Bakin’ Bread

The other day at the grocery store, I decided that I was tired of paying $2-$3 for a loaf of wheat bread that lasts my family approximately 4 days.  Also, while I do think that what I was buying was reasonably healthy, it did have some ingredients in there that I wasn’t quite sure of, like soy lecithin and cultured corn solids.  And I don’t really like stuff that I’m not sure of, okay?  Call me narrow-minded, I don’t care, but the term “cultured corn solids” just sounds weird.

“I’ll just make my own bread,” I thought, feeling suddenly powerful and turning my nose up at all the pre-sliced loaves in the bread aisle.  Then I remembered my fear of yeast, and immediately grabbed a loaf of cultured corn solid bread and put it in my cart.  Then there was a battle in my head that resulted in me putting the bread back on the shelf, then back in my cart, then finally back on the shelf for good.  Were people staring at the crazy lady doing aerobics with the wheat bread?  Probably.  Do I care? Eh. 

Before I could change my mind again, I headed to the baking aisle for some whole wheat flour, bread flour, and….gulp…yeast.  Okay, you may be wondering why I have such a problem with yeast, and before you start thinking any gross thoughts, let me just say that I just…..feel funny about it.  Does that clear it up for you?  Do you even care?  I didn’t think so.  Honestly though, I just feel like baking bread is something that is so easy to screw up, and it’s all the yeast’s fault.  Letting it rise, punching it down, letting it rise again….I don’t know.  It’s just a process I find a tad overwhelming.  I know it’s dumb, but, to use a favorite line of mine, IT IS WHAT IT IS. 

Okay, enough talk.  Let’s move on to the actual bread bakin’ part.  Here’s what you need:

1 1/8 c. warm water
1/4 c. honey, or more if you want it sweeter
2 tbsp. melted butter, or oil
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. bread flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

For anyone that’s interested, the bread flour is really not bad for you. I don’t think.  It’s not like regular white flour, which is what I was concerned about.  The ingredients are: wheat flour, malted barley flour, ascorbic acid, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid. 

I should also mention that I made this using a bread machine.  If you don’t have a bread machine, then…..I don’t know.  That sucks for you.  I don’t know how to make this stuff any other way. 

Okay, so it’s actually pretty simple to do all this.  You need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on your bread machine, but for mine, I started with the liquid ingredients.  The water, butter, and honey go on the bottom, like this:

Next, mix  your dry ingredients – wheat flour, bread flour, and salt – in a separate bowl, like this:

Then, carefully put this mixture on top of the wet ingredients.  Notice I haven’t added the yeast yet.  No, it’s not because I’m too scared to do so.  It’s because my bread machine instructions said not to. So there.

Once the dry ingredients are in, make a little dip in the top of them for the yeast to set in.  It’ll look like this:

I have no idea how other bread machines work, or what order they recommend putting ingredients in.  I only know how mine works, so that’s what you’re getting. 

Now it’s time to program the settings.  This recipe makes a 1 lb. loaf, and you want to set it to the “wheat bread” cycle and opt for a light crust.  Then you push Start. Then you walk away and ignore it for 3 hours. 

La la la la la lalalalllalalalallakalakljalkfdjfalkneanhdvkna;lkehfka…..

Oh look! Three hours have passed! 

Hello, gorgeous!  Don’t you look beautiful and crusty and rustic?

Mmmm….now you look moist and chewy and delicious.  But still rustic.  And the smell….oh, if you could only smell my kitchen.  It’s probably what heaven smells like.  In fact, I think the aroma of freshly baked bread is what attracted these strange children to come inside and descend on my beautiful loaf of bread like turkey vultures:

Look at those happy faces.  It’s amazing what homemade bread can do. It’s also amazing how much bread those faces can eat, because now my bread is nearly gone.  But since now I’m only paying a few cents for each loaf of bread, I’ll guess I’ll just go make some more!

P.S.  It takes literally 10 minutes to throw these ingredients together.  Do it at night before you go to bed, and you’ll wake up to the smell of heaven each morning.


2 comments so far

  1. Tara on

    I LOVE my bread machine. I need to start using it again. Thanks for the rewminder:)

  2. DH on

    Have never used a bread machine, but the bread I’ve made is absolutely the best warmed up with just a little bit of butter in the morning!

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