Nothing Like Hot Fresh Bread From The Oven

I love bread and have been known to shamelessly devour more than my fair share of a fresh loaf out of the oven. A couple of years ago my mother in-law bought me a bread maker for my birthday (probably so I'd shut up about how much I wanted one!). Since then I've tried recipe after recipe and my dear husband has had to pretend to enjoy hard little pucks that were supposed to be nice fluffy rolls! I used to have a really good recipe for Portuguese Rolls that everyone in the house loved but I've lost it and haven't been able to find it so I had to restart my search for that perfect bread recipe. After trying 3 or 4 duds I ran across one online from a flour company (DUH!) that has turned out beautiful loaf after loaf. The first day I made this I think it lasted all of 3 hours in this house before every last crumb was devoured! This bread was so good that everyone thought I bought it from the store! Making it was super easy and used only flour, water, salt, and yeast. My husband doesn't enjoy most sweet things (or so he says as he eats half of whatever dessert I'm eating) so the fact that there was no sugar was a plus and since I'm counting my points for Weight Watchers I was happy to have no added oil/butter as well.

I followed the recipe exactly as it's posted here the first time and since then I've changed the toppings and cooking times a bit to my liking. Instead of sesame seeds I've put parmesan and oregano, poppyseeds, and my mother in-law has requested jalapeño peppers and cheddar on the next one. This bread comes out nice and crusty outside and soft and chewy inside. I've altered the cooking time for our oven a bit, the first time I did it for the full 25 minutes the bottom was a bit too dark for my tastes so I've lowered the cooking time to 20 minutes total. If I'm adding a cheese on top I wait till there's only 10 minutes left before adding it on top so that it doesn't burn. The only downside to this recipe that I've found is that it calls for a starter that you make the night before so you've got to plan ahead and make it before bed.

Since I've had such success with this recipe I made a Sourdough Starter from the same site today. In 5 days I'll hopefully get to make some nice tangy homemade sourdough bread... I'll let you all know how it goes!


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