Friday, April 3, 2009

Frugal Living Friday: Homemade Bread

Welcome to Frugal Living Friday! Each week I will feature a tip that can help us stretch our budget and live more frugally! If you have a tip that you want shared on Frugal Living Friday, let me know and you could become a guest blogger for a day.

I am not the best bread maker. I have many flops. Every time I make bread I experiment. My mom is the expert bread maker....she told me once you become good by practicing. I guess I am doing that. Why make homemade bread? It is so much healthier for you than store bought bread. Cheaper too. If you do buy the bread that IS healthy for you, then you are paying close to $4 per loaf. That is not thrifty at all.

I recently was given a wonderful bread recipe that has turned out EVERY SINGLE TIME! Just look at how the bread looks. YUM! It's nice and spongy and soft too. My kids love it. I think the secret I learned was to sponge the dough (you let it sit for a specified time...see recipe). I hadn't done that before and it makes a huge difference in how the bread turns out!

We are a whole wheat family. I only use white bread on special occasions. Most of the flour is whole wheat that I ground up in my grinder. I usually put a few cups of white flour in the bread though. Here is the recipe. Thanks Sarah for sharing the recipe with me to begin with. Enjoy!

(These are proportions for a Bosch mixer. If you have a Kitchenaid, just cut it in half and I think that would work. It makes about 4 really big loaves or 5 med-small loaves.)

14-16 c. whole wheat flour (10-12 c. unground)
2 rounded T. yeast
1/2 c. high-gluten flour
1/4 c. dough enhancer (or 2 T. lemon juice or 500 mg vit C)
6 c. very warm water
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. honey or brown sugar (it turns out better with honey)
1 1/2 T. salt

Directions: Mill wheat so it is fresh and warm. Place 9 cups fresh flour into mixer with kneading arm. Add dry yeast, and gluten and pulse to mix. Add water and mix for 1 minute. Turn off mixer, cover, and let dough sponge for 10 minutes. (this makes the bread have a lighter texture.) Add oil, honey, lemon juice, and salt. Turn on mixer, and quickly add remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough forms a mass and cleans the sides of the bowl. (I generally add a few more cups of whole wheat and then finish it off with a few cups of white flour.) Turn mixer to high and knead for 8 minutes. If kneading by hand, knead at least 12 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.

Preheat oven to 150 during this time. Lightly oil hands and counter surface. Divide dough into equal portions. Shape into loaves and place in greased bread pans. Turn off oven. Place bread in oven, arranging pans with space between to allow heat to circulate freely. Set kitchen timer, and watch closely. Let rise until almost double in bulk, approximately 30-35 minutes. Leave bread in oven and turn heat to 350. Bake for 30-35 minutes until light golden brown. Immediately remove from pans and let cool on wire rack. Store in plastic bags in freezer to preserve nutrients in wheat.


Ashlee said...

Where do you get high gluten flour? Which of the dough enhancers do you use? Where do you get dough enhancer?

Marne said...

You can buy high gluten flour at Winco and Fred Meyer. I keep mine either in the freezer or fridge to preserve the nutrients.

As for the dough enhancers, I cannot buy that locally anywhere. You can ask around where you are. I know you can order it from many companies in Utah. So I usually use the lemon juice, and it turns out great.

Mallory said...

The dry yeast, is that SAF yeast?

Marne said...

I use Red Star active dry yeast that I buy in 2 lb packages at Costco for $2 something. That is the only yeast I have used.

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