March 14, 2011

Baking Bread

I've started to bake my own bread! I've used bread machines before but for some reason always had a problem with my bread flopping. That's so frustrating after putting all the ingredients in the machine and patiently waiting and then getting flop. But, I decided to try again after reading a few things that I was oblivious to regarding preservatives & food additives that are used in bread.

Having store-bought bread last for weeks in the drawer seems like a great thing until you try to read the ingredient list. THIS post by Snack Girl helped open my eyes to the reality of what's in our bread. There's an ingredient called AZODICARBONAMIDE (sounds yummy!?) that has actually been banned in other countries. I looked at all the bread in my bread drawer and they ALL had this additive.

I pack my son's lunch everyday for school. He wants the same thing everyday and that includes a sandwich. I've been using Iron Kids Bread since it boasts having tons of fiber, iron and calcium but is still white and soft like kids like. I had him try to read the ingredients on the bag to me the other day and it was quite comical to hear him try to pronounce everything. It just seems wrong for him to be eating all those things he was struggling to read. And he's a VERY advanced reader! So, this is why I decided to start baking my own bread. I know the ingredients and I actually love the process. And he LOVES the sandwiches I make for him with it. Really, what smells better than baking bread? And what tastes better than fresh baked bread with butter on it or a big fat sandwich on your on homebaked bread? Pretty much nothing.

I've tried two recipes so far and they both turned out great with no floppage! Even though some of my yeast had officially expired. The second recipe is so good, I'm almost afraid to try anything else. I've made it four times already. I found it on the back of my Hodgson Mill whole wheat flour bag and it is a winner. The crust is SO good on this bread, my son will even eat the heel without complaining (and he's a 'cut the crust OFF my bread' kinda kid)

Here's the recipe with just a couple of changes from the original since I didn't have a certain grain cereal it called for and I think it's easier using oil than butter-

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

1 1/8 cup water or milk (I do half water half milk)
3.5 T honey
3.5 T olive oil
1 egg

1 cup white flour
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 t salt
2 T wheat germ
1 T quick oats
1 package yeast

I warm the milk/water mixture just slightly then mix in the honey, oil and yeast. Let this sit until it foams (about 5 minutes, if it doesn't foam, the yeast is probably bad). Then add the egg to this mixture. Next, place all the dry ingredients into the bread machine then add the yeasty liquid. Push GO!

I can't say for sure this will work for all bread machines, but I think they're pretty universal. My machine was used so I didn't have a manual or cookbook but I've had no problems.

And look, I've discovered I have quite the talent for slicing bread. I did this free-hand!!

Here's to many more happy loaves in my future!


Emily {Frilly Details} said...

Wowee, I bet that tastes delish! I need to bust out my bread machine and try this recipe. I wonder if the sandwich thins have that crazy ingredient?? That's all we eat.

Greta said...

Yes, they do. Mine did anyway, they are Nature's Own brand.

Dagni said...

WOW! Your bread slicing is amazing. You obviously inherited that talent from your dad.