How to Make Easy, Yummy, Homemade Healthy Bread

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How to Make Easy, Yummy, Homemade Healthy Bread

My family and I LOVE fresh, home-cooked bread. I can smell it now, as I write. Literally, though, because I just took two loaves of fresh-baked bread out of my oven! So this post is about how to make easy, yummy, homemade healthy bread.

My fresh-baked bread:

Fresh baked bread

There are 4 ways that I know to make bread:

  1. completely by hand
  2. Stand Mixer to mix and knead
  3. machine-made dough, baked in the oven
  4. completely done in a bread machine

My preferred method is the bread machine & oven combination. It is so easy!

  1. measure the ingredients for 2 loaves of bread into the bread machine,
  2. set on the “dough” setting to let it do the mixing, kneading and rising.
  3. when the dough is ready, divide the dough into two parchment-lined pans,
  4. put it into the oven for an hour to rise the second time,
  5. bake it for 35 minutes.

The whole process takes 3.5 to 4 hours, but there is very little “hands-on” work.

Benefits

The benefits of baking your own bread with help from a machine:

  • saving time and physical energy, compared to making it by hand
  • saving money, compared to store-bought
  • controlling what ingredients go into your food
  • less packaging

The benefits of my bread machine include:

  • fresh bread done for you, once you add ingredients
  • the option to bake bread in the oven, because it turns out with a nicer crust, using the “dough” setting
  • the many different settings, including “quick breads” to make banana bread or coffee cake, etc
  • the jam setting. Yes, you read that right…JAM SETTING!! We make our own jam from fresh fruit, especially the raspberries we grow in our back yard.

Ingredients

Let me talk about ingredients for a moment. There are several benefits to controlling the ingredients in your bread. I really like that my homemade bread is preservative free. My family likes that I can use half white, half whole wheat flour. We make fun bread like cinnamon raisin. Sometimes, we make dark rye bread, with rye flour, cocoa and instant coffee. Another great option is to add nuts or seeds. It’s so fun to experiment. Sometimes we follow a cookbook recipe, sometimes we develop our own recipes.

There is actually science behind making bread. Therefore, it is very important to measure accurately, and to keep the correct ratios of flour, water, butter, salt, sugar and yeast.

We are currently using our 2nd machine, because we wore out our 1st one. When it died, we had to replace it right away!

If you plan to bake your own bread on a regular basis, I also recommend a couple of things that I use.

  1. A good Electric Knife for making nice thin, even slices.
  2. A durable Reusable Bread Storage Bag or Bread Container.

 

Fine Print:

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