As a young child, I remember my grandmother making homemade bread. Her specialty was yeast rolls. I remember thinking the process was so fascinating and exciting. It was not until I was a mom though that I learned to really make homemade bread. As a busy mom, I decided to buy a bread maker and, while I loved how it cooked and did all the work, I really did not like how it looked when it came out of the machine. So I mostly just used it to make the dough for me. For my anniversary this year, my husband bought me a Kitchen Aid Mixer. I have wanted one of these ever since I watched my grandmother using hers. The first thing I wanted to make with it was the dough I use to make homemade bread. I thought it would be so hard and time consuming, but it was really quite easy and took less time than I thought. Of course you can always break down and knead the dough the old fashioned way if you do not have a bread maker or stand mixer with a dough hook. I also love the look on my kids’ faces when I make them homemade bread; they think it’s a dessert or something. I also think bread making is a great way to save money.
Why Make Bread?
There are several reasons that you should make homemade bread. First, it will save you money. I can make a loaf of bread for about $1.00 or less a loaf. I also will usually have all of the ingredients on hand. Second, the aroma it leaves in my house is so wonderful and the flavor is also better than store bought bread. Third, it is more nutritious because the home baker can leave out chemical additives that you find in store bought bread. Fourth, bread making is a great time for your family to bond. Kids love to help make homemade bread. Making homemade bread is also a great way for you to be creative and it makes a great low cost gift.
Whole Wheat Tips
Some people do not like to make whole wheat bread because it comes out really heavy. Dough enhancers are a great way to solve this problem but some are kind of expensive. You can make your own for lots less. One way is to add gluten flour to your bread. You can find this at your grocery store. It is called vital wheat gluten. It is also relatively inexpensive. I also add vinegar to mine with the gluten. You add as much vinegar as you do yeast to the recipe. Some people also add things like potato flakes and grated vitamin C tablets. These are all things you can do that won’t cost you a lot.
Will it Be Like Store Bought Bread?
Many people get disappointed in homemade bread making because the bread they make does not hold up like the sandwich bread at the grocery store. I really think it’s all about finding the right recipe. I’ve found several and tried them and have had great results. I also bought a bread slicing guide. Many people report finding these at thrift stores for under $5. I really think this helps you make it more like store bought bread. Actually, I think these homemade recipes are better than store bought!
EZ Wheat Bread
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 Tblsp active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup honey or 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour 1/4 cup wheat gluten
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tblsp nonfat non instant dry milk
- 1 Tblsp butter/margarine/oil
- 1 Tblsp vinegar
- 1/4 cup potato flakes (NOT potato pearls)
Mix ingredients in order listed in mixing bowl of mixer with dough hook attachment (like kitchen-aid) for 12-15 minutes. Let rise until double, 1- 1 1/2 hours. Punch down, and shape into loaf or rolls. Let rise again until double and bake 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped.
If you are making this recipe in a bread machine, follow your bread machine’s directions for wheat or whole grain selection and add the ingredients in the order listed for their recommendations. (only one loaf will fit in a bread maker)
See a video of this bread made here. She doubles the recipe in the video.
EZ White Bread
- 1 1/8 cups warm water
- 1 3/4 – 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 Tblsp sugar (you can use a little more sugar if you like your dough a little sweeter)
- 3 cups flour
- 1 Tblsp vital wheat gluten (remember you don’t need as much gluten if you’re not using whole wheat flour)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tblsp nonfat dry milk
- 1 1/2 Tblsp butter/margarine or oil
- 1/4 cup potato flakes
- (you don’t really need vinegar for white bread, remember the dough enhancers are primarily needed for whole wheat bread)
Add the ingredients in the order listed into a mixer bowl (like a kitchen-aid) with a dough hook attachment and mix on low for 10-12 minutes. Or mix it on the dough cycle in your bread machine.
After all the mixing is complete, if the dough still seems too gooey and you are unable to handle it, add 1 Tblsp flour at a time, and mix after each addition until the dough is manageable with your hands.
Let rise 45 mins -1 hour, punch down and use to make bread, cinnamon rolls, cookie sheet pizza, rolls, or anything else you can think of! Let rise after you have made your creation and bake according to the direction of the recipe you are making.
If you are making it into bread, form into a loaf at this time, place in a loaf pan, let rise in a warm place 45 min -1 hour and bake 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped.
If you are making this recipe in a bread machine. Follow your bread machine’s directions and add the ingredients in the order listed in their recommendations. (only one loaf will fit in a bread maker)
Buttermilk American Sandwich Bread
3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup cold buttermilk (can use 1 cup of milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice as a substitute, mix milk and lemon juice and let it set for about 10 min. prior to using)
1/3 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
3 tablespoons honey
1 envelope instant yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Once the oven temperature reaches 200 degrees, maintain the heat for 10 minutes, then turn off the oven.
- Mix 3 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix the milk, water, butter, honey, and yeast in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Turn the machine to low and slowly add the liquid. When the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and satiny, stopping the machine two or three times to scrape dough from the hook, if necessary, about 10 min. (After 5 minutes of kneading, if the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time and up to 1/4 cup total, until the dough is no longer sticky.) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead to form a smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.
- Place dough in very lightly oiled large bowl, rubbing the dough around the bowl to coat lightly. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place it in the warmed oven until the dough doubles in size, 50 to 60 minutes.
- Gently press the dough into a rectangle 1 inch thick and no longer than 9 inches. With a long side facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing with your fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself. Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch it closed. Place the dough seam-side down in a greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan and press it gently so it touches all four sides of the pan. Cover with damp cloth; set aside in warm spot until the dough almost doubles in size 20-30 min.
- Keep one oven rack at the lowest position and place the other at the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place an empty baking pan on the bottom rack. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour boiling water into the empty pan on the bottom rack and set the loaf onto the middle rack. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim into the center of the loaf reads 195 degrees, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove bread from the pan, transfer to wire rack, and cool to room temperature. Slice and serve.