I recently made home made bread without my bread machine. I wish it would have risen a little more, but I think I figured out why it didn't. I used all purpose flour instead of bread flour. Plus, I doubled the recipe when I should have just made it twice.
The flavor is much better than the recipe I've been using in my bread machine, so it was okay that it didn't rise as much as I'd hoped.
The recipe is specifically for a Kitchenaid mixer but I think you could make it with almost any mixer. You may have to adjust mixing times, though.
I posted the recipe on my Facebook page already but I will repost it here:
White Bread Recipe for Kitchenaid Mixers
1/2 c milk
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine (I used REAL butter)
2 (1/4 oz.) packages active dry yeast or 2 teaspoons Instant Yeast (I used the instant)
1 1/2 c warm water
5-6 c unbleached bread flour (I used all purpose and that could be why it didn't raise as well the second time around)
Combine milk, sugar, sat and butter in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat and stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm. (I cheated when it came time to add the lukewarm milk mixture and lukewarm water. My milk mixture was still pretty hot so I added cold water to it - the 1 1/2 cups that the recipe calls for - and it cooled the milk mixture to just the right temp)
If using active dry yeast, dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. If using Instant Yeast, just add it to the flour and mix it in before adding liquids.
Add lukewarm milk mixture and water to 4 1/2 c flour. Attach bowl and dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and mix one minute. Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour 1/2 c at a time until dough clings to hook and cleans side of bowl. Knead on speed 2 for 2 minutes longer, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will be slightly sticky to the touch.
Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place free from draft until doubled in bulk (about an hour)
Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise until doubled (about one hour)
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.
My mother-in-law let me know that she was craving cookies and my dad and a good friend let me know they wanted peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips in them, so I killed two birds with one stone.
The following recipe is for peanut butter cookies and I just added some chocolate chips when the cookies were all mixed up. I just eyeballed the amount of chips but would guess I put in a cup and a half.
Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe:
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
white sugar for decoration
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. (I'm lazy - I didn't sift anything)
In a medium bowl, cream together butter, peanut butter, 1 cup white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, then stir in vanilla. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. (My dough was still pretty sticky so I just did drop cookies and I didn't roll in remaining sugar as the recipe calls for.) Then I added the chocolate chips and dropped them by teaspoonfuls onto the cookie sheets.
The recipe calls for you to bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven but I baked for only nine minutes. Cool slightly, and remove from pan.