Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Easy Batter Bread


* 1/4 cup lukewarm water
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 4 packets active dry yeast
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup hot water or buttermilk
* 5 cups white flour


1. In a bowl, mix the lukewarm water, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and active dry yeast. Let stand until yeast mixture becomes frothy and increases in volume.
2. While the yeast mixture is standing, in a separate large mixing bowl, mix the butter, 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, salt, and hot water or buttermilk.
3. Once the yeast mixture becomes frothy, add the yeast mixture to the separate large mixing bowl.
4. Add 2 cups of white flour to the large mixing bowl. Stir at slow speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute. After that, mix at medium speed for 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently.
5. With the remaining 2 cups of white flour, add the remaining flour at about 1/4 to 1/2 cups at a time to the large mixing bowl, and continually mix with a spoon until the mixture begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl or it becomes difficult to add more flour.
6. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and a towel. Place in a warm room with no drafts until the batter doubles in volume. About 45 minutes to 1 hour.
7. After the batter was allowed to sit, stir it down with a spoon (about 25 strokes).
8. Divide the batter into 2 loaf pans. Wet fingers and push into the corners and smooth out.
9. Cover both setups with plastic. Place in a warm room and let the batter rise until it just reaches the tops of the pans (about 25 minutes). Watch carefully and don't let the batter rise too high (if it does rise too high, punch it down a little bit and let it rise again.)
10. After the batter was allowed to rise in the loaf pans, bake at 375° for 30 to 45 minutes. The bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom of the pan and is browned to the baker's preference.
11. Turn out on a wire rack and let cool.


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