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a-simple-loaf

Bread. I love it. I am never going to be one of those people who gives up carbs, its just not going to happen. But I have always wanted to bake bread for us regularly instead of relying on store-bought bread. You can grab a loaf of cheap white bread at the store for $1 so why put the effort into baking bread? Because it’s delicious. No joke, I would choose my simple homemade bread over most store-bought brands and varieties. It is just a simple white bread, not a fancy organic, multigrain, super healthy bread. But I know exactly when it was made, how it was made and what is in it. I love that about it AND it really is good.

If you’ve never tried making bread before because it sounds scary, I get it. It’s not, just trust me.

Simple Bread (original recipe from the simple dollar)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 packet (or 2 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup milk (almond works well!)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • nonstick spray

Conversational Directions (because I like to make commentary)

  1. Warm up 1 cup of water in microwave for 30 seconds or until it’s warm (not hot) and combine it in a bowl with 1 packet (or 2 tsp) of active dry yeast. Mix well until the yeast is dissolved and there are no lumps. I usually wisk it for about 30 seconds to one minute.
  2. In a separate bowl melt 1 1/2 tbsp of butter in the microwave. Add 1/4 cup milk, 1 1/2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt to the butter and mix.
  3. You should see that the yeast/water mixture has some bubbles in it now, that means it’s active. Add the milk, sugar, butter, salt mixture into the yeast/water mixture.
  4. Add 2 1/2 cups of flour to the wet ingredients and mix until combined well. At this point I usually use a wooden spoon to prevent from getting my hands too sticky.
  5. Slowly add more flour, about 1/4 cup at a time, until the mixture is a bit less sticky. It should be a little sticky, but not so sticky that you can’t get it off your hands.
  6. Sprinkle some flour onto your counter or another clean surface. Place dough onto your floured surface. Knead the bread for 10 minutes. I actually find this fun and will watch some netflix or youtube while I do it. Just rub some flour onto your hands and then just work with the dough. It’s not an easy thing to explain, but you’ll get a rhythm going in no time.
  7. When 10 minutes is up form the dough into a ball, clean out the bowl you had the mixture in, dry it and spray it with a little nonstick spray. Place the dough into the bowl and cover it with a dish towel.
  8. Let the dough sit for one hour (preferably in a warm spot – I put it in a sunny spot on my counter if there is one)
  9. After one hour prepare your bread pan by spraying it with some nonstick spray. Put the dough back on your floured surface and punch it down flat. Create a rectangle with one side as long as the bread pan and the other side about 1.5 times as long as the bread pan. It doesn’t need to be perfect or precise.
  10. Roll the dough up so it’ll fit into the bread pan. Hard to explain, but place the dough so the bread pan length side is closest to you. Roll it up, away from you, then put it in the pan with the seam side at the bottom.
  11. Cover with a towel and let rise for one more hour.
  12. Preheat the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 30 minutes. I honestly usually do more like 25-28 minutes for a softer crust and because of my elevation.
  13. Remove from pan immediately after baking to cool. Don’t slice until it’s cool.

I usually slice the bread as I need it rather than slicing it all at once, I feel like it keeps it fresh that way. Once you’ve made your own bread a few times you’ll fall in love. There is nothing like a warm piece of homemade bread with butter, honestly. It’s a bit more dense and a lot more delicious than regular store-bought bread. I usually either store it in a large tupperware (see photo below) or in a plastic bag. It’s usually good for about 1 1/2 – 2 weeks before it starts to mold.

P.S. No, I am not a baking expert so my directions and thoughts may not be perfect, but they work for me! And yes, this is just a simple bread recipe that I’ve used for a couple of months now and love. Nothing new, innovative or original, just plain delicious.

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