Saturday, February 7, 2009

Homemade Bread

One of life simple pleasures is coming into a house where bread had been recently baked. Anyone who has never had this experience is missing out on real life. There is no comparison between the white, almost tasteless air bread sold in stores, and a substantial piece of homemade bread made with your own cracked and milled wheat.

By storing wheat you already have the prime ingredient for making bread. There are endless bread recipes, here is one that is current in our larger family circle:

Dissolve and let bubble:
7 cups warm water [3-1/2]
5 Tb. yeast [2]
4 Tb. brown sugar [2]
Add the rest and beat until smooth:
1 cup oil [1/2]
4 Tb. salt [2]
1 cup honey [1/2]
7 cups white flour [3-1/2]
11 cups whole wheat flour [5-1/2]
Knead. Let raise until double, pan the bread, let raise. Bake
for 40 minutes at 350°. [Half recipe.]

Of these ingredients, all can be purchased at greatly reduced prices in bulk from suppliers. Yeast last for long periods if kept refrigerated or frozen. Brown sugar will last for a long time also but gets really hard over time. Oil will not store well. At most, it is good for a year. Salt stores forever, it is a mineral and will not deteriorate if kept dry. Honey will store for a year or so. Wheat stores for years if kept dry and cool. Fortunately, the ingredients that are most needed in quantity for long periods of time.

Another benefit of making your own bread, is the control over the ingredients. Many commercial breads contain a pharmacy of chemicals, preservatives and other ingredients. Fresh home baked bread is a treat not a treatment.


Jared said...

I love homemade bread. I have to admit I don't enjoy it as much as air bread for sandwiches but I love cinnamon toast made out of homemade bread. that was always the ideal use of it for me. Or, buttered (or not) and eaten with soup. It's okay for meat sandwiches but not so great for PB&J. It's something about the density of the bread. I always had to lather on the PB&J to balance out the bread.

LeatherneckJoe said...

If you find yourself wanting to make homemade bread but just do not have the wherewithal to make it, try buying homemade bread and have it shipped to you.