Many many years ago, I was recovering from a traumatic event, and holed up at home. I decided to join a Ladies Morning Out group at our church, and while a lot of it focused on family and kids – an amazing woman named Amber -led a few mini cooking sessions. We learned to make everything from pie crust to ice-cream cake. I was hooked. I became her groupie. And when she taught us how to bake bread, a new world opened up to me.
There is no reason to be scared of yeast. You must give it something sweet to make it grow like crazy, and not kill it with hot water. I use warm tap water, and some sugar or honey, let it proof, and then add in my bread ingredients. The white flour comes last, as it depends how much you need. I combine everything in my mixer, then dump it on the counter and knead until smooth and elastic.
And this loaf is accidentally vegan as well. So everyone can enjoy!
Grease a bowl, and let it rise for an hour. Then punch it down, knead some more and put in loaf pans for final rise. I like letting it rise in my oven with a dish of steaming hot water for moisture. My oven is dirty, I know. The cleaning fairies are on vacation.
Finally, bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Let it rest, pull it out of the pan, and let cool.
Another thing Amber taught me, was that an electric knife does wonders with fresh bread. That knife has come is some handy over the years, a worthwhile purchase for sure.
We always eat one loaf while warm, spread with butter (and homemade jam).
This recipe is adapted from Amber’s ‘Everyday Bread’ recipe. I make 3 loaves at a time.Or 2 loaves and one set of buns if I am making soup. One loaf gets sliced and popped in the freezer right away, perfect for toast.
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 TB yeast
- 1 tsp of sugar
Stir and let proof until bubbles appear.
- 1 cup of red river cereal (or oats)
- 1 cup of whole wheat flour
- 2 1/4 cups warm water
- 1 TB salt
- 1/3 cup of veggie oil (I use canola)
- 1/3 cup of brown sugar
- approx. 5 cups of white flour plus extra for kneading
Add everything except white flour to the yeast mixture. I stir with a rubber spatula until good and mixed. Now put on your dough hook, and add in the flour until it forms a ball and pulls away from the side of the bowl.
Dump on to a counter, knead for up to 10 minutes. First rise is an hour, second rise in loaf pans another hour, then bake for 30 minutes (less for buns).
And I promise, everyone who comes in your house will profess their love for you. The smell of fresh baked bread does that…
This recipe is dedicated to Amber, who taught me so much, and put up with so many questions… XXXOOO