Melina’s Accidental Almond Bread!

When I bake bread, my favorite (white bread) recipe makes two loaves.  Tonight, I knew I only had enough bread flour remaining to make one loaf. 
So, I halved all the ingredients…  or so I thought.  As I turned my mixer on I realized my dough was way too thin.  Oh No!  I forgot to halve the water!  I rushed to add more of the wet ingredients and yeast.  I was at a loss as to what I could add to replace flour. 
I decided to take a chance and ground some almonds to use.  (After all, what’s the worst that could happen?)  So, I added ground almonds, a little more sugar to sweeten, and some almond extract to boost the flavor.  The result was delicious! 
We’ve already eaten an entire loaf, and my kids have a new “favorite” 
If you’d like to try it I’ll be post the recipe below.  (uh, the easy, full recipe.. that is…)

Here Is the Recipe:

3 3/4 cups bread flour
3 cups ground almonds
4 1/2 tsp dry active yeast (or 2 packets)
6 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups HOT water, about 115 – 120 degrees F.)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp almond extract

I had no recipe to follow, so you may want to add slightly more ground almonds, almond extract, or sugar to taste, but be sure not to over do it.

1. Combine milk, butter, and only 3 tbsp sugar in a small saucepan, heat on medium-low to medium heat, stirring well.
2. While milk mixture is warming, warm your mixer’s bowl by quickly running hot water around the inside of bowl, pour it out and replace bowl on mixing stand. Pour your 1 1/2 cups hot water in the bowl, sprinkle yeast into water, stir gently. (Doing this allows you to proof your yeast and gives the yeast time to activate); but be sure to keep your eye on your milk mixture while completing this step.
3. Remove milk mixture from heat when temp is near 115-120 degrees F. You may use a candy thermometer, (or to tell by sight, when it is nearing a boil but-not-yet there. You may see a small amount of steam escaping.) If it is too warm, remove from heat and let sit for a moment to cool slightly, then pour into water and yeast.
4. Turn mixer on for about 5 seconds to stir, then, lift dough hook and add flour. Lower dough hook and mix.
5. Lift dough hook again to add 1 cup ground almonds, mix, and repeat twice.
6. Lift dough hook, add remaining 3 tbsp sugar, and the almond extract. Mix, then increase to second speed and mix for a few minutes. While mixing, preheat oven (only momentarily!) To create a warm space for dough to rise. REMEMBER to turn your oven off after a few minutes..
7. Butter a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl. Turn mixer off, scrape your very sticky, gooey dough into buttered bowl. Your dough shouldn’t fill more than 1/3 to 1/2 of the bowl (as it’ll rise well). Cover dough (I use two dry dish towels) and place in oven to rise for one hour. (In the summer, you can let rise outside…)
8. When dough has risen, remove from oven and punch dough one time.
9. Preheat oven to 400 degress(F). Butter two bread pans, pour one half of the dough into each pan. This is mildly challenging as dough will be very sticky. Place towels over pans to keep dough warm.
—If using only one bread pan, Cover dough in bread pan, and cover remaining dough in bowl with towels.
10. When oven is preheated, (remove towel), place bread pan in oven. Bake for thirty minutes. Quickly remove from pan and allow to cool on a bread rack, or large plate.
—If using one bread pan, allow pan to cool to the touch, butter pan again, add remaining dough, place in oven and bake for thirty minutes.

Let cool and enjoy! Bread will keep for a few days in the fridge.

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