I bake bread for my family every week. Home baking is not that hard, not that time consuming, and certainly cheap! You don't need a bread machine or a lot of fancy equipment. This blog features a tutorial on home bread baking, tips on equipment and ingredients, and recipes for real home cooking.

Same Bread Every Week

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One thing I do at least once a week is make bread. It is always the same recipe, but the job and the bread differ with time of year. With five people in the family, I make four loaves at a time. The recipe is simple:

2 tablespoons dry yeast dissolved in ½ cup warm water
3 cups warm water
¼ cup shortening
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup sugar
1 to 4 eggs (optional)

Dissolve yeast in water.

Combine yeast, water, sugar, salt, shortening, and eggs. Add 3 cups of flour, then stir 200 times without reversing direction. Let sit 20 minutes.

Add flour one cup at a time until dough kneadable. Do this slowly; the flour needs time to absorb water and if you add too much flour too fast your bread will be dry. Knead the bread for 10 minutes, and then let it rise for an hour.

Shape the dough into four loaves and let rise until they are large.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Test one loaf with a probe-type thermometer; done is 190 degrees in the middle of a loaf that was in the middle of the oven. Turn out of the pans to cool.

My standard flour is a combination of whole wheat bread flour and white flour. I use 3 or 4 cups of whole wheat to start the recipe and white flour to finish. (My usual plot is to use as much whole grain flour as my family will eat without thinking that I am serving them "health food".)

Substituting one cup of semolina flour in the beginning makes the dough easier to knead. Stone-Ground Whole Wheat Bread Flour from Great River Milling is a nice choice. Semolina flour can be found at Bob's Red Mill.

Using the same recipe every week means that bread baking is routine and relaxing. I don't need to make big decisions or keep referring back to the cookbook. Since yeast, and therefore bread dough, is a live organism, it is helpful to be dealing with the same animal every time.

NEXT: Bread Baking Equipment

1 Responses to “Same Bread Every Week”

  1. Blogger Susan Och 

    Note to past self: thanks for posting this!

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About me

  • I'm Susan Och
  • From Lake Leelanau, Michigan

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There's more to food than just nutrition, otherwise we would all be eating custom-formulated kibble. I didn't exactly learn to bake from my grandmother, but my ancestors, even the ones I never met, have informed and influenced my lifelong exploration of cooking and food. Want to read more? Check out this entry from my home blog, French Road Connections