- Turn on your oven.
- Check that it's getting warm in there.
- Shut the heat off.
- Put in your dough to rise, leaving the door ajar.
If you follow these steps exactly, your dough will rise perfectly and you're on your way to making bread. However, if you're anything like me you'll take Step 2 to heart and singe the top of your hand on the heating element as you check if the oven is warm enough. (It is.) I gather it's a pretty bad burn since I didn't actually feel it happen but rather HEARD it happen. And now that I've hopefully whet your appetite, a recipe. For bread.
The Joy of Cooking: Dill & Cheddar Cheese Bread
Heat until warm (105° to 115°F):
1 1⁄2 cups milk
Add to it and stir until the butter mostly melts:
1⁄3 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup (1⁄2 stick) butter, softened
1 tablespoon salt
Remove from the heat. Combine in a large bowl and let stand until the yeast is dissolved, about 5 minutes:
1⁄2 cup warm (105° to 115°F) water
2 packages (1 1⁄2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
Stir in the milk mixture. Add and beat until smooth:
1 large egg
1 1⁄2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar (6 ounces)
1 T fresh dill
Beat in well:
3 cups all-purpose flour
Add and continue beating and stirring until the dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl:
2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
Knead the dough about 10 minutes. Transfer the bread to an oiled bowl and turn it to coat with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (75° to 85°F) until doubled, about 1 hour. Grease two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Punch down the dough, divide it in half, and shape into 2 loaves. Place in the loaf pans and let rise again until nearly doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the loaves, if desired with:
Bake about 30 minutes. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
Remove from the pans to a rack to cool completely.