Guys, I apologize, it is taking me SO long to read the book we selected for book club. Life is just super busy and I can’t keep up. But I LOVE the book. I just need a day that I don’t have to be an adult, and I can just sit and read. Wouldn’t that be awesome!?
In The Storyteller, we read a lot about bread, and baking. Sage is a baker. She also comes from a long line of bakers in her family. I feel like there isn’t a page that goes by that bread is not mentioned. And I love bread! This fact is probably the main reason that the whole 30 diet scares me so bad! I used to bake bread all the time for my little family. When my husband and I got married we were gifted a bread maker and we loved that little machine. It was perfect for the two of us. When I turned 30, we had three (almost 4) little kids under the age of 6 and I was making bread by hand. My 6 year old (at the time) took that picture of me kneading the bread. My husband got me a KitchenAid mixer for my birthday and it was a total game changer! I don’t remember it, but I blogged about it – and within three days of him buying me the mixer I made 2 loafs of bread, cinnamon rolls, frosting and more! I love my mixer.
The last couple years sadly I haven’t made as much bread. It does make me happy, it’s just hasn’t been a priority. But cold winter days – and this book have changed that. I’ve been making bread, bread and more bread! My cute kids love it!
I don’t have a fancy recipe. I just use a very simple one that I have memorized (it is easy to remember), although my friend has a recipe that uses milk and I am anxious to give it a try. Today I thought I would share my simple, easy to make bread recipe. (Some of these pictures I’ve borrowed from my family blog, where I posted this recipe 7 years ago)
Delicious White Bread
- 5 – 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 packages active dry yeast (or two tablespoons, plus a little extra)
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 tablespoon butter for the top
1. In large bowl or mixer combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
You can substitute 1 cup wheat flour into this recipe pretty easily, and at least my family, won’t complain. My kids also LOVE raisin bread…it’s super easy to add this variation at step 4 and 6.
2. In small saucepan, heat water and oil until very warm (120 – 130 degrees). This used to be the tricky part for me. It needs to be warm, but not hot. I like to think of it as warm enough for a baby’s bottle, but not hot enough for hot chocolate. 🙂
3. Slowly add warm liquid to flour mixture, blend at low speed until moistened. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed.
4. Slowly add an additional 2.5 to 3 cups flour (about a half a cup at at time) until dough pulls cleanly away from sides of bowl. If your family loves raisin bread, then add the raisins while you are mixing the dough. I add about a cup or a cup and a half of raisins. And my kids always complain that they want more raisins.
5. If you are making this by hand, on floured surface knead in 1/2 to 1 cup flour until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. If you are using your mixer, I like to let it mix for a coupe more minutes. Then place dough in greased bowl, cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in warm place until doubled in size. If It’s cold outside, I just put mine in the microwave (but don’t turn it on!). When our laundry room was on the same floor as our kitchen, I used to place it on the dryer (if I had been doing laundry).
These are my two cute bread helpers punching down the bread..back when I made it from hand and they were tiny boys! Now they can each finish off a full size loaf!
6. Grease two loaf pans. Punch down dough several times to remove all air bubbles. Divide dough in half, shape into loaves. For raisin bread, roll out and then add brown sugar or cinnamon sugar and roll. Place in greased pans.
7. Cover, let rise in warm place until dough fills pans and tops of loaves are about 1 inch above pan edges – 30 to 35 minutes.
8. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover dough and bake for 30-40 minutes until you can knock on the top and the loaves sound hollow. Immediately remove from pans and place on wire racks. Brush with melted butter.
At our house – the best way to enjoy homemade bread is RIGHT AWAY! We love it warm and it never lasts long.
Do you love homemade bread? Have a favorite bread recipe? I would love to hear about it.