Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More Bread Making-A Comparison of Two Recipes

I found this recipe yesterday and it was recommended to me by a friend.  I thought I would try it.  You can get it here and I tweaked it just a bit.  This is the recipe I used (with the tweaking):

Amish White Bread

2 cups warm water
1 1/2 TBS Active Dry Yeast
1/4 cup of sugar (the original recipe calls for 2/3 cup sugar)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/2 tsp salt
6 cups all purpose flour

Mix the sugar and water together and then mix the yeast in.  Let sit for about 10 minutes until frothy to activate the yeast.  Then mix in the salt and oil into the yeast mixture.  Then add the flour.  Turn out onto a clean, floured surface and knead a few times until the dough is smooth.  Then put in an oiled bowl and let rise for about 2 hours or until double the size.  Turn out onto a floured surface again and knead a few more times.  Divide in half and place into two loaf pans.  Cover and let rise for another 30 minutes.  Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes or until golden brown.

My recipe:

2  to 2 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 TBS active dry yeast
1 1/2 TBS salt ( I play with this amount and often only use 1 TBS)
6 1/2 cups flour

Basically I put it together and knead and let rise the same way and times as above.  The difference is that I bake it at 4 for 30 minutes or so.

The verdict.

The Amish bread was a smoother dough.  I tend to not knead much on mine and perhaps if I did it might make a difference.  Rise times were the same.  The Amish bread smelled delicious while baking and the loaves came out a pretty golden brown.
(My recipe on left, Amish recipe on right)

When slicing into the Amish bread the crust wasn't as crusty as my recipe so the Amish bread was a bit easier to slice.

(My recipe on left, Amish recipe on right)

The Amish bread looked and felt more spongy. It seemed very similar to store bought loaf.

(I cut my recipe bread a bit thin which caused it to crack down the center, the Amish recipe was sliced a bit thicker)

Upon tasting the Amish bread had a soft texture, a good slightly sweet flavor and was great for my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My recipe was slightly saltier and had a more rustic flavor.  The crust was crusty and the center was dense but not crumbly or dry.  My son and I prefer my recipe better than the Amish bread.  My husband prefers the Amish bread mainly because of the texture and similarity to store bought bread.

In the end, I am going to work on my recipe a bit more.  I am wondering if the oil will help with the sponginess.  Tomorrow I am going to use my recipe and add oil and reduce the water to 2 cups.  I will report my findings.

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