Homemade Bread

This year I have decided to move away from purchasing processed foods as much as possible.  Making bread is something I have been experimenting with.  My son is a sandwich snob and will only eat sandwiches with crispy lettuce, minimally processed meats, light on the cheese, and with good bread (none of that white store bought stuff).  So far my breads have received two thumbs up from him which is HUGE!  Today I have made the following recipe which yields two loafs.  The originally recipe came from Frugal By Choice Cheap By Necessity, but her bread was too sweet and made a great breakfast bread, so here is the recipe with my changes…..

Ingredients:

2 cups hot water (about 110 degrees)

1 tablespoon of sugar

1.5 tablespoons of yeast (I buy in bulk, but a package of yeast is usually 2 & 1/4 teaspoons)

1.5 teaspoons of salt

1/4 cup of oil (I used olive)

1.5 cups of whole wheat flour

4.5 cups of all purpose flour

1 egg for egg wash

mixed seeds for on top of bread (I used sunflower, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, and some course sea salt

I like this recipe because I can use my kitchen aide mixer to make the dough.  Start with a warmed mixing bowl (put a little hot water in the bowl and swish it around and pour it back out).  Put two cups of water in the microwave for about 90 seconds to heat up and then pour it into the warmed mixing bowl, with the sugar and the yeast.  Give it a quick stir with a spoon, cover it with a towel and let it sit for 5 minutes (this is called proofing).  Your yeast should look a little foamy at this point.  Next add the salt, oil, and all of the flour.  Turn your mixer to “1” or stir until the sides of the bowl are pretty clean and the dough sticks to the dough hook.  Next remove the dough from the mixer bowl and put a little oil in the bowl to coat the sides.  Put your dough back into the bowl, turn your dough over by hand a few times to coat the dough.  It should look like this –

2013-01-06_12-02-01_910Cover the dough with a warm damp towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for one hour.  My oven has a bread proof setting so this is great, if you don’t have this you can turn your oven to warm for 10 minutes and then turn it off and place the dough in there to rise.  After one hour (first rise) the dough looks like this –

2013-01-06_13-01-02_904Put the bowl back on the mixer on “1” or stir for about 45 seconds.  Grease two loaf pans – I used cooking spray.

2013-01-06_12-59-04_394Then divide your dough in half and put one half in each pan.  It will look a bit funny, but will work itself out in the second rise.  Here is what mine looked like before the second rise.

2013-01-06_13-03-00_333Cover with the warm damp towel again and put in a warm place for one more hour.  This is the second rise and then should look like this.

2013-01-06_14-03-58_653Beat the egg for the egg wash with a little water and using a pastry brush – brush onto the tops of the loaves. (you will not need to use all of the egg wash)  Sprinkle the seeds on top of the loaves like this –

2013-01-06_14-06-12_845Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (when I use only white flour it bakes in 25 minutes – using the wheat/white combination it actually baked for 35 minutes)  When the bread is golden brown and feel hard when tapped – it is done.  Take out of the pans immediately and put on a rack to cool.

2013-01-06_14-53-30_278You can enjoy one right away and freeze the other for a later date.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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