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Honey Maple Bread

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Picture of Honey Maple Bread
How to bake what is probably the sweetest smelling bread on the planet.

EDIT Since this instructable has been featured, and I wrote it a while ago, I thought i should just add a couple of notes about bread-related experiences i've had.

1. Kneading - knead a lot. Try to hold off on adding extra flour if you think your bread is a little wet still, and see if it firms up with about 8-10 minutes of kneading. if it's a sloppy mess you may not have added enough in the beginning. You should have a ball of dough at the end that looks much smoother than the dough pictured here, before I learned the importance of good kneading.

2. Yeast - step 3 should be called "Proofing the yeast" , but I'll leave it. Only proof the yeast if you use "active" yeast like i did when I wrote this. If you are using INSTANT yeast, you may skip the proofing step and simply add it in with the other dry ingredients. This is how i work now and although i miss the science-experiment vibe of watching yeast proof, it is that little bit quicker.
 
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Step 1: Gather the ingredients

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Here's what you need:

7 cups white unbleached flour
1 1/2 cups very hot water
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup honey (I used honey and maple syrup, so this is up to your discretion)
2 packages active yeast

You'll also need:
A large bowl
A spoon or whisk
A tea towel
2 Standard sized bread pans
some measuring cups

Step 2: Intro

This is a bread recipie I found in an old church cookbook intended for wednesday meals. Besides being the only bread I currently had the ingredients for, I thought it wuold be the quickest since the time was listed as just 45 minutes. That is the BAKE TIME, this bread will take you about three and a half hours all told.

Step 3: Start the yeast

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Add two packs of yeast and between a 1/2 cup and 1 cup of warm water. Dissolve the yeast, and let it sit for about ten minutes. When it's ready, the yeast will look like the photo, very foamy.

Step 4: Mix the wet ingredients.

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While you're waiting for the yeast to activate, pour the hot water into a large bowl. Add your butter and honey, and mix it up. The original recipie asked for salt here too, but didn't say how much. I left it out, and nothing seemed amiss. Just stir it all together. Once the yeast is ready, add it to the mix, along with the water you used to activate it.

Step 5: Add Flour.

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Ever play Parappa? This is the cake stage, where we M I X the flour into the bowl. Add it one cup at a time and mix in between. After your sixth cup, Dump the dough out on a dusted board and knead in the rest of the flour. Knead about 10 minutes.

To knead dough, push with both hand from the centre out to the edge, spreading the dough. Fold it in half, turn it 90 degrees, and repeat. It's simple, you'll pick it up in no time.

Step 6: Let it Rise

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Wash your big bowl and grease it well. Flop the kneaded dough around in the bowl until it's well greased all over. Cover it with a wet tea towel and let it rise in a warm place. If your room is too cool, put the bread in the over with a pan of hot water underneath.

Let the dough rise for 1 1/2 hours. After this time, press your finger into the dough. If the mark stays, you're ready for the next step.

i don't have any photos of the dough rising for this step, but it will double in size. It's pretty amazing.

Step 7: Second rise

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Dump out the dough on a dusted board. Punch it down. Grease the two bread pans. Cut the dough in half and place it into the pans. Cover them with a wet tea towel again and let it rise for another hour.

Step 8: Clean Up

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You've got an hour to wait, so why not do the cleaning now? Wash up your bowls and spoons, wipe up the counter, and you can be productive while you're waiting for your bread to rise.

Step 9: Heat the oven

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Heat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Bake the loaves for 45 minutes, or until they sound hollow when you tap them. Turn the pans on their sides and slide the loaves out onto a rack to cool.

Step 10: Rejoice!

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Your bread is finished. Let it cool and share it with your family and friends.
porero5 years ago
Hi everyone! This is my first recipe of bread .... and believe me it was it is it will be reeeeeeeeeeealy nice. Being in love with it goes without saying, the whole family loved it. Million thanks for the auther ..... and billion thanks for instructable.com.
Robotrix (author)  porero5 years ago
I'm pretty sure this was my first instructable, and I felt the same love for the community that you do. It's still the first place i check for project advice. I'm glad you liked the bread!
J@50n5 years ago
 you need to try this in a rice cooker!
katushkin9 years ago
i feel slightly ashamed to ask this; could i just pour all of the ingredients into a breadmaker?
i was about to ask the same question, i just got a bread maker practically new at a yard sale for 5$
LisaD katushkin8 years ago
Hi, Katya, It looks like you did not get a reply about bread machine workings. Bread machines usually have specific instructions for order of ingredients. Mine says to add the liquids first, then the flour, the salt and sugar (I put the salt in one corner to keep it away from the yeast since it can kill the yeast). The last thing I add is the yeast. Some bread machines have you start with the yeast. I never saw one like that, but haven't looked either. Happy baking. LisaD
gathos5 years ago
Woot! Canadian maple!
Bartboy5 years ago
Mmmm....Canada....
very nice instructable i just wanted to say i seen another recipe on this site for bread but they made a "sponge" wich is about 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup water and the yeast and let that rise it works great for me
CowGuy7 years ago
I bake this stuff all the time! I love it!
MaladyDee7 years ago
This instructable is awesome. I made this bread and it turned out FANTASTIC. It is worth mentioning that for starting the yeast, if your packets have different instructions (mine had less water, and a teaspoon of sugar) you should follow those directions instead. The first 2 packages of yeast didn't rise, but when I tried again, it worked fine when I followed the directions on the packet (and the original batch of yeast ended up rising too, it just took way longer.)
syberyenta8 years ago
From what I have seen on the Net, bread machine recipes are different from traditional oven baked bread recipes. Also I have learned that the yeast will be killed if the water is too hot. It should be 110 degrees, or ALMOST too hot to touch. I get mine hot enough right from the tap water if it runs for a bit.
shelleibean9 years ago
probably a tsp. of salt- most bread recipies call ofr that. salt makes the sweet sweeter
shelleibean9 years ago
radiorental-if your yeast isn't activated your dough won't rise. so you really need to activate it before baking. having the dough rise lets some of the yeasty-flavor come out that's why some recipies call for one rise and some call for 2.
riario9 years ago
uh, maybe I missed it but when do you add the yeast?
Robotrix (author)  riario9 years ago
Sorry, the yeast goes into the mixing bowl along with the water, butter and honey.
radiorental9 years ago
Interesting, I've been told by many sources not to mix the yeast with water before it goes in the oven. Activation taking place as the bread cooks. But I have tons of trouble with bread that wont rise, dense hard rubbish. I'll try mixing before hand - thanks
I have discovered the hard way that yeast goes bad faster than you would think; those little packets you have in your fridge from 6mo ago probably aren't useful any more (who knows how long they sat in the store before you bought them.) If you bake bread occasionally, buy fresh yeast. If you bake bread often, buy it by the pound at a warehouse store (where 1lb of yeast is significantly cheaper than a much smaller jar from the grocery, and WAY cheaper than the packets.) Flour goes stale too, and you notice a lot more in bread than in cakes or cookies...
a jar of yeast will last a long time if you keep it in the freezer wen you arn't baking. i don't bake that often but i have been using the same jar of yeast for about a year now and its still good.