We are well into winter time and with that come some changes to people’s lives. Some choose to become lazy but some choose to become active and usually the cool weather brings with it fresh baked pies, goods and bread in many kitchens across the US. Have you ever thought that you are tired of buying bread that just seems like it evaporates into thin air? Maybe you are tired of the rising cost of all food, bread included. But if you are one of the many that have joined the all natural/organic/local/non-toxic/self-sufficient/sustainable movement that has shown up all across the US then you might even be making more of your food at home including bread from scratch. Everyone has their own motivation for choosing to stop buying certain products in the store. But the best one of all that most can agree with is, “because it is healthier for my family”.
The all natural lifestyle has become a must for those families with growing children. There is nothing more invigorating and uplifting than the smell of fresh bread baking in the home on a cool winters day. The taste is heavenly and you can rely on a better filling from homemade bread as well as more family members interested in getting bread into their daily diet more religiously. You will find that there is a sense of pride and satisfaction when it comes to making your own bread that isn't there with shopping and eating the toxic stuff sold in stores. Even if you are eating the healthier wheat bread you have to wonder what was sprayed on it before it became bread to control weeds and bugs. The only answer to buying in the store these days is to buy organic, non-GMO (Genetically Modified) and local only.
There are many bread recipes and a simple Google search of “How to make bread” will get you tons of answers. But this recipe is one used in our family and it yields a nice size loaf that can be cut like regular loaf bread and made into sandwiches. What are the benefits to making your own bread you say? Well besides the obvious health benefits of handmade in-home bread and not having to worry about what is in your kids PB&J sandwich how about some math for you.
• Average loaf of wheat bread bought from a local retail store costs $1.35 a loaf
• Average number of loaves of bread a household buys a week is three loaves
• That comes to $4.05 a week at $1.35 a loaf
• At $4.05 a week for a month you would spend about $16.20 and that comes to around $194.40 in a year just on bread alone.
• When you buy a bag of bread flower from the same retail store you will get 5lbs for about $2.50 that one bag will make you three large loafs of bread and last even longer if you are eating the bread alone.
• That comes to about $2.50 a week, $2.00 less than buying bread already made.
• $10.00 a month and $120.00 a year. A savings of $74.40 a year.
Although not a whole lot of savings, for some that savings can be used to buy other foods that their family may need or put gas in their car too get too the store or too work with. More importantly you will be doing your family a world of good by hand making your breads and they will love the smell and taste more than store bought bread.
Author’s homemade bread recipe
3 cups organic bread flour
2 cups butter milk or organic whole milk or raw milk (more or less)
1 ½ Tsp Sea salt
2 Tsp Bread machine yeast
1 Tsp Baking powder
2 Tbsp organic sugar
Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix in “Luke warm milk” (important). Mix real good and let sit in the mixing bowl or the baking pan covered for 30 minutes to rise. You can put it into the oven on the lowest setting with some freshly boiled water in 1 or 2 pans to speed the rising process if you want. This makes for a perfect environment for the bread to rise in. When ready to bake do not knead, just remove bread into a rectangular “deep bread pan” (if it did not rise in the pan), if it's a nonstick pan do not grease the pan it will fall right out when it's done. If it is an older pan, oil the pan up well. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes covered and then 15 more minutes uncovered to brown the bread. Let cool completely before slicing with a bread knife.