This Country loaf is the result of analytics. It is not the aggregation of various recipes and sources through computation, but the original type of analytics. Starting with a clear understanding of the basics and then carefully testing and observing results. My mother has baked this loaf weekly for many years. Observing the recipe, you will see the results of analytics through rigorous timing and measuring. The results are likely the easiest, most fail-proof, flexible bread recipe you can find. Furthermore, this is a free-form loaf requiring only a baking sheet.
This Country Loaf goes well with almost anything. It is perfect as toast — perfect for the healthy breakfast option of avocado toast or toast with jelly. You will find it perfect with Barbeque since it matches any of my Southern Barbeque Sauces very well.
Notes on Techniques
The instructions for this bread call for mixing using a mixer. Then follow with a short kneading by hand. This use makes this a quick and easy bread.
This bread requires only two relatively short rises. The first is about 30-45 minutes, the second about 20-30 minutes. This is far less than other loaves. The rising time is reduced by starting with proofing the yeast which involves slightly warm water and a bit of sugar to get it started.
Pretty much the only issue you can have is to let it over-rise. If so, the solution is simple, punch it down, form it again, and let it rise again.
Hint: Click or hover over the photos below for more details
Notes on Ingredients
The bread is a mixture of bread flour and whole wheat flour. The proportions are the standard 3 cups of flour to 1 cup of water. The whole wheat addition gives a pleasant full resulting taste.
Brown sugar is used instead of regular white sugar. It contains molasses — again giving a bit of richness to the bread.
- 1 package dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons or 7g)
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Put ½ cup of water in a liquid measuring cup. Heat in microwave for 17 to 18 seconds.
- Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Add about a ½ teaspoon of white sugar to the yeast mixture. Stir to mix well. (The sugar will help the yeast activate faster.)
- While the yeast is proofing, measure two cups of bread flour into a mixer bowl. Then measure out a cup of whole wheat flour and set it aside.
- Add ¼ cup brown sugar to the flour in the bowl. Then add 1 ½ teaspoons salt to the bowl. Mix the dry ingredients. Add the yeast solution to the bowl.
- Now measure ½ cup more water into the liquid measuring cup. Add about 2 tablespoons of butter. (The butter is for flavor, so exact measuring is not necessary.) If the butter is cold microwave the water mixture for about 20 seconds.
- Add the butter/water mixture to the bowl. Start slowly to beat the dough. Then beat faster for a minute or two. Now add the 1 cup whole wheat flour. Continue beating, slowly at first, then faster until the dough starts to come together and somewhat form a ball. If this doesn't happen (i.e, the dough is too moist) add a bit more whole wheat flour. Beat as much as needed until the ball is formed.
- Turn dough onto a floured board. Knead until it is smooth and you can make it into a ball. This should take about 3 to 5 minutes of kneading. Brush olive oil on the surface. Cover loosely with wax paper or plastic wrap. Then cover with a dish towel. Place in a place to rise (about 80 degrees is a good temperature.) Rising should take place in about 35 to 40 minutes usually works. The dough should be approximately double in size. You may also test the rising by pushing two fingers into the dough. If the dough rises back quickly it is ready.
- After the dough has risen, punch down and reform it into a ball. Line a lipped baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet. Then sprinkle some cornmeal or semolina flour (or even whole wheat flour ) onto the lined pan. Place the dough on the pan and cover as before. Allow rising as before (20-25 minutes) to about double in size. Test with finger test, if desired.
- While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the lowest position.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 75Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 141mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g
Calculated Nutrition is estimated.