Does baking bread scare the beejeebees out of you? Do you stay away from any recipe that tells you something needs to rise?
Do you feel like your watching a Cymbalta commercial right now?
I used to be terrified of making anything in the kitchen that included yeast.
However, I never realized that I was missing out on something wonderful.
Some of you emailed me last week and loved the crock pot recipe. It was so easy, I assumed it was almost dumb for me to post it on my blog! But your response was so kind, it encouraged me to share a few secrets I've learned about baking bread.
I hope if you haven't tried this before, you might want to before the holidays.
First of all, I do not own a bread machine. Probably never will.
Like I need ONE more appliance that needs to be cleaned or find a home in my kitchen! My cabinets kind of look like Monica's closet on the tv show "Friends". Remember the episode where she opened up her closet and everything came crashing down around her? I so get that. Neat looking on the outside but don't you dare go scrounging through my drawers, less you want to risk getting a concussion or a limb removed.
This bread recipe came from my mom's best friend Betty.
Betty was the type of lady who always baked wonderful things in her kitchen when I was growing up. She definitely should have had a blog if that were the thing back in the 70's.
So hence the name, "Betty's Bread".
Otherwise known as delicious, sour-dough-like manna from heaven.
And would you think I am really weird if I told you I had most of these ingredients on hand at any given time?
Here's what you'll need to make this. (Plus about 3 very interruptible hours of your time).
The first step is to mix your three packages of yeast with 3/4 cup of warm water.
The secrets to baking with yeast?
Use new and good yeast. It is a living organism after all, so it does go bad. Don't leave it in the pantry for months like I tend to do with other items.
It should look a lot like this once mixed with water, or even a little more bubbly-ish. Bubbly-er. Whatever.
The other important thing about yeast is the temperature of the water. Too hot or cold will kill that lovely yeast. You always want it "luke warm". Think baby's bath water here. Not the temperature of how I like my bath water and showers. (Really hot by the way). A baby remember? Nice, warm, gentle.
Scalding babies and yeast is not a good idea.
The next and hardest step in this recipe is measuring and mixing your cottage cheese and buttermilk.
Yes, I just said cottage cheese and buttermilk.
They will make this bread delicious, you just wait and see!
I say this is hard because I hate the using-the-blender part. I kind of hate blenders all together. But since you got that sucker out, whip up some margaritas I say!
After you blend these two ingredients, you have to heat it up a little on the stove. Because remember that lonely yeast? You wouldn't want to kill it with cold buttermilk.
Then, in your very large bowl, you're going to want to mix everything together. (I posted the recipe below). Your yeast mixture. Your buttermilk mixture. Your sugars, oils, sodas, salt and eggs. And finally you'll add the flour.
Evie girl loves making bread!
(FYI. I would not recommend anything other than the real Pillsbury fatty fatty white flour here. I once tried whole wheat and it turned out terrible. This is a treat. Just don't eat it every day!)
After you add the flour, the mixture should rise after an hour. I always cover mine with a towel.
Not sure why, only I saw my mom and grandma always do this. So I do it too.
After you put it in three loaf pans, bake and enjoy the smell coming from your kitchen!
I always spray a little Pam spray on top of the loaves so they look really "bakery-esk".
Slice and enjoy. I will warn you. My family can eat an entire loaf as soon as it comes out of the oven!
Eat one. Give one away. Freeze one. And pat yourself on the back for baking homemade bread!
RECIPE FOR BETTY'S BREAD:
3 PACKAGES regular yeast (not rapid rise)
¾ CUP WARM WATER
Mix the yeast and warm water in a separate bowl until dissolved
1 ½ CUPS BUTTERMILK
1 ½ CUPS COTTAGE CHEESE
(Put BOTH in blender AND MIX until smooth. Transfer mixture to a saucepan and heat until lukewarm, or same temperature as the yeast mixture).
5 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. VEGETABLE/CANOLA oil
4 tsp. salt
¾ tsp. baking soda
(mix together in a very large bowl. Pour cottage cheese mixture over this. stir.)
3 eggs, well beaten.
Add eggs to the large bowl. Then add the dissolved yeast mixture.
Add 7- 7 ½ cups flour to this. Mix well.
Leave dough in bowl, let it rise for one hour.
Stir down mixture. Divide dough into 3 batches, put in 3 well greased loaf pans. Let these rise for 45 minutes.
Bake loaves at 350 for 35 minutes. cool on wire racks. Rub oil or butter on top of bread after cooling to make it beautiful.