I DID IT!  Yesssireee!  I did it!

I can’t believe I made my “impossible” a “possible.”

Remember when you were in fourth grade and they were picking teams for dodgeball and you were always picked last and then you grew over the summer and then the team captain who never realy liked you picked you……first!

Remember that?  Remember how excited you were?

THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER!

Did you see it?

Did you see it from both angles?

You know you want to scroll up one more time just to check out that adorable little loaf!

I want to take a giant picture of it and post it on a billboard.

I want to fly it from a banner on a plane.

I want them to announce it from the international space station.

SHE BAKED HER FIRST LOAF OF BREAD!

So how did I accomplish this herculean task?

Well…..

First, I bought one of these (notice the positive slogan….I am off to a good start)!

…then I bought some of this…..

…..and some of this.

And then…..

                      …. and this was truly the key to my success…..

….. I followed this recipe exactly as given to me by this incredibly talented and truly generous blogger.  She is the reason why I was able to accomplish my “impossible.”  She is the reason why my family tasted homemade bread baked by me for the first time in their lives.  She is the one who gave me the courage to do what I would never even have attempted before. 

Thank you my friend.  Truly…..thank you.

And now….without further fanfare….here is her recipe…..

Never Fail Bread  (I like the title already)

2 c. warm water  (Make sure it is slightly warm.  If it is too hot to put your hand in, it will kill the yeast)
1/2 c. white sugar 
2 envelopes yeast or about 4 1/2 teaspoons
 
4 Tbsp. oil ( I have used to use corn oil, but now I use canola. both work well.)
1 egg
6 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
 
1/4 to 1/2 cup extra oil for coating bread while rising and after baking.
 

In a large mixing bowl, pour your fresh yeast into a bowl. Pour 2 c. water that is very warm, but not too hot. If it is too hot to touch, it will kill the yeast. Add 1/2 c. sugar. This gives the yeast food to grow. Allow this mixture to “proof” – meaning, it will sit for 10 minutes and show that the yeast is live by forming a layer of bubbles on top of the water. If this does not happen, your yeast may be too old. If it does form bubbles,  continue with the recipe.

(Aside….this is what the bubbles look like….exactly like she said…..isn’t it awesome)!

Lightly beat the egg. Add the oil and salt. Add this to the yeast/sugar/water mixture.
 
Next, add the flour a cup at a time, mixing it in with a wooden spoon as you go. It will begin to get very thick. Keep adding the flour. You’ll need at least 6 cups. You want this mixture to begin to look like torn up rags. At this point, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it only enough to form it together into a ball. 
 
(Note to self.  Buy a real wooden spoon instead of using one of your wooden salad spoons).
(Second note to self.  The color of that dough would be a perfect paint choice for the pantry).
 
In your mixing bowl, pour a little oil – no more than 1/4 cup. Put the ball of dough in and roll it around to coat it on all sides with the oil. Cover it in saran wrap or a damp dishtowel and leave it in a warm place to rise. 
 
Rising time is variable – depending on the temperature. You’re looking for the dough to double. You can tell if it is doubled if when you poke your finger into the dough, the hole does not shrink back. It may take an hour or more.
 
(Aside.  Mine took an eternity to rise).
 
When the dough has doubled, you literally punch it down. With your fist, punch the air out of it to flatten it. Now you’ll need a fairly large space to turn it out on – at least 2′ x 2′. Since it is now oily on the outside, you don’t need to flour your surface. 
 
Get your rolling-pin and roll out the dough as thin as you can get it. It will be about 2′ square or a little more. When you’ve gotten it this big and thin, fold it over and roll it again. Keep folding it over and rolling it until you have a rectangular hunk of dough roughly the size of a loaf of bread.
 
If using pans, grease your pans with Crisco or butter. 
 
Cut this dough into 3 equal parts. You can make this as rustic round loaves or loaf pan loaves. If you want pretty loaves, you take each piece of dough and fold the outside edges to the bottom. The top will sort of get rounded, and it will keep this shape as it rises the second time. 
 
Let this dough rise again until doubled. This time, just visually estimate that it has doubled. No poking.
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When the loaves have doubled, bake them about 30 minutes until they are nice and golden brown. 
 
Allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes – this is hard! Cutting them too early affects the texture, so it is worth waiting. Have some nice real butter waiting.
 

And you end up with something that looks like this…..

…..that turned into this……in under five minutes.

That’s it.

If you have never baked bread before……please try this recipe.  Trust me when I say…..if I…..the queen of the hotdog pot pie…..can bake bread…..

                       …..you should be able to do it with one hand tied behind your back!

So you have seen my “impossible” and now I want to see yours! 

Please join me and each of these incredibly talented and truly creative bloggers as we host a six blog linky party.
The Space Between

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A Sort of Fairy Tale Girl

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The Cottage Market

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Eclectically Vintage

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it all started with paint

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The party starts tomorrow, January 31 from 7:00 EST until midnight on Friday, February 3.

And don’t worry if you haven’t completed the project…..this “impossibles” party is about the journey.  We want to see what you have accomplished.  We want to see your progress.  We want you to show it to the world!


<img src=”https://thistlewoodfarm.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/1imadeit.png?w=160″>

If you want to get started early….grab a button.

And please remember that this is no ordinary button….this is your badge of honor….to let the world know that you have made your “impossible” into a “possible.”

So put it on a billboard….or fly it from a plane….or send it up to the international space station. 

You earned it.  You have done what so many others never even attempted.

Because you, my friend, yes, I am talking to…..you….

                                              ….you put the “possible” in your “impossible.”

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