Tag Archives: homemade bread

Simple Country White Bread

“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” – Ursula K. Le Guin

I first started making bread eight years ago. I was trying to save money and cut out all of the crap in our daily consumption. The original recipe was quite tasty but there were too many ingredients involved for me to consider it cost saving. Plus, a simple tasty slice of bread is made from just a few simple ingredients.

Simple country white bread consists of flour, yeast, water, honey, and flax seed or chia seeds. I add the seeds for protein and omegas. The seeds are 100% optional and not needed to get a great fluffy loaf of bread. I store our loaf in an airtight container in a cool location. The loaf will last the week for the oldest’s sandwiches for lunch or honey toast for my youngest for breakfast. Any leftovers get turned into french toast at the end of the week!

SIMPLE COUNTRY WHITE BREAD

350 (f) degrees / 38 minutes / yield avg. 12-14 slices

  • 3 cups organic unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tablespoons yeast
  • 1/4 cup organic chia or flax seeds *optional
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons raw local honey

STEP 1: In a bowl combine yeast, honey, and warm water. Note, not too hot or it will kill the yeast. Set aside and let activate. You’ll have a layer of foam when you know the yeast has bloomed.

STEP 2: Once the yeast has bloomed add flour, seeds (*optional), salt, and olive oil. Mix. You can use a stand mixer with bread attachment or the best tools you have in the kitchen… your hands. Mix until combined and kneed for a couple of minutes. Add flour if it is too sticky. Once combined, set aside in the bowl, covered with a dish towel in a warm location. Let rise or double in size.

STEP 3: Prepare a loaf pan with parchment paper. Once the dough has doubled in size, kneed out the air for a couple of minutes, shaping to your desired loaf pan. Cover with dish towel and set aside in a warm location to double in size.

STEP 4: Preheat oven to 350 (f) degrees. Once doubled in size, sprinkle the top of the loaf with some warm water and place in preheated oven for 38 minutes. When finished, remove from oven and loaf pan and place on a wire rack to cool.

STEP 5: Store in an airtight container in dark cool location for up to a week. ENJOY!

365 Project 2014 Week in Review 13 – 17

365 Project 2014 Week in Review 13 – 17

365 Project 2014 Day 13 – Homemade Bread After a full weekend of sick boys I had to spend Monday catching up on some of our basic staples. One of which is homemade bread. We have not purchased store bought bread (minus the occasional local baked sour dough) in years. I make our daily bread, buns for burgers, I’ve attempted hot dog buns or pretzel buns if you will but those need some perfecting. Considering 2 loaves of well made bread from the store costs roughly $3-4 each, I estimate I’m saving $20 bucks a month on bread alone in my grocery bill. That’s a rough estimate but either way I’m saving money and I know exactly what ingredients are being put into my bread.
365 Project 2014 Week in Review 13 - 17

365 Project 2014 Day 13 – Tea Time I’ve never been a big tea drinker. I can remember spending nights at my grandmother’s house and her evening routine always involved a hot cup of chamomile tea. Anytime she was sick she always had a cup of tea. It was a warming healing comfort to her. Well I needed that very much Monday evening. With boy the big boy and the little boy very sick I could feel it creeping up on me. Thankfully my cousin had gifted us some tea recently so I pulled out my cups and enjoyed a warm cup of calming chamomile tea. It worked. At least in my mind it did. It soothed my throat and relaxed me for the evening. Thankfully for the remainder of the week I fared way better than the boys. Could it have been the tea?
365 Project 2014 Week in Review 13 - 17

365 Project 2014 Day 14 – Learning to Snap No he’s not flipping me off although it looked like when I took the picture. He’s learning to snap and doing a mighty fine job at it too. He was so proud when his little fingers made the sound.
365 Project 2014 Week in Review 13 - 17

365 Project 2014 Day 14 – Bird Watching More like deer watching.
365 Project 2014 Week in Review 13 - 17

365 Project 2014 Day 15 – Happy Hump Day We’re mid week…watching the sunset on our ridge line gives me a sense of calm.
365 Project 2014 Week in Review 13 - 17

