Our family is a bunch of bread maniacs, and every one of us will admit to it. Now, besides the effect that this has on a person’s waistline, it isn’t too much of a problem. That is until one finds out what they are putting in store-bought bread nowadays. But we don’t need to go into all of that, I can just tell you the solution. Make your own!
It sounds daunting at first, but trust me, it tastes so much better than store bought bread. We have a couple different recipes that we like to use. One is a soaked bread from a website called Weedemandreap.com. This is a very good bread for people who are starting to have a difficult time digesting gluten.
The other one is from a little cookbook that came with our breadmaker ( it died several years ago!) but we have made the recipe work for hand-making. Regal Ware Inc. made the original, but I have made a few changes to the recipe.
1.5 cups whey* (original had milk)
1.5 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sunflower oil* (original had butter)
4 cups bread flour
1.5 Tbsp sugar
2.25 tsp active dry yeast
Warm whey to room temperature then add yeast and sugar into mixing bowl with the whey. Whey is a by-product of making cheese. It acts like buttermilk. If it is not available, milk will work just fine. Once it is all bubbly, approximately 15 minutes, add the flour, oil, and salt. Mix about 5 minutes until dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Remove from the bowl and knead for 8-10 minutes. Start oven preheating to 350°F. When kneading, fold far side of dough towards you and then a quarter turn and repeat.
Let dough rise in a lightly oiled bowl, in a warm spot, until doubled. It normally takes around an hour. Knead again and shape into buns or loaves. Let rise again in the bread pans or on a baking sheet, depending on the type of bread being made, until doubled and then place into preheated oven and bake until bread temperature reaches 170°F, approximately 30-35 minutes.
Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack. Once the bread has cooled enough to touch without burning your fingers, cut off a slice and slather with butter and honey and savor each bite!!!
**Notes: I like to warm the whey or milk in a pot on the stove and dissolve the sugar into it (this makes the yeast very happy). On the second rising, I like to let it get almost to the size of a fully risen loaf- it makes the bread soft and fluffy on the inside.
These new tricks have really made this bread really yummy. My dad, who has previously compared my bread to cat litter and always chosen store-bought bread over homemade, actually chose my bread over store-bought bread the other day. That was a major victory moment for me!