Thursday, April 15, 2010

Have you ever made fresh homemade bread?

Do I have anybody's mouth watering with this picture? :) I gotta say, the first time I ever made homemade bread, the kids and I probably went through half the loaf right after it came out of the smelled and tasted SO GOOD! There's nothing better than holding a warm piece of fresh bread with butter melting on top of it. I usually make a couple loaves at the beginning of each week, and we use it for sandwiches, with soup, with salads, etc. I don't even buy bread from the store anymore, because I can save a ton of $ making my own. You can also make 4 loaves and freeze two of them, and then you only have to make it every other week. It is a lengthy process though, because of the rise time, so make it on a day that you will be home for at least half the day. Below is one of our favorite bread recipes. You might be surprised how much you enjoy making homemade bread...especially the kneading part! It's a good anger-management solution! :)
Whole-Wheat Oatmeal & Honey Bread Recipe
2 cups of boiling water
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup maple syrup, brown sugar or honey
1 TB honey
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1 TB salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pkg of dry yeast of 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
4 cups of all-purpose flour or bread flour

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine water, oats, maple syrup, honey, butter, salt and cinnamon. Cover with a dinner plate, and let cool to lukewarm (about 20-40 minutes).
2. Add yeast. Stir to combine. Then add flours, spooning it into the measuring cup and leveling off with a knife. Keep stirring to form a rough dough. 
3.On a floured surface (I usually use a cutting board with a little flour on it) knead the dough for about 10 minutes by hand or 5-7 minutes with a mixer until the dough is smooth and satiny. 
4.Turn on oven, and let it heat up for a couple minutes until it is warm, but not over 100 degrees. Transfer dough to a bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray, turn dough over so the top will greased, and place a dish towel over the bowl to cover it. Turn your oven light on and place bowl in oven. Let rise for about 1 hour. 
5. Divide dough in half.  Spray two bread loaf pans (8 1/2" by 4 1/2") with cooking spray, and place each piece of dough in it, forming it to the pan to look like a loaf. Turn oven on and repeat step #4.  
6. Place both pans covered with towels into oven, and turn the oven light on again. Let rise for another 1 hour. 
7. Remove pans from oven. Turn oven on to 360 degrees and bake loaves for 33 minutes. For the next 20 minutes your house will smell heavenly! Enjoy!


Who likes to change it up?

~Add sunflower seeds, chopped pecans and or flaxseeds (1.2 cup each) to dough while kneading it to make a multi-grain bread.
~Instead of maple syrup just use regular white sugar.

~Try adding dried cranberries to raisins (about 1/2-3/4 cup) to the bread while kneading it.


Janelle said...

Ooo, my mouth is watering! I love homemade bread. Any tips on how to get a nice slice for sandwiches? I always seem to have one thick end and one really thin end. LOL. Found your blog through Allison. Really excited to try out some of your recipes and see what else you have to share about food! YUM!

The Rhodes Family said...

Hi Janelle! I'm so glad you decided to check out my blog! :) Here's a couple tips on slicing homemade bread:
1)Make sure to use a serrated bread knife, and don't use a lot of pressure on the bread, or it will start to squish.
2) Try turning your loaf on the side to cut it...that helps a lot!
3) After the bread is done baking, immediately take it out of the bread pan, so the outside doesn't get mushy. Wrap in a kitchen towel on a cooling rack and leave out for a couple hours or overnight.
4) I've heard electric bread knives are supposed to work really well for homemade bread, so if you have one, you try that. I don't have one...but I think I might scout one out at a thrift store or garage sale. :)

Hope those helps!


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