flour if the dough is sticky.
Put the dough into a large bowl which you have greased with white vegetable shortening, turning the dough to coat with the grease. Cover with plastic cling film and set aside in a warm draft free place for 1 1/2 hours to rise, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Punch the risen dough down to expel the air. Tip out onto a lightly floured work surface. Cut in half with a sharp knife. Pat each half out into a rough rectangle 8 inches in length. Roll up tightly into a loaf. Have ready well greased 8 by 4 inch loaf tins. Put a loaf into each, seam side down. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise for a further 45 minutes, or until the dough has risen just about the edge of each tin.
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F. gas mark 4. Bake the loaves for 30 minutes, or until they are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the base. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For Wholemeal Bread: use 450g of plain flour and 450g of wholemeal flour. (3 cups each)
Did you make this recipe?
Many thanks to Tuo for sending me this new knife. I really love it. I want you to know that although I did receive this knife free of charge in exchange for a review I was not obligated to give it a positive review. Any and all opinions are my own and written in all honesty.
This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at mariealicejoan at aol dot com.
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