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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bake: Delicious Homemade Bread

So since attempting to make my own bread a couple of weeks ago, I have fallen in love with it! My first loaf did not go well! It was quite sad actually. It tasted good but it was so dense that it was very unappealing! As you can see...it was...flat. It was supposed to be a rosemary olive oil bread.


I was quite disappointed but I kept trying! My next loaf was just right! I was absolutely thrilled.


 Since then I have made about another 8 loaves. My husband and I are going back to Hanover (North of Richmond, VA) where our families live this weekend so I thought I'd bake them extra bread. So far I've made two honey wheat loaves, another two loaves worth of dough are rising for cinnamon wheat bread, and I will make one more whole wheat loaf when the next two are done.

Very quickly I will try and give you all the baking instructions for making your own bread! It's totally worth it and it's a zillion times healthier for you than store bought bread with God knows what in it!

The initial recipe I started with was from one of my favorite blogs, FabuLESSly Frugal. These gals have so much knowledge and are such a help! The recipe is found here. I didn't go by the recipe exactly, simply because I didn't have all of the ingredients! Here's what I did. If it worked for me, it should work for you!

Ingredients (for 1 loaf of bread):
  • 1 1/4 cup of warm water
  • 1 Tbsp (or 1 packet) of active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (they note that brown sugar freezes better than using honey)
  • 2 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Ingredients (for 2 loaves of bread):
  • 2 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 2 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 5-51/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter

UPDATE: I also add about two big spoonfuls of honey and maybe 1/4-1/3 cup (I don't measure) of ground flax seeds. The honey adds a lovely hint of sweet and the ground flax adds a boost of fiber!)

What you'll need:
  • Big mixing bowl
  • Olive oil or baking spray
  • Big spoon (I use a wooden spoon)
  • Bread pan
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • A clean dish towel or saran wrap
  • A sheet of aluminum foil

Directions:

Mix the warm water, yeast, and brown sugar together in a large bowl and let it sit (proof) for 10 minutes. This is necessary for the yeast to activate. Make sure that your water is warm to the touch, but not hot.

After the 10 minutes are up, add in the flour, salt, and butter. Mix until a nice dough forms. Once it's all formed together, sprinkle flour onto your kneading surface and then place the dough on top. Knead the dough for about 10-15 minutes. It's a great arm work out! Continue to add flour as you feel necessary until the dough is not quite sticky anymore. Form into a ball and put into a greased bowl, covered with a towel or saran wrap for about 1-1 1/2 hours or until the dough has double in size.


After about an hour or so, it should look more like this. Sorry there's no before picture to show the previous size of the dough.


Once the dough has double, punch it down and roll it out into a rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Roll it up, and pinch/seal off the sides and place it into the bread pan. Cover again and let it rise to double, usually about 30 minutes. Once it's done rising, place it into the oven at 375 degrees and bake for about 20-30 minutes. On FabuLESSly Frugal they recommend placing a sheet of aluminum foil, shiny side out, on top of the loaf after about 10 minutes to keep the outside from browning too much. You may or may not have to do this step.


The picture is of a cinnamon sugar loaf that my husband had the grand idea for! For this one, just sprinkle cinnamon to cover the flattened dough, and then sugar. I used about 4-5 Tbs of raw sugar and it tasted great to me, but of course you can add your own to taste! I plan to try it with raisins next!

After you've followed all these steps (so simple!) then you should get a beautiful, delicious loaf of bread like these!


These two are honey wheat loaves. Yummm.



And this is what my cinnamon loaf turned out to be! It was heavenly, especially right out of the oven!!

This is a plain whole wheat loaf of bread, but I got "creative" and cut some slits in the dough before putting it in the oven. I think it looks so cool! Like it's fresh from a real bakery!

UPDATE: I've actually decided to always cut the slits in the dough when it's a honey wheat loaf so that I don't get it mixed up if I'm baking different kinds together.


As you can tell, I love baking bread! It's so much fun and I can't wait to try all sorts of new types of bread! What kinds of bread have you made? What's your favorite recipe? Send them my way and I'll try to bake them too!

Carb overload on it's way to my house? Eh, who cares! It's healthy and delicious!!

Do you prefer to bake your own bread or buy from the store? What's your favorite recipe or brand?

Till next time,
Catherine


I've linked up to Less Laundry, More Linking #4 with Life After Laundry and Sensational Creations!


2 comments:

  1. This bread looks awesome. I have a bread machine, so I will try to adapt this to work with that. Thank you for sharing this with the Less Laundry, More Linking party.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure it would work great with a bread machine! I wish I had one to speed up the process for sure! Thanks for hosting the link party!

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