June 3, 2010

"Holly, do you bake bread!?" "I bake bread!"

When I was 10 years old
my mom came up with the brilliant idea for my sister and I to start our own bread baking business.
We called our business "Bread N Butter".
We made white, whole wheat, and banana nut breads.
We spent every Thursday in the kitchen (those were the home-schooling days)
baking dozens of loaves of bread
and, in retrospect, selling them for far too little.
But, hey, we thought we were making a killing at the time,
 people loved our bread,
and I learned the art of baking at a young age.

I am, by no means, a gourmet baker.
I just do simple, "country" baking: a few varieties of breads, rolls, and cinnamon rolls.
However, simple baking has come in very handy in my life.
For example: 
thanks to bread-baking, my college roommates and I never seemed to lack for friendships with the opposite gender and we usually had plenty of dates. 
(I'd like to think that my bread-baking is partially what convinced my husband to marry me....)
Now that I have my own family, 
baking whole wheat bread has been a healthy and CHEAP staple in our hosehold.
I admit that sometimes I get lazy
and buy a loaf of bread.
Then when I find myself hashing out the logistics of how we can cut back on our grocery budget
a little voice inside my head politely suggests, "Maybe you should start baking more bread?" 
So I do, and
Ta da!
Instant money-saver!

I'm not claiming to have the best bread recipe in the world. 
That would sound very conceited.
However, my recipe IS an Oberg recipe.
I'm just sayin'....

WHOLE-lotta-yummy Wheat Bread

4 c. warm water
2 Tbsp yeast
2/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. canola oil
4 tsp salt
1/2 c. gluten flour (makes bread light and fluffy and keeps it from getting crumbly)
6-8 c. whole wheat flour (this will all depend on altitude and humidity, so use as much as you need to make a firm but soft dough)

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl and let sit 5-10 minutes or until yeast foams.
2. Mix in salt, gluten flour, and slowly add wheat flour.  Mix for 5 minutes, adding enough flour until dough is no longer falling and sticking to sides of bowl.  (FYI: Although I use a super-old, super-awesome Kitchen Aid, you don't have to have a mixer to make bread! In college I didn't have a mixer so I used a little hand mixer to add half of the wheat flour, and then I added the rest of the flour in and hand-kneaded the dough.  The bread still came out awesome.)
3. Grease sides of large bowl with dough inside, cover, and let rise for one hour.
4. Knead dough for a few minutes on a floured surface and divide and form into loaves (Makes about 3 medium-sized loaves.)
5. Place loaves in greased bread pans, cover, and let rise for 40 minutes.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until tops and sides of loaves are golden brown.
7. Devour bread with a slab of butter and jam.


Tina said...

I'm going to have to try this recipe! Thanks for posting it! I bake bread, but am never happy with outcome. It's delicious right out of the oven, and on day one, but then the next day it's all dry and heavy...grrr!!! I still haven't mastered it...someday!?

Anonymous said...

Hey girl how could I forget you beautiful!! I am so glad you found me on Adrienne's blog! I loved getting updates on you and your family! I am so trying this bread recipe, I love all your families bread/roll/any food really recipes!!!

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