In my family, almost everything we eat is homemade. We prepare every meal from scratch in order to save money and stay healthy. An interesting side bar (shared with my soon-to-be herbalist mother), in order to have good digestion the body must be prepped for eating. Part of this is done by salivating. Those who prepare their own food tend to be healthier because, as they smell the food being made, their salivary glands are given ample time to start working. Those who purchase fast food regularly, deny their bodies the ability to prep and, thus, the food isn’t able to be digested efficiently. Anyway, it’s important for us to eat homemade so we know exactly what is going in our bodies.
Every week I make a loaf (sometimes two) of wheat bread. Generally, I use my Breadman machine to speed up the process, but my recipe can be adapted for hand kneading. You can also use the “dough” setting on your machine and then oven bake the bread if you want to make several smaller loaves or rolls. I prefer to make wheat bread, but I’ll give you the recipe for both wheat and white.
In theory, you could just throw all the ingredients in your bread pan. However, I’ve found that order makes all the difference in whether my bread is squat and dense or tall and fluffy.
Wheat Bread (1.5 lb)
Add 2 1/4 teaspoon (1 3/4 for white bread) of active dry yeast. Cover with a towel and allow to sit in a warm spot for ~10 minutes. When the mixture is frothy, you’re ready to move on.
Pour the yeast water into your bread pan. Begin adding dry ingredients. First, 2 cups white bread flour and 1 1/4 cup wheat flour (if you’re making white bread, use all white flour). I prefer doing a mixture of white and wheat flour to avoid a short, dense loaf of bread.
Add 2 tablespoons of dry milk powder. For extra soft bread, I add an additional 2 tablespoons of King Arthur Flour’s Bakers Special Dry Milk. Follow with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Lastly, add 1 1/2 teaspoon salt. It’s important to end with the salt because it can affect the growth of the yeast–if it’s added last, it won’t combine with the yeast until later in the kneading process.
Put your pan in the machine. Check your settings and voila! You’re done! In a few hours, you’ll have a beautiful loaf of tasty bread.