Farm Fare: Homemade East Hill Farm Bread
Ah, springtime! We have been waiting months to be able to fling open the windows and drink in the clean spring air. That sweet, sun-warmed breeze carries with it all of the sounds and smells that mean springtime at the Farm: the joyful whinnies, baas, oinks, moos and hee-haws as the animals are able to spend more time out in the pastures (and sunshine!); the sound of the lawn mower and the bright smell of fresh-cut grass; the occasional sprinkle of rain and the subsequent sparkling, green smell in the air.
If you aren’t able to experience firsthand the invigorating energy that spring at East Hill Farm offers, you can enjoy your own little piece of the Farm right in your kitchen! With our simple (and scrumptious) recipe below, you can delight in the comforting smell of fresh-baked bread and savor a time-honored taste of East Hill Farm in your home. Throw open your windows and whip up a loaf (or three!) of your favorite EHF bread today!
– Cooking spray
– 4 x 8-inch bread pan
– Medium mixing bowl
– Mixing spoon or spatula
– Clean, dry work surface for kneading (parchment paper works well)
– Cooling rack
– 1 ¾ cups warm water
– 2 tablespoons yeast
– 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 tablespoon canola oil
– 4 cups white flour, divided
Coat bottom and sides of 4 x 8-inch bread pan with cooking spray.
In medium mixing bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, sugar, salt and canola oil. Let rest until bubbly or foamy to activate yeast.
Add 3 ½ cups flour and mix well.
Sprinkle some of remaining ½ cup flour onto clean, dry work surface. Place dough on floured work surface and turn several times to coat. Knead until dough is no longer sticky, adding additional flour slowly as needed. Dough is ready when it rebounds when pressed with a finger.
Place dough in prepared bread pan. Let bread rise 10-15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400° while bread rises.
Bake at 400° 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Bread will slide easily out of pan when ready.
Because our homemade bread does not contain preservatives, we recommend freezing to maintain freshness. Remove bread from bread pan and cool on cooling rack. Once completely cool, slice loaf to desired thickness, wrap in plastic, and seal in freezer bag (pressing any air out of the bag). When ready to enjoy, defrost as much bread as you would like – one slice or the whole loaf! If you prefer not to freeze, bread should maintain freshness for 2-3 days.
* For our homemade cinnamon-raisin bread, follow recipe above to make dough. Before placing dough in pan to rise, gently knead or pat dough into rectangle (about 6 x 10 inches). Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar (1 part cinnamon to 2 parts sugar) and raisins as desired. Roll tightly from narrow end. Fold over and pinch ends under. Place dough in bread pan with seam facing down.
** For our homemade wheat bread, follow recipe above using 1 ¾ cups wheat flour and 1 ¾ cups white flour to make dough.
Do you have a variation on EHF’s Homemade Bread that you’d like to share? Be sure to comment with your suggestions!