Homemade Project: Bread

Since Steven and I got so many great kitchen presents for our wedding, I’ve decided to start a new project and try making things at home that we normally buy. I’m most excited to make my own condiments, but I thought I’d start with something I’m a little more familiar with: bread! Plus, apparently yesterday was National Homemade Bread Day, a fact that only public libraries and Yahoo Answers’ more boring cousin seem to be aware of.

Homemade bread is something my mom is famous for, but only on special occasions since it takes a lot of time. But it makes your house smell amazing!! The kneading process is a little more robust than other baked goods I’m used to, which is a nice little work out for your hands and helps to relieve stress and frustration. I would definitely recommend baking bread as a less expensive alternative to therapy! Plus, I knew our house was kind of cold for the dough to rise properly, which is how I discovered the thermostat was mysteriously set to 55! Thanks, homemade bread, for saving me from freezing to death!

Recipe: Mom Ladd’s Secret Honey Wheat!

Exhibit A: Deliciousness

Taste: Homemade bread is definitely softer and fluffier than the store-bought kind! It has a stronger taste, too; you can definitely eat it just fine without any butter or jam. Since it doesn’t have those preservatives, it won’t last as long, but since it tastes so good that’s never been a problem!

Cost: $0! I already had all the ingredients at my house already! The only thing you might not have lying around is whole wheat flour, which does come in small enough packs that you won’t have a lot left over with nothing to use it on. I still had some from Steven’s last bagel experiment. You also need bread pans, which I happen to have because my mom’s got my back!

Time: The dough has to rise twice for about an hour each time, and assembly outside of that is at least half an hour. Half an hour for baking and the two loaves took about three hours all together. Most of that time is waiting for it to rise, though, so you could totally do it while cleaning/watching Gossip Girl. Or both!

Again?: I would definitely do this again! Bread is, of course, super useful for any meal, either by itself or as part of some kind of amazing sandwich. But probably, like my mom, only on special occasions or weekends when I have nothing else going on. I’m going to try to make a commitment to do it more often, because I think my loaf pans are feeling neglected. We’ll see how long that lasts!

The Process:

I don’t know why I’m surprised by how relatively simple this process is; bread is one of the most common, simplest backed goods there is! Start by mixing the dry ingredients, mostly the two kinds of flour:

There's also some yeast and salt in there

Then add the honey and butter!

Getting the honey off the measuring cup is the most annoying part of the whole process

Then, slowly, warm water, with a little pre-kneading scrunching together until it looks like:

I always like to knead on top of a cutting board. When I’m using my rolling pin it helps me keep my desired shape in mind, but it’s also just much easier to clean up.

Consider yourself kneaded

Then you let it rise for one hour! Taking the cloth off the dough to see it has become magically gigantic is my second favorite part of baking!

Before

After!

Then you get to knead some more, put it into loaf pans, and let rise another hour.

Before!

After!

Just a quick 30 minutes in the oven, and you are set!

Okay, so they're also slightly deformed, whatever

Homemade bread was a great success!!! Now I just have to make some homemade jam or something to put on it!

2 responses to “Homemade Project: Bread”

  1. Uncle Bill says:

    Hmm.

    Yeast. Wheat. Warm Water.

    Perhaps Pladd could experiment with these ratios, add some barley, hops and a lot more water to produce slightly carbonated liquid bread.

    Man cannot live on bread alone. He needs beer to wash it down.

  2. mom ladd says:

    Awesome Job Trish! I have been making it myself more often then special occasions. Your dad is most happy.

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