Basic Bread Loaf
I love the simple things in life and homemade bread is one of them. I just love the smell of bread baking and my mouth waters thinking about biting into a warm slice. Bread is a simple food that can take up a lot of time to make but once you perfect your method then you can enjoy it whenever you want.
I’m not a fan of store bought loaves. There are either too soft and gummy or loaded with unnecessary ingredients that are there to keep if soft or from going stale before it gets sold. It’s much better to make your own. You get a much healthier product and you can get so creative with it.
This recipe is an introduction into bread making and makes two loaves. If you have patience and take your time with this recipe you will be rewarded with a beautiful sandwich loaf that will inspire you to continue on your bread making journey and try more challenging breads.
As with most of my recipes these measurements are merely a guideline. The measurements can vary from brand to brand or depend on how humid it is. That’s why it’s important to know what it should feel like. The dough will tell you if it needs more water or flour. To be safe keep in mind that it’s easier to add more flour than it is to add water. I also use two types of flour. I’m an really not a fan of white sandwich bread so I have wheat mixed in but the genius part is you can use just all purpose if you prefer.
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup milk
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- extra flour for dusting
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tablespoons tasteless vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup harvest grains (optional)
- Mix the honey and yeast into the warm water and let it sit for up to ten minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
- Mix the flours and salt together. Create a well and add the milk and yeast mixture. Slowly stir until fully incorporated. If using harvest grains or other additive, add it here.
- Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until shiny and elastic. This can take 10-20 minutes.
- Oil a large bowl and place dough inside. Cover and place in a draft free area to rise. Dough should double in volume. About an hour.
- Once dough has risen, punch it down and turn out onto a floured surface. Divide into two equal pieces. Stretch each piece to the length of the loaf pan and roll down pressing the seam shut with the heel of your hand. Cover and place in draft free area for proofing.
- Go ahead and preheat your oven to 475 F about 20 minutes into the rise. When the dough has risen over the loaf pan about an inch it's time to bake. Place in the oven, turn it down to 375 and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Bread is done when turned out and tapped on the bottom it sounds hollow. Allow to fully cool before slicing.