09 August 2011

Making your own bread without a bread machine

I don't own a bread machine and I don't have the money to invest in one. What I DO have though is the ingredients in the house to make bread! If you have the time I think it is well worth the time to make. If you haven't noticed yet I like to know exactly what is in everything I eat. I don't want the basic boring box foods. Cooking for me is a passion and can be great bonding time for you and your kids. Especially this recipe when you get to the kneading part and the dough punching part! I also like making my bread because I can tweak it however I want. I can add cinnamon for bread to eat for breakfast, I can leave it plain to make my kid's peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at lunch and with the consistency of homemade bread it is GREAT as garlic bread or along side your plate of spaghetti for all that extra sauce. :) This recipe I use is great and turns out perfect but you have to remember when working with yeast that you need to be pretty precise with water temperature. Ingredient wise you should try to stay exact too but nothing will mess it up like not having your water warm enough or even too warm. If your water is too hot you will kill the yeast and if you don't make it hot enough it won't activate. OK so hopefully now I haven't scared you away! It is easy! I promise!

White Bread minus the Bread Machine
  • Thermometer (I used a meat thermometers)
  • Three loaf pans 
  • Two tablespoons of Yeast
  • Two cups water 
  • Two tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Two teaspoons of salt
  • Two tablespoons of sugar
  • Five cups of BREAD flour, divide them apart. Two to make a sponge and three to add in later on.
Start by putting your two cups water in a small pan on the stove. Heat it up. Once you start noticing it is getting a little hot stick your thermomiter in and check to make sure it is between 95F - 115F. Once it is that hot you can pull it off and make the "sponge".
A sponge is created to activate the yeast. Pour your two cups hot water into a bowl and two cups of the bread flour. Stir. Once mixed add the yeast, sugar, oil, salt and stir again. Once it is properly mixed let it sit for 10 minutes.
After about 10 minutes your mixture should be bubbly looking, like this:
After the 10 minutes and your mixture is now bubbly you can add the next three cups of bread flour. Stir. Once it becomes too hard to stir anymore take it out and place it on a clean counter-top pre-coated with a small amount of flour (you do this so it does not stick).
Knead your bread for 10 minutes. If you do not know how to knead bread here is a good video for you to watch: how to knead dough
Once you are done kneading put the dough back in the bowl. Take a slightly damp dish towel and cover the dough. Turn on your oven to pre-heat it to 375F. I stick my bowl then on top of the oven while it is warm/preheating because it helps the dough rise. Leave it alone for an hour. By the time you go back to check on it the dough should be doubled in size. 
Now punch the dough down! Have fun and pretend its your boss, your husband, whoever the heck annoyed you today and go to town. :P 

Divide it into three parts for the three pans. I used two. One round (to make garlic bread with) and one loaf pan for normal bread.  Spray your pans down and stick your dough in them. 
Place the dough back onto the pre-heated oven and cover with your damp towel again. Let it rise until it reaches the top of the pans like so:
I forgot to take a picture of it on top of the oven before I stuck it in but I opened the door to show you what it should look like when you place it in. Bake for 25 minutes on 375F.
When you pull the loaves out stick them onto a cooling rack. Here is my rigged rack, I used a metal grid that goes into my refrigerator (I think, we don't use it) and propped it up on the ends with a couple boxes so that the bread could properly cool.
After a few minutes dump the loaves out of the pan to completely cool on the rack.
Yum! Breakfast!

Once cooled you can store your bread in zip-locs or an old bread bag.

Hope you enjoy your bread!

Reminder this recipe can be used more than once on the same bag of flour. With one bag of bread flour you can make this recipe three times or 9 loaves of bread.


One Bag of bread flour: 2.75, for 5 and 1/2 Cups Bread Flour: $1.23
Activated Yeast: $.75 for 3 packets
2 Cups of Water: Free
2 Teaspoons of Salt: $.04
2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil: $.10
2 Tablespoons of Sugar: $.05

Total Cost: $2.17 to make this recipe a total of 3 loaves of bread. Each loaf would cost roughly 0.72 cents to make.

Competitors cost per loaf: $2.45 PER LOAF


My family loves this bread. It tastes like regular white bread but the crust is a little harder. It reminds me of Italian bread or the consistency of garlic bread. This recipe is also so changeable, you can put whatever you like into to turn it into cinnamon bread, garlic bread, wheat bread... so many possibilities. :) I also don't even think my daughter noticed a difference between breads because she said nothing and she is a VERY picky eater.


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