Auntie Eli’s Tuesday Treat: Homemade Bread!
By Eleni Louca
I think it’s safe to say that we are facing very scary, uncertain times. Few things bring us comfort right now, one of those being warm, satisfying delicious bread. Plain, sweet or savory, choose your preference. Me personally, I like a little bit of both, which is why in this weeks recipe, I chose to go with a quick and easy bread recipe that can be made in so many different variations, you will be adding it to your weekly kitchen routine. Plain ol’ bread, sweet cinnamon swirl bread or cheesy savory bread. Make it your way. Mix it up as you please and create your own versions! Tag us on Instagram @givemeastoria with @auntieelis and share your pictures and experience.
The following recipe will make two loafs. Choose any of the variations to try. My personal fave is the cinnamon swirl! Here’s to comfort. Here’s to bread.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 cups warm water (not hot)
- 2 teaspoons (one packet) active-dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons soft butter for the coating baking trays
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, add the sugar and water. Sprinkle the yeast on top but do not mix. Let this sit for 15 minutes. Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and mix until the flour is absorbed. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm spot to rise for an hour.
- Once the dough rises, preheat the oven to 425ºF and prepare your baking trays by greasing them with the butter.
- Punch down your dough with a spatula or fork, scraping it from the sides of the bowl in a folding manner to loosen the dough away from the sides. Divide the dough into two equal parts and place into prepared baking trays. The dough will be very wet.
- At this time, you can slowly incorporate any other ingredients to change the flavor. See variations below.
- Let the dough rise again for about 20 minutes.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 425ºF then reduce the heat to 375ºF and bake for 20 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and turn the loaves over to continue baking for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before cutting.
Cinnamon Swirl Bread: Blend together 1/2 a cup of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Swirl the mixture into the dough and let rise for 20 minutes. Top with cream cheese icing. You can make this simply by mixing 1 tablespoon of icing sugar (powdered sugar) with 1/2 a cup of cream cheese. Drizzle the loaf once it comes out of the oven.
Cheesy Sun dried tomato Bread: Blend together 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella, 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar, 6 sundried tomatoes chopped, 2 spring onions, a few leaves of fresh basil and a tablespoon of olive oil. Slowly incorporate the mixture in the dough and let rise for 20 minutes.
Olive Bread: Mix together a small onion diced, remove pits from about 15 olives and half them. Add a tablespoon of crushed dried mint and a tablespoon of olive oil. Slowly incorporate the mixture in the dough and let rise for 20 minutes.
Halloumi Bread: Mix together 4 spring onions, one halloumi cheese cut in small cubes, add a tablespoon of crushed dried mint and a tablespoon of olive oil. Slowly incorporate the mixture in the dough and let rise for 20 minutes.
Pizza Bread: Add any pizza ingredients you like, estimating 1 cup all together. Slowly incorporate the mixture in the dough and let rise for 20 minutes. Avoid sauces. Instead of tomato sauce, use tomatoes.
- Try not to over mix the dough.
- If incorporating other ingredients, stick to mostly dry. The dough is already very wet.
- Make sure your oven is pre heated before adding the bread.
- If using instant yeast, incorporate it into the flour mixture straight away along with the rest of the ingredients, leaving the water last.
- Using ovenproof bowls works great for baking these breads.
And there you have it! Cake pops! Post your pics and tag us @givemeastoria and @auntieelis!