Surprisingly I have never made bread before until yesterday. I’m not sure why I thought it would be hard, because it turned out to be really easy. I found this simple recipe on allrecipes again, and decided to give it a try. I would definitely recommend it for anyone baking bread for the first time.
This month (July), we are doing a plastic free challenge. I am working on reducing the use of plastic in our home and creating less waste. Since most bread comes in plastic packaging, I decided to bake my own and avoid the plastic. Now I’m thinking about sewing a bread bag to store it in, but that’s a different project.
Hubby always says it’s not worth it to bake your own bread because it wouldn’t be much cheaper. So, I priced it out and it costs me $0.72/loaf to bake this bread. Knowing this and after experiencing the wonderful smells that accompany baking your own bread, I think I will keep at it.
I started by preheating the oven because for dough to rise, it needs a warm environment. Then I dissolved the sugar in the warm water, in a large bowl. I added the yeast next, stirred a little bit, then placed the bowl on the stove to stay warm (stove top was not on, but slightly warm from the oven). I covered it with a kitchen towel and waited for the yeast to activate.
When it starts to look foamy, it is ready for the next step. I added the salt and oil and stirred.
Next I added the flour, one cup at a time. By the sixth cup, I used my hands to incorporate it.
I turned out the dough on the floured counter-top, and kneaded for a few minutes. Then, I rinsed the bowl and oiled it well. I placed the dough back in the bowl and turned it over a few times, to cover it with oil. I covered the bowl once again with a kitchen towel and let it rise on the stove top again. I left it about an hour.
After it doubled in size, I lightly pushed the dough down in the bowl, then turned it out on the counter-top again. I kneaded it for a minute, then divided it in half (ok, it wasn’t really even as you can see in my pictures, but it still tasted good in the end). I shaped both parts into loaves and placed them in the Pam sprayed pans. I covered those with the kitchen towels and once again waited for them to rise, about half an hour this time. There’s a lot of waiting when you’re baking bread!
Then I put them in the oven and baked for half an hour.
I took them out when they were golden brown and let them sit in the pan for a few minutes. I took them out of the pans and
impatiently waited for them to cool down a little before slicing and enjoying. Our kitchen smelled so good! That’s probably why I haven’t attempted this before, because I just want to eat all the bread! (and I can’t because I have a gluten intolerance 🙁 , but sometimes it’s worth the pain)
I will play around with different recipes, but for now if you would like to try it, here is the recipe I used:
Easy White Bread
- 2 cups warm water
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Stir in the yeast, cover with a towel and allow to proof, until foamy.
- Mix in the salt and oil. Mix in flour one cup at a time, then knead the dough until smooth.
- Rinse and oil the bowl, then place the dough back inside. Turn the dough a few times in the bowl to make sure it is covered in oil.
- Cover with a cloth and allow to double in size. This may take about an hour.
- Once dough has doubled, punch it down in the bowl. Take it out and knead it for a few minutes. Divide in half, shape into loaves, and place in two greased 9×5 inch pans. Allow to rise for another half hour.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown.