Buying bread can get expensive, especially if you have a taste for those whole wheat loaves. There are bread machines, but those cost a pretty penny as well, and most of then make those square loaves – not so great for sandwiches. A few months ago, we decided to try making our own.
Here’s how you make a loaf of bread in 5-10 minutes of your active time.
3 cups warm water
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 tablespoon salt
6 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
You can use white flour as well, but we’ve found that whole wheat flour makes for richer-tasting bread. Yeast is cheapest in bulk from a place like Costco. Buying it from the grocery store is $$$. We buy our flour in bulk as well ($0.40/pound).
Put the warm water in a mixing bowl. Add the yeast and the salt. No need to stir. Add the flour on top of this, then stir until all the water is absorbed.
We like to use a loaf pan, but you can shape a round or oval loaf if you’d like. I found the loaf pan at IKEA for $2. I like the loaf pan from IKEA because it’s long and skinny like the bread you buy from the store. That way the kid doesn’t get teased at school for having “weird” bread (kids are strange, aren’t they?).
Oil the pan, and then drop the dough into it.
Cover it with a cloth and let it rise for 40 minutes (when I’m feeling lazy, I just let it rise in the oven).
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Uncover the bread, pop it into the oven, and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Voila! You’ve made bread, and you could do something else in the meanwhile.
INITIAL INVESTMENT TIME: However long it takes you to get a loaf pan and go to the grocery store =)
DAILY TIME INVESTMENT: For a family of three, a full loaf lasts us just under a week. It takes 5-10 minutes of your active time, takes 1 hr and 15-20 minutes total to be finished.