Make Your Own: Homemade Bread

>> Monday, January 5, 2009

There are many advantages to making your own bread: inexpensive, less packaging, healthier ingredients, and better tasting to name a few.

When I started making my own bread about two years ago, I was frustrated with the lack of clarity in bread recipes. For example, I have a recipe from my Grandma with an unspecified amount of flour in the ingredients list and the instructions, "Mix, knead, let rise, shape into loaves, let rise, bake 350 degrees." I'm sure that was plenty of information for women who were taught how to make bread by their mothers, who were taught by their mothers, etc. But I needed a little more information.

So if the recipe here is not specific enough for you, please let me know. Any suggestions are also welcome.

Wheat Bread
YIELD: 4 Loaves
COST: $1.65/loaf

2 pkg. active dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp.)
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 c. water at 110 degrees
1 1/2 c. milk
2 c. water
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. honey
1 Tbsp. salt
6 c. whole wheat flour
6 c. white flour
  • Heat 1 c. water to 110 degrees
  • Dissolve yeast and 1 Tbsp. sugar in water. Let sit for about 10 minutes. The yeast and sugar mixture should get frothy. If it doesn't, your yeast is bad and your bread will not rise.
  • Combine milk, water, oil, honey, and whole wheat flour. Add yeast and let rest 15 min.
  • Add white flour and salt, then knead. In my Bosch mixer, this takes about 10 minutes. It should take at least 20 minutes if you're kneading by hand. When you've kneaded the dough long enough, you should be able to stretch the dough very thin without it breaking.
  • Place the dough in a large greased bowl and let rise until double (about two hours). I put my dough in the oven and place a heated towel over the top of the bowl. This creates a warm humid place for the dough to rise.
  • After the dough has risen, punch it down and shape into four loaves. Put the loaves in greased 9X5 loaf pans.
  • Let rise until it peaks over the top of the bread pans (approximately an hour). I do this again in the oven, removing it a few minutes before the end of the rising time to preheat the oven.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Bake 30 minutes.


Leigh,  January 6, 2009 at 2:17 PM  

Your bread is so pretty! We've been making bread for several years, and it is so so so much better than store bought. Except for baguettes. We have a hard time getting the outside chewy enough. Beautiful, consistent loaves you show!

Billie January 8, 2009 at 1:27 PM  

I love making my own bread but I use a bread maker. I don't have a day to devote to kneading and rising and the several times I have tried the results were less than edible.

Homemade bread is much better than bought. My husband will even eat wheat bread that I make although he won't touch store bought wheat bread.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper January 9, 2009 at 8:32 PM  

Billie, We used to have a breadmaker, but it broke (it was already used and very old when we got it), and I decided to go with the Bosch mixer instead just because I can make so many loaves at once. You're right though that a bread mixer is a time save. I also have a recipe for refrigerator dough, which I haven't tried but sounds intriguing. You let it rise in the fridge, and then bake it whenever you have the time.

Tiffany April 25, 2009 at 5:49 PM  

Hi Erin!

Today I made your bread! I cut the recipe down to make one loaf since that's all I thought my little bread machine could mix - it could probably mix two loaves...Anyway, I did it and it turned out to be the best bread I have ever made!!!! I usually use my bread machine but I NEVER get the results I want - I am so pleasantly surprised - i just might be converted to consistently making homemade bread! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Next step is to get a big bread dough mixer and three more pans, so I can make four loaves at a time!

Erin aka Conscious Shopper April 25, 2009 at 7:57 PM  

Tiffany - I'm so glad it worked for you! Maybe Michaela will let you have her old Bosch since she's not using it.

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