Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, grandmothers, aunts, friends who are faux moms, and moms of the furry friends in our lives. Our children are blessed to have you in their lives!
Today’s post is about a wonderful sandwich bread that I’ve been making for a couple of months. In an attempt to save money and eat a more whole foods diet, I started hunting down a recipe for bread. Let me begin by telling you that I am not a bread maker for a couple of reasons. 1: It takes forever! 2: I never found a yeast bread recipe that made bread soft and thin like the bread at the stores. All the bread I had made in the past was heavy and dense. Growing up my mom was lucky enough to be a stay at home mom. She was there after school to pick me up and had a snack waiting for us. She made most of our meals from scratch. I can remember her making bread in a coffee can (back when coffee came in a metal can) and fresh pasta. Like most moms, when she went back to work and my brother and i started having schedules more complicated than some businessmen, we began to eat out more and eat more ‘convenience’ food. It’s tough to work all day, come home and get a healthy nutritious made from scratch dinner on the table, get it cleaned up, kids bathed, homework done, the next day prepped, and into bed before midnight! This is one reason I love my freezer cooking and why I share it with you.
Here’s the recipe that I fell in love with. I found it on Pinterest. This recipe calls for vital wheal gluten. I’ll be honest, I had never heard of this and Googled it upon reading the recipe. The recipe says it’s optional, but I added it and think it makes it a much lighter bread. I live in a small town and was able to find it at the local grocery store in the flour area. Bob’s Red Mills makes some. It’s a little pricey, but the small bag will last you quite some time since you only need a small amount for each batch. It makes 3 small loaves. I recently bought 2 new loaf pans from Amazon that were longer. LOVE them. Using this recipe I made 2 loaves. You’ll want to make sure you freeze your extra loaves and keep the loaf you’re eating in the refrigerator since there aren’t any preservatives. YES, you can freeze bread. I wrap it in plastic wrap, then foil, and freeze it. Take it out and unwrap it to defrost. There are plenty of people who say to never put your bread in the refrigerator, but I do and it seems to work. If you don’t eat a ton of bread, then make the smaller standard loaves that you’ll eat sooner. Enjoy it!
- 3 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
- 1 ½ tablespoons yeast
- ¼ cup sucanat or packed brown sugar
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached white flour, plus 1/2-1 cup more as needed (if dough is too sticky and for dusting the counter)
- 3 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoons salt
- 3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten, optional
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- a cold stick of butter, optional
1. In your kitchen aid mixer bowl, add warm water, yeast, and sugar. Stir until combined and let stand 10 minutes. Should become foamy on top, if the yeast was activated.
2. Meanwhile, in large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, flaxseed, salt, and vital wheat gluten (optional).
3. Add olive oil into the yeast/water mixture. Don’t stir. Then, stir in flour mixture until combined.
4. Using the bread hook, mix dough on a low setting in Kitchen Aid Mixer for about 10 minutes. Add a little more flour if it’s too sticky. Stop and take it off the hook every few minutes to assure it’s mixing well. (I do this about 3-4 times.)
5. Place in large greased bowl. Turn dough ball around in the bowl to get it greased all around. Then cover the bowl with a smooth dishtowel. Set bowl in a warm place and let it rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
6. Punch down the dough in the bowl. Then, divide evenly into three equal parts on a lightly floured surface.
7. Roll out each portion of dough with rolling pin to remove air bubbles. Then, roll up each one into a loaf size and put into a greased pan seam-side down. Spray tops of loaves with baking spray.
8. Cover and let rise again only until it’s doubled, about 30-45 minutes. Note: Do not let it over rise or the bread will deflate when it bakes!
9. Bake loaves on the middle rack at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until top is golden brown.
10. Let loaves completely cool in the pan on a wire rack. Optional: Take a cold stick of butter after it’s done, and run it over the top as soon as it comes out.
11. Then gently turn the loaves out and slice on a cutting board. Tip: Using a bread knife, saw back and forth and don’t press down on bread.