Our Simple Daily Bread by Lydia Dittrich
John Burdick's True Confections Bread Recipe
- 6 cups flour, plus extra for kneading
- 1/4 cup sweetener of choice (never sugar! go for the honey, agave nectar, molasses or maple syrup)
- 1/2 tsp sugar (it will make sense in a second)
This does not require a stand mixer or bread machine.
To make this bread you will need (2) 9 inch loaf pans, a large (60"circumference) bowl, a rubber spatula and a pre heated to 350 degree oven.
1) In the bowl, combine the yeast, the sugar and enough of the water to make a paste. Let sit for a few minutes until your yeast begins to "burp" or bubble.
2) Add the canola oil, the grain, and the sweetener. Using the spatula, blend the ingredients well until you have a thick but liquid paste.
3) Gradually mix in the flour and water, alternating until you have a wet, sticky dough that is holding its shape. Scrape the excess flour from around the rim of the bowl onto the sides and top with the spatula.
4) Sprinkle the salt over the dough last. Adding this ingredient too early kills your yeast.
5) Wet both sides of your hands with water and dredge them in flour. Sprinkle more flour over the top of your dough, and knead for 10-15 mins or until the dough is supple, smooth and silky. May still be wet in patches~~that is okay.
6) Rinse your hands clean and cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Let it sit in a warm sunny window to rise for about 10 mins.
7) While your dough is rising, oil the pans lightly with the extra canola oil.
8) Remove the towel, and using a sharp chef's knife, divide the ball in half. GENTLY form each half into 2 loaves, without overhandling it.
9) Put the loaves into the greased pans and using the knife, lightly score the tops of the bread to allow for expansion.
10) Bake your loaves at 350 degrees for 30-35 mins or until the loaves fall easily out of the pans, and sound hollow when rapped on the bottoms with 2 knuckles.
There is no better cure for a blah rainy afternoon than the smell of fresh bread rising in your kitchen and the oven pumping heat into the air. These are the sensory memories of my childhood in Sackets Harbor NY. We moved back when I was 4, and my parents, John and Beth Burdick opened a small bakery on Main Street.
When we moved back, Sackets was not the picturesque little postcard it is now. Main Street was bombed out buildings and broken glass, Bachner's Tavern (now a high end Mexican joint) and a weatherbeaten marina covered in seagull droppings and clogged with seaweed. My father having an avid interest in history, got involved with the Historical Society and the Urban Cultural Park development committee, serving as its president for several years. Mom got involved with the local library, and still serves on the board to this day.
Mornings were early (bakers hours start at 3 a.m.) but wonderful. I remember being bundled into snow gear, and standing like a puffed ruby red marshmellow while Dad warmed up the 1974 Dodge Dart. Seth, my brother, and I would be buckled onto the frozen green gnaugahyde seats and strapped in. The defroster would have just made the dent on the windows when we arrived. Parking in what is now the Ontario Place Hotel lot, we would troop in through the storeroom and meet Mom. She and Dad rotated kid and bread duty, but they each had their specialties. Mom is a master cake decorator (she may not have the certificates, but she makes works of art) and Dad was happiest with his hands in a bowl of dough.
While I make cakes that taste like my mother's, they don't look as beautiful. And bread? Bread has been passed down in my family from Dad to me with much more visually appealing success. So every time I knead the dough in my own kitchen, surrounded by 4 little helpers and a starving husband, I smile and remember a slice of childhood evoked by the scent of dough. Something so simple, yet so nourishing and satisfying.
I hope you enjoy this recipe, and feel free to take it and make it your own. All that my parents asked of me was that if it was shared, to give them credit. So, Mom, Dad--this loaf is for you :-)
Best served warm, but will keep for up to 3 days at room temperature. It never lasts that long at our place !
P.S.~~If you find the recipe on my page you may notice it's slightly different! I have done this so much I make it from memory and it's hard to write those recipes down, but the basics are the same! Feel free to play with the ingredients and additives to make it your own! Dad's favorite was dill and chives with a cornmeal/honey base!
For more of my recipes and childhood musings, check out my own blog at http://honeywhatsfordinner.tumblr.com/! I also blog about weddings, special events and fashion at http://cville-main-event.tumblr.com/. Thanks for letting me into your kitchens for a while, and enjoy the bread. Your family will treasure the care you put into the food you create for them each day~~
Lydia Dittrich, COO The Main Event http://www.yourmainevent.biz/