Basic Bread (easier than you would think)

Homemade bread and strawberry jam
Homemade bread and strawberry jam

I love bread. I’m not ashamed to say it. I eat bread every day in some form. I know it is very trendy, and for many people very good for you, to limit your bread intake. For me I live off of carbs. My name is Adrianne, and I am a carbaholic. It’s cool though, I also eat lots of vegetables:) I started making bread regularly when I got my 6 quart Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. I wanted to use is all the time, but did not want to bake cake and cookies and all those other sweets that you need a mixer for, so I started making bread. I don’t make it regularly enough for it to replace the bread products I buy from the store, but I’m trying. I prefer my own bread, it is much cheaper and has a lot fewer ingredients, so in my mind it is healthier. Making bread really does not take that much effort if you have a good stand mixer. It does take time because it has to rise, so I make it on the weekends. Then I have a lovely afternoon snack with homemade strawberry jam and Earth Balance. I especially love to bake bread in the fall and winter because it warms the house and smells oh so good.

I have tried to break the steps down to be manageable, but please ask if they are unclear. I am by  no means a bread expert, I have only experimented a little so far. This bread is easy to make, soft and yeasty just as I think homemade bread should be. When I make the two loves I freeze one as soon as it is completely cool which keeps it tasting very fresh. Store the other in a paper bag or in a bread box if you have one.

This recipe was adapted from toxobread.wordpress.com. 

Basic Easy Homemade Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water, lukewarm
  • 1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups whole wheat bread flour flour
  • 2-4 cups unbleached white bread flour
  • 1-2 TBL olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl (I use the bowl of by Kitchenaid mixer as that is what I’m mix my bread in) combine the warm water and the sugar stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir briefly.
  3. Set aside.
  4. In a small pan combine the rolled oats and one cup of water.
  5. Cook over medium heat until the oats have absorbed the water.
  6. Remove oats from heat and stir in salt, brown sugar and milk. (by adding the cold milk to the hot oats you are making everything warm which is the right temperature to keep the yeast alive.)
  7. Add oat mixture to the yeast/water mixture in your large bowl.
  8. Add the whole wheat flour and one cup of the white bread flour.
  9. If using a Kitchenaid now is the time to mix it on speed 2 with your dough hook. You can also stir by hand until all the flour is combined.
  10. Add remaining flour 1/2-1 cup at a time, waiting until four is combined before adding more.
  11. Continue to add flour until the dough has formed one ball in your mixer and when touched (with the mixer off) it no longer sticks to your fingers. Continue to mix/knead 2 minutes more.

    Dough as it has stopped being sticky
    Dough as it has stopped being sticky
  12. Remove the dough hook, or your soon from the dough. Pour olive oil over bread, turning the dough until all sides are coated.
  13. Cover the dough with a damp towel and set in a warm, draft-free area to rise until doubled 1-2 hours.
  14. After dough has risen punch the dough down to release air bubbles.
  15. Remove dough from bowl and divide into two equal portions.
  16. Shape dough into loaves and place in oiled bread pans.
  17. Cover loaves again with damp towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  18. Bake in preheated 350 F oven 40-45 minutes until golden brown.
  19. To test the bread turn in out of the pan and tap the bottom with your fingernail. It if sounds hollow it is done.
  20. Let cool as long as you can stand it before cutting into your freshly baked, delicious bread. (this is about 5 minutes for me)
    Dough after doubling in size
    Dough after doubling in size

    shaping a loaf
    shaping a loaf
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