Monday, January 9, 2012

GREAT GRANDMA'S SWEET DOUGH FOR BREADS AND MORE

Click below to listen to Chefs Jackie and Jeff talk about these recipes and tips:



Making bread can be a fine art, but it can also be very easy. This sweet dough recipe from Jackie's great grandmother is can be the start of something really delicious and will make everyone swoon from the rich aroma of bread cooking right in your own oven.

GREAT GRANDMA'S SWEET DOUGH

Courtesy of Chef Jackie Olden © 2011

1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cakes yeast (fresh, not dry nor dry active)
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter or shortening
4 1/2 to 5 cups flour

Mix together milk, sugar, and salt. Crumble in yeast and stir to dissolve. Stir in eggs, butter, and flour until dough is sticky to touch. Turn out on floured board. Knead hard for 10 minutes rolling dough over and turning ends in. Let rise in a warm place in a covered buttered bowl until doubled in bulk. Punch dough in bowl, pulling out the edges of dough and turning dough over completely in bowl. Let rise again until double and then you have yeast dough ready for your favorite Christmas bread or rolls.

SOME BREAD AND DOUGH TIPS

Yeast cakes are typically found in the cooler sections at the grocery store, because they are living yeast and require keeping cool. You should store your yeast cakes in the fridge till you're ready to use them.

Yeast feeds on sugars to grow and multiply. The byproduct of their reproduction and feeding is carbon dioxide, which makes dough rise.

Alcohol is also a byproduct of yeast growth, especially when it sits for a while. This is why some doughs and sponges may have an odor of alcohol.

To "punch" dough down literally means to use your fist and punch the dough so the trapped gas bubbles are released and the dough collapses. Punching down is the step right before shaping dough into the loaf, sweet roll or other finished shape, just before letting it rise the second time.

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