The other day one of my co-workers looked at me and said “I need to give my bread maker another try. I’m just afraid of it.” To which I responded “Don’t fear the bread maker!” and then we high fived and did a little victory dance.
Ok I made that last part up. But the conversation was true. She does a ton of things herself, and even raises her own meat chickens (we have epic chicken conversations), how on earth could she be afraid of baking bread?
But then I realized that I had yet to have posted a bread recipe, mainly because….well I’m not sure. My reasoning was always “well there are lots of bread recipes online. I’ll just be another drop in the bucket.”. Hello April, there are about 10 thousand homesteading blogs and that doesn’t stop you. So goodness gracious girl get a bread recipe up already! What is a homesteading blog without a bread recipe?!
So here we are, writing about bread. And we will have no fear.
Bread was one of the first things I started making myself, and I now make about 3 loaves a week (Hubby eats a lot of sandwiches). Homemade bread doesn’t last as long as store bought because it isn’t packed to the brim with preservatives. After about 3 days it starts to get a little crumbly. If for some reason we haven’t finished a loaf in time we use the drier pieces for french toast, french onion soup (a favourite in this house), or I’ll grind them into bread crumbs and keep them in a container in the freezer, or we just feed the bread to the chickens and goats. The flavour, however, is amazing! Once you start baking your own you won’t want to go back to store bought. It just has no flavour. Plus the smell of bread baking will rock your socks. I promise.
I should also confess that I was against a bread maker for years. Totally against it! I used my stand mixer, and would make 4 loaves at a time and just freeze them. But then I was given a bread machine, and dang man! It is simpler. I don’t bake the bread in the machine as I find it doesn’t turn out as nice as when I bake it in the oven, but it’s nice to just throw all the ingredients into a bread machine, set it to the dough cycle and walk away. No baby sitting, no punching it down, no excessive hand kneading. And so my bread making days have gone from baking several loaves and freezing them to baking a loaf as needed. Do whatever works for you.
*This recipe makes 1 loaf.
You Will Need:
1 cup of water
3 cups of flour (when I made the bread pictured I used 2 cups all purpose white and 1 cup whole wheat)
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tablespoons of sugar or honey
3 tablespoons of oil (I use sunflower) or butter
1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
Put all ingredients into the pan of a bread machine in the order listed by the manufacturer (for mine that means liquid first then flour).
Turn onto dough cycle and let it do its thing.
Once finished, dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds to get any air bubbles out.
Add more flour if needed (mine was a little sticky today), and shape the dough into a loaf and place into a well greased bread pan.
Allow it to rise in a warm place until double its size, about 30-40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bake bread for 30 minutes.
Once finished dump it right away and allow it to cool on a cooling rack.
This recipe has never let me down, it is very versatile and holds up well to add ins. It can also be made into straight white bread, or straight whole wheat bread or a combination of both flours.
So go make bread. And do not fear.
Shared with: Foodie Friday