Simple White Bread

Thursday, August 26, 2010

One of my favorite endeavors in my quest to become more frugal and self-sufficient is my journey into making my own bread. Not only does a freshly baking loaf of bread make the most amazing air freshener leaving your house smelling heavenly all day, but also creating your own bread allows you to tailor it to your own needs and control exactly what is in it. Not to mention the savings of making your own compared to upwards of $4.00 per loaf really starts to add up after a while if, like me, you aren't a fan of the unhealthy chemical laden standard white breads available on the market these days and opt for the more whole grain organic products available when you do by pre-made breads.

Who doesn't need a good go-to white bread recipe? From PB&J to toast most of us use white bread on a daily basis. I ran across a recipe online quite some time ago and have modified it to suit my needs to come up with the perfect white bread standard for my family. It makes a wonderful hearty loaf that can last about 3 days to a week for a family of four like mine. (Unfortunately I have lost the link to the original but I am looking for it and will upload if/when I find it lol)

This recipe is to be used for a bread machine, but if you don't have one you can always do it the old fashioned way. Believe me, there is no better stress reliever than hand kneading bread dough some days! I believe for hand kneading the somewhat standard knead 10 minutes, let rise 1 hour, punch down and let rise again another 30 to 45 minutes would work for this bread, but of course you can play around with that and find what works best for you depending on the size of loaf and consistency of bread that you like.

One thing to keep in mind when using active dry yeast is that warm water MUST be 110 degrees F at least, otherwise the water and yeast will not work together properly and you will end up with a small extremely dense loaf of bread. I have found that adding the dry ingredients followed by the oil and finally the water is the best method for me when putting the ingredients into the bread machine, but this is of course of personal preference. My settings for this bread are also always a medium white 1.5 lb loaf. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and if you make any modifications let me know and I'll give them a try! Always room for improvement!

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