As I continue down the road of mastering yeast, I get more and more excited with each little success.
I LOVED the process of making this bread. It rose beautifully, exactly how the recipe said it would. It baked up so pretty and smelled DIVINE. I danced around the kitchen when I realized that I made bread that would be edible for sandwiches! This was definitely a confidence booster.
I did sub some of the AP flour for whole wheat flour and my changes are noted below. The only issue that I encountered, and it was a mild one, was the the dough was very sticky when I started to form it into a loaf and I used quite a bit of flour to get it to shape correctly...at least 1/2 cup.
Country Crust Bread
from The Way the Cookie Crumbles
3 – 3½ cups (15 – 17½ ounces) unbleached flour, plus extra for work surface (I used 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 cup all purpose, unbleached flour.)
1½ teaspoons table salt
1 cup water, warm (110 degrees)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or unsalted butter, melted (I used butter.)
¼ cup (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar or 3 tablespoons honey (I used honey.)
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) rapid-rise yeast (also called instant)
1. Adjust oven rack to low position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Once oven temperature reaches 200 degrees, maintain heat 10 minutes, then turn off oven heat.
2. Mix flour, salt, and yeast in bowl of standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Mix water, egg, butter, and honey in 1-quart Pyrex liquid measuring cup. Turn machine to low and slowly add liquid. When dough comes together, increase speed to medium (setting number 4 on a KitchenAid mixer) and mix until dough is smooth and satiny, stopping machine two or three times to scrape dough from hook if necessary, about 10 minutes. Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface; knead to form smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.
3. Place dough in very lightly oiled bowl, rubbing dough around bowl to lightly coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; place in warm oven until dough doubles in size, 40 to 50 minutes.
4. Form dough into loaf by gently pressing the dough into a rectangle, one inch thick and no wider than the length of the loaf pan. Next, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing with your fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself. Turn the dough seam side up and pinch it closed. Finally, place dough in greased 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan and press it gently so it touches all four sides of the pan.
5. Cover with plastic wrap; set aside in warm spot until dough almost doubles in size, 20 to 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees, placing empty loaf pan on bottom rack. Bring 2 cups water to boil.
6. Remove plastic wrap from loaf pan. Place pan in oven, immediately pouring heated water into empty loaf pan; close oven door. Bake until instant-read thermometer inserted at angle from short end just above pan rim into center of loaf reads 195 degrees, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove bread from pan, transfer to a wire rack, and cool to room temperature. Slice and serve.