Friday, July 16, 2010

Round Bread

I spent nearly 20 years as a SAHM. You can imagine that living on a single income with 4,5 and then 6 children was quite a struggle at times, and I learned lots of tricks for stretching my food budget. For many years, I made all the baked goods for my family. I got quite good at making bread and rolls, not to mention cookies, brownies and other treats.


At one point, I didn't have enough bread pans for all the bread I needed to bake so I improvised by using juice cans. The result was so good, that I tossed the one or two cheap bread pans I had and just baked in cans for several years. My girls were famous at school for having round sandwiches. I chuckle now, because they used to BEG me to stop making homemade bread and please just buy the Wonder Bread all their friends had.


The bread I bake in cans is better so much better than the same recipe (sometimes the same batch of dough!) baked in traditional loaf pans. I suspect it has to do with the weight of the bread as it rises, keeping itself in check? The texture of bread baked this way is wonderful and is perfect for slicing for sandwiches or toast.


Here is a mini-tutorial on making "round bread".


First, buy some juice in 46 oz cans. Twenty plus years ago, this was much easier to do. I went searching for juice in cans recently, and the only kinds available were tomato and pineapple. Everything else is in plastic bottles nowadays, it seems.


Consume the juice inside the can (watch for some  pineapply recipes in the future as I struggle to use several cans of  pineapple juice). Then remove the top of the can and the label and wash  the can and let it dry. When removing the label, make sure you remove all the adhesive too, or it will smell up your kitchen the first time you bake in the cans.


Make your favorite bread dough. Here is a simple one that I've used for many years:
• 2 cups hot water (as hot as you can get from the tap)
• 2 TBSP active dry yeast
• 1 TBSP salt
• 1/4 cup sugar or honey
• 2-3 TBSP butter or margarine
• Flour to make a soft dough (perhaps 5-6 cups). I usually use 50/50 white and wheat


Mix 2 cups whole wheat flour with the yeast, salt and sugar (if using).


In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, add butter and honey to hot water.


Once butter melts a bit, add liquid to the flour mixture and beat well. This is your sponge.


Let your sponge proof (leave it alone and let it bubble and rise). This step serves two purposes. First, it assures that your yeast is active, preventing you from going to all the trouble of making bread that doesn't rise. Second, it adds greatly to the flavor of the finished product. Let it proof for as long as you have the time for, up to 3 hours or so, but no less than 20 minutes. (this is a 20 minute sponge. You can see that it's puffed up a bit and there are lots of bubbles.)




Beat down your sponge and add more flour until you have a dough that is soft but not sticky. I'd like to be more specific, but it's really a hands-on process. You want the dough to hold its shape, but not stick to your hands. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes, either by hand or with a dough hook or food processor. If you're using a dough hook, you want it to clean the sides of the bowl as it mixes. 






Place dough in a warm place, covering with a clean towel if necessary and let rise until double in bulk. Then punch down and form into loaves. This recipe makes 2 large or 3 small loaves.


For round bread, just form the dough into a ball


and drop into clean, well greased juice can (I sprayed it with Pam).


Let rise until double in bulk, then bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the can for 10  minutes or so. Don't let them sit in the can too long, or the bottoms will get soggy. [nothing worse then a soggy bottom, neh?] Cool completely on a cake rack before wrapping or freezing.




As an added bonus, the ridges from the cans make decent cutting guides.


It makes wonderful toast!





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36 comments:

  1. That is absolutely brilliant. I'm pretty sure I love you now! Thanks for the wonderful idea, I can't wait to try it out.

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  2. Okay, Mom, I guess I'll make some round bread... Eli will love it! :) I read in an old cookbook that bread is better made with lard, so I tried it with your recipe, and wow... what is breakfast without a little saturated fat? (There is s.f. in butter too... look at me trying to justify feeding my family lard1)

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  3. Love it! My cousin used to talk about my grandma doing this but I never saw it. I love the round bread. Perfect size for kids sandwiches. Thanks so much! I will be making this soon!!

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  4. SUCH a great idea!! Thanks for posting on my Foodie Friday Linky Party! I can't wait to get to know you better through your blog!

