I started making our daily bread a few months ago, I can be a bit of a control freak when it comes to the food my kids eat – especially my older son. It can be difficult to find foods safe for his multiple allergies, so I make most things from scratch. I have made bread in the past, but usually as a special occasion. I enjoy the process, but it was long, involved and required me to plan my day around bread making. A daily sandwich bread was one of the few things I bought ready-made, however it was difficult to find a bread without HFCS that was not made in a facility with tree nuts, peanuts, eggs (and our newest addition to the allergy list) dairy. Our local grocer carried one brand of wheat bread safe for my son, but at $5 a loaf I knew I could do better.
Not only is this bread easy, but it really is delightful to walk into a kitchen smelling of warm bread – so much more satisfying than opening a plastic sleeve 🙂 An unexpected positive was that we now make smaller sandwiches . The bread we had been buying had huge slices about 4″tall and 6″ wide, my pans are smaller resulting in a more reasonably sized slice.
I started with the basic white bread recipe in my Kitchenaid manual. Up until now it had been stuffed in a drawer with all of the other appliance manuals I never look at,. What me me check I have no idea, but I am glad it did because the recipe is simple, quick and I have been able to adjust it to our tastes very easily. This recipe calls for a cold rise, you knead the dough in the kitchenaid, let it rest for 20 minutes, form it into a loaf and then set it in the fridge for 2-12 hours to rise. All, I need is a 1/2 hour and then I can pop the uncooked loaves in the fridge until I am ready to bake, easy-peasy!
The original recipe called for all-purpose flour, sugar and butter; I replaced them with a mix of all-purpose wheat and bread flour, honey and coconut oil.
Here are the ingredients:
3.5 cups Bread Flour
2-4 cups All-Purpose Wheat Flour
3.5 tsp salt
3 packets or 2 tablespoons + 3/4 teaspoon Active Rise Yeast
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups very warm water (between 120 and 130 degrees)
Add the bread flour and 2.5 cups of the all-purpose flour, salt and yeast to your mixing bowl. Mix on a low speed until combined.
Add the honey to your melted coconut oil. It help to dip the measuring spoon in the oil before measuring out the honey. Rather than waiting around as your honey slowly drips off the spoon, it will slide off of the oil coated spoon with ease.
Add the honey and oil mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing at a slow speed.
Mix at a slow speed and then, very slowly, add the hot water.
Continue to mix at a low speed until the dough forms into a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If you need to add additional flour, do so 1/2 cup at a time. I rarely have to add anymore flour to the mix. Knead with the dough hook for about 3-4 minutes.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel, then let it rest for 20 minutes. The dough will rise slightly.
Divide the dough into two balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each half into a rectangle shape.
Roll up each rectangle, as you would a jelly roll. Tuck under the ends and place seam side down into a prepared bread pan.
Lightly brush the tops with the oil of your choice (I use coconut), cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rise for 2-12 hours.
Remove the uncooked loaves from the fridge and let rest for 10 minutes before cooking. I turn the oven on to 400 as soon as I take the loaves out, it takes just about 10 minutes for it to pre-heat.
Bake at 400 for 35-40 minutes and transfer immediately to wire racks to cool.
A word of caution:
You may not want to leave the cooling bread within reach of a 4 year old as you go to nurse a baby ….or you may end up with the perfect loaf of bread for making croutons.
At first, I thought the damage was minimal, but his little fingers tunneled to both ends! Ah well, the croutons were a nice treat 🙂