MY VERY FIRST LOAF OF BREAD

BREAD AND SOFT PRETZELS 001 (570x428)

HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING BUT DECIDED TO MAKE PEPPERONI CHEESE BREAD.  NO SPECIAL MACHINES OR TOOLS – JUST MY OWN TWO HANDS!

1 pkt instant dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup skim milk
2 Tbsp granulated white sugar
4 c all purpose flour (I would use whole wheat if I had it)
1 tsp salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
20 pepperoni slices

Place dry yeast in a large mixing bowl. Combine water and milk in a measuring cup and bring temperature to 105-120 degrees (may need to microwave for a few seconds – if too hot make sure to cool). Add water, milk and sugar to mixing bowl and mix well. Add flour, salt, garlic and 1/2 c cheese and knead until smooth with your hands! Grease a second bowl with non-stick spray or butter and place dough into bowl. Turn dough once so that the dough has some grease on top. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour. Pat down dough and press out to about 1 inch thickness and top with a layer of shredded cheese and pepperoni slices. Roll up and seal ends. Place in greased bread pan; cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1/2 hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake bread for 45 minutes until golden brown.

THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE WAS FINDING A WARM PLACE FOR THE DOUGH TO RISE (AND WAITING SO LONG FOR IT TO RISE)!  IT IS 6 DEGREES OUTSIDE WITH A MINUS 6 WINDCHILL, THE HOUSE IS 68 DEGREES AND YEAST RISES BEST AT 85 DEGREES!  THAT IS WHEN I DECIDED ON A NICE FIRE IN THE FIREPLACE – IT WORKED!

The loaf is delicious, however, I would add more pepperoni and cheese in the future!

SERVE ALONE OR WITH SOME PIZZA SAUCE FOR DIPPING!

MORE FUN WITH YEAST AND FLOUR:

HOMEMADE SOFT PRETZELS:

BREAD AND SOFT PRETZELS 004 (570x428)

DOUGH
1 pkt instant dry yeast
1 1/2 c warm water (105-120 degrees)
2 Tbsp granulated white sugar
4 c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt

CRUST
1 c water
2 tsp baking soda
coarse sea salt or kosher salt
1/4 c (1/2 stick) butter, melted

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, combine the yest, warm water and sugar.  Add in the flour and salt and knead until smooth with your hands!
  2. Grease a second bowl with nonstick spray and place dough in the bowl, turn once to get grease on top.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Prepare 2 non-stick baking sheets (I add a little non-stick spray).
  4. Divide the dough into 10 equal parts.  Roll each part into a rope about 24 inches long and form into pretzel shape.
  1. In a shallow bowl, combine water and baking soda.  Submerge each pretzel in water and then place on the prepared baking sheets.  Sprinkle with salt.  Let pretzels rise 5-10 minutes.
  2. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Brush each hot pretzel with melted butter immediately after removing from oven.

SERVE ALONE OR WITH SOME SPICY DIJON MUSTARD FOR DIPPING!

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