Homemade Bread

Well, I don’t know if this is particularly environmentally friendly per se, but it certainly cuts out a transit step (blah blah carbon emissions blah).. pretty much, it’s fun to make your own bread. I like food much better when I see everything that goes into it.


White Bread Recipe
2h30m time commitment: 20 minutes prep, 2 hours waiting.
Shopping list: sugar, active dry yeast, salt, vegetable oil, about 1/2 bag flour.
Stuff you should have: bread pan, big bowl, strong stirring spoon, liquid measure (a pyrex), dry measure (1 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 tablespoon, 1/2 teaspoon), serrated bread knife and cutting board (for eating!)

INGREDIENTS
2 cups warm water
2/3 cup white sugar
1.5 tablespoons active dry yeast
1.5 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups bread flour

DIRECTIONS
Large bowl: dissolve sugar in warm water, then stir in the yeast. The yeast is happiest with a warm environment and food to eat, so don’t boil the poor buggers to death. Wait until the yeast start eating – you can tell when the bowl has a layer of creamy foam.

Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Do not forget the oil like I did. This will require much kneading later and chewier bread.

Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. I like to clean off the countertop and dump a thin layer of flour straight onto it because then I can pretend I have a bakery.

As my mom says, “When the dough looks smooth like a baby’s bottom,” put it in an oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down! I think this gets the air out so you don’t end up with big bubbles in your bread. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9×5 inch loaf pans.
Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans. Preheat your oven when it’s almost risen. On second thought, don’t preheat.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.


This stuff is made with white flour, so it’s pretty much cake with less sugar, but you can modify it with wheat flour and honey, says my mom who made it as a hippie health nut back in her early 20s.

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