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  5. This is really great! I make all of our bread too, but my kiddos complain about the crust. I have a bunch of cans of juice in our food storage. I think I'm going to let the kids drink it and then make round bread. There won't be a crust to avoid.

    Would you pretty please link this up to my Messy Monday and/or my Transform Tuesday parties? Thanks! :)

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  6. I don't remember round bread. Did you stop doing this by the time I went to school?

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  7. Yes, Kim, I mostly made round bread in New Mexico. The schools in Idaho had lunch programs, but the ones in NM did not, so Cheri and Amber had to take lunch every day.

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  8. Neat idea! The bread also looks less crusty than mine usually is, which might appeal to some kids.

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  9. What a great idea! I bake almost all of our bread - but my loaf pans are about done in. Maybe I should invest in some pineapple juice!

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  10. Thank you so much for this! Just recently I have been trying to remember how my mom did it this way when we were young! So not only have you given me a great recipe, but have revived wonderful childhood memories!
    http://www.amaskellantics.com/

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  11. This is fabulous! I love it. I am just starting to make my own breads and rolls for the family. I will have to try this one out this weekend. Thanks so much for sharing and please stop by my blog sometime too.

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  12. visiting from Sugar Bee...what an awesome idea! I want to try this! Thanks for sharing!

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  13. I've always wanted to try out canned bread! Is 12:49 am too late to start baking bread? ;o)

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  14. Just came across this & was wondering if a sourdough bread recipe would work for this? Love the idea of round bread.

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  15. coming from santas...im bookmarking this and getting me some pineapple juice!

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  16. I'm sure any type of bread dough would bake up just fine. I've never done sourdough bread, but I've baked quick breads like banana bread in the cans.

    Thanks for all of your comments. It's nice to know there are so many bakers out there!

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  17. Wow. This is pretty impressive and inspiring. Thanks for sharing with tasty tuesdays. I'm bookmarking it for later. But feel free to stop by anytime.

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  18. Can you reuse the cans? I mean bake bread in them multiple times?

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  19. This is awesome! It's kind of funny, but I got a bread maker not that long ago and I really would like to try this instead of using the bread maker. Go figure right. Next time we get pineapple juice I will have to try this. Thank you for putting up the awesome tutorial and linking! I have to admit it was your round bread title that truly caught my attention. I was interested from the start. Thanks for linkin to It's Stinkin' Cute Craft Thursday!

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  20. Yes, you can use the cans over and over. Just wash them as you would any baking pan.

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  21. how awesome is that!!! I would never have thought of that!

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  22. Oh what a fun idea I featured it check it out and grab a button!
    http://soverycreative.blogspot.com/2010/07/round-bread.html

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  23. Cool! I'm definitely going to give this a try with next week's bread! Thanks for the tip--I need a way to cook more loaves at once and this is perfect!

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  24. Huh, I am going to have to try this! I plan on being a SAHM, and we want a lot of kids. I guess I'd better learn how to bake!

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  25. i love this! the cheese we use is circular so this will be perfect!

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  26. How very cool! Thanks for sharing at It's Party Time Thursday at PonyTails&FishScales!

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  27. That's EXACTLY what my husband said about his mom always making round bread when he was a kid (they had 12 kids) and this was the only way she could bake enough bread at a time for them!

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  28. That is such a beautiful looking loaf...I am impressed! Thank you for the tutorial...I will be sharing this with my family soon! I left my career to be a SAHM and admire you for doing it on your own! I did that for 2 years when my husband had to live in another city for a contract and we couldn't move. It sucked and was very hard on my own! Hats off to you!

    xo

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  29. What a fun idea! The round bread is really quite fun! I'll have to give it a try next time I open up some can's! Thanks for sharing with Topsy Turvy Tuesdays!

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  30. This sounds wonderful!
    Thanks for linking up!
    ~Liz

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  31. I love this! What a great way to bake bread. I'm going to go hunt down some cans now. Thanks for linking up to Finished for Friday!

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  32. This is such a fun idea. I haven't had much success with bread but I think I'm going to try this way. I love the cute little round sandwiches.
    -Crystal

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