365 Project 2014 Day 16 – I’m an Artist! You sure are kiddo… you sure are!
365 Project 2014 Week in Review 13 - 17

365 Project 2014 Day 17 – Homemade Granola Bars TGIFF! It’s Friday and it couldn’t come too soon. I’m not a fan of rushing my days by but this week has been tiring with sick men and being cooped up with them. Once again, catching up on our weekly staples since I was preoccupied with my guys. Granola bars is another staple like bread that I choose to make myself. Consider you buy a box of granola bars at the store containing 6 bars at roughly $5 a box. I would have to go through a cost breakdown but on the surface the ingredients I used today didn’t equate to $5, it was less than and I came out with 24 bars. My kiddo eats at least one to two of these a day. Filled with organic oats, nuts, dried fruits, honey, and peanut butter… these have been the best homemade treat I’ve made to date.
365 Project 2014 Week in Review 13 - 17

Country White Bread

Country White Bread

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.” –Robert Browning

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I LOVE BREAD! Any bread… I’ll devour a slice… or two… or three. Sour dough has always been on the top of my list as a favorite. I attempted a few times, making homemade sour dough. I was successful for only a couple loafs…until I let the dreaded starter die (aka The B****). I think my failure in keeping the starter alive was a combination of improper storage and a temperature I couldn’t regulate. I’m sure it’s not as challenging as I make it out to be but it took more than I could figure out at the time.

I decided to move on to something with less management and this brings me to Country White Bread. I explored the interwebs looking for good bread sites providing simple tips for bread newbies like me… but also photos… a lot of good photos to see what I’m up against. I found www.thekneadforbread.com which lead to their host site and the following recipe provided by www.cookingbread.com.

It seemed easy enough. We needed a basic bread around the house that would suffice for morning toast and lunchtime sandwiches. The prep was not difficult but with anything homemade, time is always a factor. After mixing the basic ingredients there is a 15 minute resting period. After the major mixing is complete the dough must rest for another hour or longer until it doubles in size. After degassing the bread and fitting it to 2 loaf pans you must wait another 45-60 minutes to let it rise again. Then it’s time to bake… difficult, no… time consuming, a little.

Why do I make my own bread… to save money and to know where and what the ingredients are that I am feeding my family.

We’ll get back to sour dough very soon… with wild yeast possibly… but until then… Here is my take on the Country White Bread recipe.

* = organic
^ = local

Country White Bread
2 -5×9 loaf pans, 375 (f) degrees for 30-35 minutes

5 – 6 cups bread flour * (you may not use all the flour)
1 cup lukewarm water *
1 cup buttermilk * (room temp)
1/4 cup melted tallow *^ (you can sub olive oil or butter… I can’t recommend using other oils)
2 eggs *^ (room temp)
1/4 cup raw local honey ^
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons flax seed meal *
3 teaspoons instant yeast

Egg Wash
1 egg white *^
3 tablespoons cream *^

Step 1: In a mixing bowl measure out 1 1/2 cups of flour and with a wooden spoon stir in the water and buttermilk. Next mix in melted tallow, honey, eggs, salt, flax seed meal, and yeast. Mix till all ingredients are incorporated and then set aside covered in a warm area for 15 minutes.
IMG_5546 v2

Step 2: After resting, incorporate a 1/2 cup of flour at a time till it’s too hard to mix with the spoon. On a clean flat work surface add 1/2 cup flour and pour out the dough onto the surface. Knead the flour into the dough till the dough is no longer sticky.
country white bread

Steo 3: [NOTE] I used only 5 cups of the 6 total cups of flour listed in the original recipe. It may take more or less depending on your climate and quality of ingredients [END NOTE]. Place your dough in large lightly oil coated bowl; rotate the dough to make sure all sides are coated. Cover with a towel and set aside in a dry warm place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
IMG_5562 v2

Step 4: After the resting period, on a lightly floured surface pour out the dough, cut in half and degas the dough by lightly kneading it out. [NOTE] Do not overwork the dough or add too much flour. It will cause the dough to be rubbery & dense. [END NOTE]
country white bread

Step 5: Shape each ball of dough into a rectangle, fitting the length of a 5×9 loaf pan (NOTE you can omit the loaf pans and place directly on a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet END NOTE). Roll the dough like a jelly roll and pinch the seam closed with your fingers. Place each roll into a greased 5×9 loaf pan. Cover with a towel and rest for another 45-60 minutes or until it’s doubled in size.
country white bread

Step 6: After the resting period, brush each loaf with the egg wash. Let the loaves rest 5 minutes and then brush each loaf again with the egg wash mixture.
country white bread

Step 7: Now it’s time to bake – place in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. When baking is done, remove the loaves from the pans and place on a wire rack to cool. The loaves will feel light and have a hollow sound when done. Enjoy your Country White Bread!
country white bread

country white bread

IMG_5463 v2