Sunday, March 16, 2014

How to Make "Clean" White Bread

I am happy today. Do you want to know why?


I am happy to report to you that I have successfully made white yeast bread.

I have always be scared of yeast - not sure why but now looking back, there was no reason to be scared.

Actually it is quite silly. Being scared of yeast when I have no fear of fast motorcycles, fast boats, big planes and guns. I also drive like a maniac. That doesn't scare me either. When the hubster drives like a maniac, well, that does tend to scare me a bit but still, not as much as the yeast.

I finally decided I would jump in and just do it. I did. The feeling could be described as the fear/excitement combo thing I had going on when I was floating in a hot air balloon above a huge city and totally dependent upon that little burner thingy to keep me from crashing to the ground. Scary but exciting at the same time.

Can you believe I am comparing "yeast" to radical sports like an ATV's, Daytona's bike week and almost falling off a California cliff in order to get a great photo?

Some will say it's only "yeast" but I beg to differ.

I will come clean for you and share one small mishap of my reckless life.  I hit the hubster's ATV with my ATV. I did. He didn't like it but I laughed. Relax, there was no blood involved. All in good fun.

Back to the yeast.

I have just created the best white bread I have ever eaten, and yes, I am very partial so if you have your own "best" white bread, it is okay. Just don't say that your bread it better than mine. If you challenge me, we may have to have a "bread off." Just be warned, I will pick mine. You will pick mine too.

My sweet friend, Judy, kindly offered to help me learn to deal with the yeast and to make real bread. Clean bread without the added chemicals that enhances poisons our breads today.

I have been reading about the "dough conditions" added to the breads in order to prolong the shelf life. That is just wrong, people. It shouldn't be that way.

It is also interesting that fast food chains such as Subway, use chemicals in their breads in the U.S. but in their stores based in other countries, none of those chemicals are added.

Check out the Food Babe site for a complete source of information about how our food industry does not have our best interest or health in mind while approving such poisons. (Think -money and power).

So lets get to the most simple yeast bread that you will ever make.

First thing, check out the basic recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. This is the recipe that I used. I made a few minor adjustments because I wanted to make sandwich bread. So between Judy's help and a bit of reading, this is what I came up with.

I have the New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery that Revolutionizes Home Baking recipe book on my birthday wish list so I hope to have it in my hands very soon. This is the reason I tweaked my way along when I made the bread - I don't own the book….yet!

I mixed up the dough in a larger Tupperware canister. Since I am all about the cake, I don't have any of the proper dough containers so I used what I had that looked the most like what they use.  I used King Arthur unbleached bread flour. Since I used a "bread" flour, it was necessary to add an additional 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water.

Once I added the water in the recipe, the dough was a bit dry. Judy showed me how the dough should feel to the touch. A bit more water was all that was needed.

Judy also told me that I have to learn how to "know the dough." So basically, I have just met the dough. It will be a while and some trials and errors before I can confidently say that "Yes, I know the dough."

There is definitely a difference if you use King Arthur flour for bread making vs other brands. Judy did a side-by-side comparison and difference is shocking. You can find her results at Judy's Bakery and Test Kitchen.

This is the dough after the initial rise. There is a small black sharpie mark on the container. That is where the dough started out. Look how big it got! WHOA Baby!!!

After the rise, I put it in the fridge for two days. I placed the lid on top but did not seal it. I think the yeast gases have a need to escape so I had to give it a little space. I wonder what would have happened if I sealed the lid? A gas explosion in the fridge?

See, there you go. Yeast can be dangerous. Be careful, people.

I used the Pampered Chef stoneware bread pan to bake it. This pan has two pounds of dough.

I brushed the pan with olive oil.

I used the Pampered Chef stoneware mini bread pan to use the additional dough. There is 3/4 pounds of dough in each of the three cavities. I also brushed this pan with olive oil.

I allowed the dough in the small pans rise for an hour after. The larger pan required an additional thirty minutes for the second rise.

I brushed the top of the dough with olive oil and I didn't brown the top.

I baked this until the internal temp was between 195-200 - 35 minutes at 350.

What do you think? I will tell you what I think. I have never seen bread as being "pretty" but I think these little loaves are lookin' mighty sexy.

At this point I was having "butter anxiety." Everything baked must have butter, you know. I am a CAKIE. CAKIES use butter. Lots and lots of butter.

I had no choice but to brush the top of this loaf with….melted butter. Suddenly, the "butter withdrawals" vanished. Thankfully, I saved myself from a mental breakdown.

It was a close call.

I checked the temp and decided it needed and additional five minutes in the oven. During that final five, it browned a bit more than I had planned. Surprisingly, the crust was still very soft.

I baked this big, sexy girl for a total of 1 hour and 10 minutes at 350. I read on the website that for a softer crust to bake at a lower temp. For more of a crusty top, they advise baking at 450.

Not long after the small loaves came out the oven, one of them quickly disappeared. Yes. Just that fast. The boyz loved it too and kept coming back for more.

Now, this is where it gets a little tricky. I have been talking about clean food and all but guess what I wanted my first sandwich to be with my homemade yeast bread?

Don't judge.

Baby steps, you know.


Yes, I made bacon. Heavily processed bacon for my brand new clean bread. Hey, it is a splurge. No steady diet of bacon in my house but an occasional treat is okay, right? Yes?

Say it with me, "It is okay."

I like the applewood smoked, thick sliced bacon from Sam's. I baked it in the Pampered Chef cookie sheet shaped pan. Not sure of the correct name so we will just call it a "cookie sheet pan" because that is what is looks like to me. Interestingly enough, this pan has never seen a cookie during the ten years I have owned it. Sad. I must do that one day.

I baked the bacon at 375 for 45 minutes. The timing depends on if you like chewy bacon or crunchy bacon. We like crunchy - especially the thick sliced.

Crunchy bacon ready for the bread!

I used a huge serrated bread knife to slice it up. As you can see, it sliced very nice. Notice the tight crumb? If you make the crusty bread and want open holes in the finished bread, you should allow it to rise on the counter a bit longer. I think. Check me on that one because I am very new at this.

Check out that beautiful BT. Yes, well call it a "BT" instead of "BLT" because it is missing the lettuce.

The small loaf sliced up just as nice as the larger loaf.

Looks like this was a Pampered Chef kind of day. The cooking racks were also Pampered Chef. Do you remember my "Vintage Tupperware Party?" Maybe, I need more Pampered Chef now that to accompany all the new Tupperware in my cabinets. I will admit that I love the Pampered Chef products "almost" as much as I love Tupperware.

The day is not even half over and I have eaten too much bread already.

Such a sweet, fine day and there isn't any cake involved. Surprise. Surprise.

Have you ever made yeast bread?  I bet you have. It is "I" who was the weenie girl when it comes to using yeast. Heck, before long, I may be saying that "Yeast rocks." Yeah, right.

Happy first week of Spring!



  1. Donna, loving the yeast comparison! I can't wait to try this bread out. Not only is bread one of weaknesses... but I am totally addicted to working with yeast! Pinning, bookmarking, and printing out! :)

    1. Thank you, Gloria! I am surprised you haven't made this bread before - seems so easy compared to the kneading kind. I think it taste great too!