Bake Your Own Bread
In my recent blog post with some tips for saving money on groceries and eating out, Charles mentioned that I’ve been baking our bread at home. Since dropping that bombshell, I’ve gotten quite a few requests for the recipe that I use, so I will share it here.
I’ll start by saying that Charles is a bread snob. We are not a wonderbread house because he needs the super fancy made of all-organic nuts-and-seeds-and-only-whole-grain bread. We were definitely in the habit of dropping $5+ a loaf on bread. This bread recipe is a pretty close approximation of what Charles prefers but at a fraction of the price. If you’re used to dropping way less on bread, this might not be as much of a money-saving technique. That said, I think that it’s good to know where your food comes from, and I never question how fresh or what’s in my bread now.
- 1 ¼ cup warm water
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup oil
- 3 cups whole wheat flour, give or take half a cup.
- 1 cup flax meal
- 1 tbsp dry active yeast
- Nuts and seeds to taste – I use whatever is in the cabinets. Sesame and caraway seeds are our favorites! I use two or three tbsp of each.
Add the yeast, oil, honey, and salt to the warm water. The water should feel warmer than room temperature, but not hot. Let sit for ten minutes, until foamy. Make sure your yeast has not expired!
Get out your stand mixer – this will save you a ton of time. To the mixer, add the whole wheat flour and flax meal, and add in the foamy yeast mixture. Mix together on low (Kitchenaid setting 2) until the dough pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl, and forms a ball. At this point, add any additional nuts or seeds. Amp up the speed (4 is good) and leave the bread to be kneaded for ten minutes. If you’re living without a stand mixer, knead by hand for fifteen minutes, and admire your big new biceps.
After kneading, cover the bowl and leave the dough to rise for about an hour. It will double in size.
After your hour is up, grease a loaf pan. Punch your newly-risen dough down, and shape it into a loaf in your pan. Leave it to rise for another 45 minutes. Pop it into the oven at 375 for about 40 minutes. It should make a hollow sound when tapped. All done!
There you have it. Fancy bread, but at a cost of only about a dollar a loaf. It also tastes way better than anything that we bought from the store.
Let me know, do you bake your own bread at home? What are your favorite add-ins?