In preparation for the soft pretzel tutorial, here’s my bread recipe, mostly because I made it today to use for pizza crust. I use it for every type of bread I make; sometimes it’s loaves, sometimes bread sticks, sometimes “other.” When we make Poor Man’s Soup,” we fry the bread. Our family just calls it circle bread.
Anyhoo, today it was pizza. I always make a lot when I take the time to make bread, so right now we have extra in the fridge to make loaves for soup on Monday. Can you tell I use a meal plan? I have a basic layout of a month of meals. I don’t necessarily follow it, but it keeps me from having to think about dinner every day.
And I’m off topic again…If you want to know more about the meal plan or anything else, ask in the comments and maybe it will be another post.
My All-Purpose Bread Recipe
- Start water in the kettle. (You’ll need 3 cups.)
- Mix the dry ingredients.
- 4 cups of flour (You’ll add about 7 cups later.)
- 2 T. of yeast (probably the same as two packages of active dry yeast)
- 1/4 c. of sweet (whatever you prefer)
- 1 T. salt
- Measure the liquids. (I have a four-cup measuring cup I do this in, just combining them all together. It doesn’t allow me to measure it exactly precisely, but it’s close enough for me. I’m not huge on measuring precisely, due to my lessons from a Roma grandma – see Pour Man’s Soup.)
- 3 cups hot water (should be steaming by now, but not boiling)
- 1 cup milk from the fridge
- 1/3 c. oil
- Pour the very warm liquids into dry ingredients and beat it all together. If you make it nice and hot, then when you knead it, it will be warm and feel lovely to knead, especially on a winter day.
- Add six cups of flour and mix. I mix it with a spoon as long as possible to keep my hands free. If it’s too wet, add that seventh cup.
- Knead for 10-15 minutes. You can’t over knead bread by hand, but I usually am tired out before I get to 15 minutes anyway. Some of my boys like to knead, so sometimes we just set up a rotation and take five minute turns.
- Grease the bowl. I grease the bowl by drizzling oil in along the edge of the bowl as I spin the bowl around and then swirling the dough around in the bowl getting everything covered with oil.
- Cover the bowl. I cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and then with a towel.
- Let it rise at least an hour and a half. I don’t time it. I make it at lunch because the kids are occupied and then it’s ready when I need it.
- Then you just form it into whatever you need. For pizza, I took half of that dough and divided it into 8 pieces for eight mini pizza crusts for our dinner.
- The extra you can refrigerate for a few days or even freeze it.
Everyone got to make their own pizzas. They may not be so pretty, but they were tasty.