I’m not posting about my experiences with homemade bread because I’m a bread expert or even remotely know what I’m doing when it comes to making yeast bread from scratch. I’m a novice at best.
I’m posting about making homemade bread because I know there must be a number of my readers who are in the same boat I’m in: intimidated by homemade yeast bread, yet leery of the ingredients in the store-bought variety.
I am just a regular mom, not a professionally trained baker or even a grandma-trained baker. I’m learning as I go and think if I can do it, anyone can.
So let me share my experiences with you and I hope I can inspire you to try some homemade sandwich bread for your family, too.
There are a number of reasons I want to get into a routine of making our sandwich bread. Back in September I was shopping for bread for Meghan’s birthday party. I hoped to cut costs and get some cheaper loaves than I usually buy, so I was standing in the bread section at the grocery store, reading labels, trying to find an acceptable brand that wasn’t too pricey.
Completely randomly and in what must have been an act of fate, an old man approached me and started chatting to me about bread ingredients. He told me about azodicarbonamide, a chemical found in many store-bought breads that is banned in Europe as a food additive because of its link to asthma.
Sure enough, all of the breads I was looking at had this chemical. The more pricey bread I usually purchase did not, so I stuck with that brand. But just knowing that the kind old man had alerted me to an ingredient that I wasn’t aware of the dangers was alarming. I knew there must be more ingredients lurking in store-bought breads that could be harmful.
Another reason I wanted to start making homemade bread is Luke seems to have a dairy sensitivity, and all the bread I normally buy has milk in it. Cutting out dairy is one thing, but I can’t cut out dairy and bread. Come on. This spurred me to really get going.
So I made it one of my New Year’s goals to start making homemade sandwich bread, but I was intimidated and hadn’t found the right recipe. I knew I wanted the bread to be multi-grain without white flour. (Not purely whole wheat as 100% whole wheat bread is very high on the glycemic index.) Yet it needed to be soft, not too heavy, and not bitter. Tall orders.
When I saw Heidi from Food Doodles post a recipe for whole grain sandwich bread, I was inspired to give it a try. It seemed to be exactly what I was looking for.
I made a few changes to her recipe. First, I wanted to make it dairy-free, so I used almond milk instead of cow’s milk and oil instead of butter. I also used white whole wheat flour instead of the flour from hard wheat her recipe called for.
The results were fantastic. It was everything I was hoping for in taste, texture, and density. And while making homemade sandwich bread isn’t exactly a quick process, it isn’t super difficult. I was needlessly intimidated. Like I said, if I can do this, so can you!Print
New year’s resolution: master homemade sandwich bread
A beautiful home made bread recipe
- Prep Time: 300 minutes
- Cook Time: 55
- Total Time: 355 minutes
- Yield: 2 loaves 1x
- Category: Bread
- Cuisine: American
- 2 cups almond milk, or milk of choice
- 1 1/3 cup warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast, or one package
- 1/4 cup olive oil, or oil of choice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup 5-grain hot cereal mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten flour
- 7–8 cups white whole wheat flour
- In a small bowl, add 1/3 cup of the water and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix the remaining water, milk, 5-grain cereal mix, 3-4 cups of the flour, and the softened yeast. Once it is mixed, add the gluten flour and mix well. Next, add the oil, honey, and salt. Mix well, and then begin adding the rest of the flour until the dough cannot be easily mixed with a spoon.
- Next you need to knead the dough. I used my brand new stand mixer that I got for Christmas (woo hoo!), but this can also be done by hand. If you are kneading by hand, flour your work surface, turn out the dough, and knead at least 15 minutes. If you are using a stand mixer, knead for 15 minutes on 2. It is ready when the dough is lighter in color, springy, and smooth. It will be tacky to the touch–do not add more flour.
- Add some oil to a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, turning it over to coat it with the oil. Cover it with a towel and allow it to rise in a warm, draft-free location until it is doubled in size. This can take up to 4 hours depending on how cold your location is.
- At this point, I put the dough in the refrigerator overnight because I learned in a bread-making class that bread tastes best when you do this. It is not necessary, however, and you can simply proceed with the recipe if you prefer.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and knead again to remove all air bubbles and incorporate the oil on the outside of the dough. Cut into two and form into two loaves and place into two buttered or greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise again until the dough is just over the sides of the loaf pans. This should take roughly half the time of the first rise.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Once it is hot, turn it down to 350 degrees and put in the loaves. Bake for 55 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190-200 degrees. Remove from pans and place on cooling racks and cool at least 1-2 hours before slicing.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 170
- Sugar: 4.2g
- Sodium: 441mg
- Fat: 4.6g
- Carbohydrates: 29g
- Protein: 5.9g
Keywords: homemade bread
Thanks for inspiring me and the great recipe, Heidi. I’m looking forward to making this bread again and again as not only do I love it, but it’s also husband and toddler approved.
Getting back on a regular posting schedule is going to take some time as I adjust to life with two little ones. They are definitely keeping me busy.
Question: Do you make homemade sandwich bread? If you have a favorite recipe, please feel free to leave it in the comment section (or a link)!