In my attempts to lower the bill, I have been taking note of the cost of some of our regular items. I was shocked to discover that the bread that we were buying on a regular basis was almost $5 a loaf! After some trial and error with sampling less expensive breads from the store, I decided to try my hand at making my own. This is the end of week 2 of my homemade bread experiment, and I really don't think we are going back. Homemade bread is just so much tastier! Plus my stand mixer makes it pretty easy!
I roughly followed the recipe found here, but made the following changes: I added a tsp of sugar into the water with the yeast and allowed it to develop into a froth. If you are a food science nerd like me, you really should watch this because it is so cool! You can actually see the yeast "sprouting" as it activates! Okay, dork moment over.
This is what the froth looks like it when it is fully formed - definitely an opaque layer of foam/froth with noticable bubbles. Then I added the salt.
You can actually see the froth better in this picture because it's been disturbed by the salt. Then I added flour, altering the recipe to be 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat flour. Once it's all mixed together, it's a fairly wet dough. Very sticky.
You can see here that it is stuck to the sides and bottom of the bowl. Resist the urge to add more flour and walk away! Well, cover it first, then walk away.
I left mine in the mixer. Now you have to basically stay away for 2+ hours. This is the part of making bread that makes me crazy. I much prefer to reap the benefits of baking and cooking immediately, so waiting for bread to rise is difficult, but worth it. After 2 hours, I heavily floured our counter top. Then I peeked at my dough.
I then put one dough into my dutch oven - it did deflate a bit when I moved it, but this did not affect the outcome.
This is one of the finished loaves. The instructions not include a dutch oven for cooking, but mine worked out great, I highly recommend trying to use yours to make bread!
Hubs has been enjoying this bread for his daily sandwiches, and we have been experimenting with different ratios of white/wheat flour, as well as adding various seasonings. Right now we are enjoying rosemary, but I'm really looking forward to making a cinnamon raisin version as well!
If you have ever been intimidated by the idea of making your own bread, this recipe is an easy one that you should definitely try! Let me know if you do!