Monday, January 14, 2008

Is There Anything Better Than Homemade Bread?

Bread used to intimadate me. I'd heard so many horror stories about it not rising and I operated under the assumption that if I didn't do it perfectly I'd be left with a tasty baked brick.

Boy was I wrong.

When I started to dive into eating frugally, I threw caution to the wind and decided to try it for myself. I looked for something easy, hopefully with very little kneading because that just totally freaked me out, and came across a no-knead bread recipe that has been a staple in our house for years. I've since become a full blown bread baker and I've lived to be able to tell you that there is nothing to be scared of. In the hundreds of loaves I've made only two have turned out to be bricks...and then I chopped them up and used them in the bottom of a breakfast casserole so no loss there.

And is there anything more yummy than warm, fresh baked bread with butter melting into it?

Peasant Bread

1 package active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons of bulk yeast)
2 cups warm water, divided (not hot, just warm to the touch)
4 cups all purpse flour (I've used half white and half wheat before with good results)
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon of butter melted

Topping : poppy seeds, garlic bread seasoning, parmesan cheese, dehydrated onion, cinnamon and sugar (your choice)

Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, and sugar

Pour in the yeast mixture and remaining 1 cup of warm water. Stir until combined.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. (I usually heat my oven up for 2 minutes making sure I can still touch the sides with my bare hand without burning myself, then turn the oven off)

Stir dough down to release the air. Divide dough in half and place each half in a greased 1 quart round casserole or ovenproof bowl. Brush tops with melted butter and add topping of your choice.

Let rise again in a warm place until doubled. (about 45 minutes) Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Remove from pans to cool on wire rack. Makes 2 loaves.

These freeze really well in a gallon freezer bag and, drumroll please, cost 46 cents per loaf. If you want the printable recipe go here.


jewlsntexas said...

Ooh - I always love new bread recipes!
I make all of our own bread homemade and love it.
But how do you figure out the cost per loaf? Any help with that?
Please share how you got your figure!

Emily said...

I love baking homemade bread. It makes the house smell so good! But it never lasts very long.

Laura has made bagels that looked might tasty. I'm going to try and make my own pita's. I'll let you know how it goes.

love the step by step pictures.

carrie said...

From one bread baker to another, that looks like a great recipe. I also hate kneading and was saved by my kitchen aid. I like the fluffy texture of the one you made.

Anonymous said...

This recipe sounds good! Do you always put it in round pans or could you use a regular loaf pan and slice it? Most of our bread gets used for sandwiches or toast, so we like to slice it. This looks good as a side for with dinners though!


Oh and the bagels were yummy :)(my next adventure is a recipe for english muffins-we'll see how it goes)

carrie said...


I'm so glad to find you via WFMW. We are needing to decrease our food budget as well, and I'm excited to read your ideas. I definitely want to try this bread--thanks!

gracielynn's said...

Love reading all your money saving tips :-)
I have a mess free way to make bread & the kids will Love helping.
simply add the liquids to a gallon size freezer bag & half the flour, close up bag with most of the air taken out. mix by squeezing bag.
add the rest of the flour & continue to mix & knead.
before you know it you have a great loaf of bread waiting to be set aside to raise. a bt of extra flour & a floured hand helps to remove it from the bag. ( I wash my bag & use it a couple more times .
Any bread recipe will work :-)