I read a meme the other day that said, “instead of counting calories, we need to count chemicals.” This statement is so right on. I can remember the time I was like a robot, going to the grocery store, mindlessly tossing the same things in to my cart week after week. Its easier that way right? Im sure we have all been there, or maybe your still there. As long as we are taking small steps to making healthier choices, we are on the right track.
We are not gluten free, although in the back of my mind, I know it would be a step in the right direction. I did however make the switch several months back to buying only organic bread. Yes, this was a good switch, but with a family of 6, and 4.99 per loaf, it was getting a little steep. I did some quick math in my head and came to the conclusion that I could make it for half that, and it tastes way better!
I checked out a couple popular brands of bread. Boy, the packaging make it look healthy. Slapped on the front of the package was “100% whole wheat,” “no artificial preservatives,” and “no high fructose corn syrup.” These are all great, but when taking a closer look at the label, its what they didn’t mention that was the issue. I saw soy and corn, (which are likely GMO) dough conditioners like azodicarbonamide, which is found in yoga mats…….yeah. Why do we need this in our bread? Do we really want our families eating these things?
All that brings us to this wonderful loaf of bread, made with just a handful of ingredients.You may think you don’t have time to make this, but it doesn’t require much hands on time! I went through lots of different combos for this bread, but this recipe was the winner, with a unanimous vote from my crew!
So if your still buying popular brands of bread from the store, I challenge you to flip it over and check out whats in it. You may be surprised whats in your bread making you feel bloated and tired. Then give homemade a try, you may be amazed how easy it is!
Classic Sandwich Bread
- 2 Tsp yeast in 1/4 cup warm water (add tsp sugar to activate)
- 2 1/2 tsp pink salt or sea salt
- 1/4 cup sugar + 1 tsp (could also use 1/4 cup + 1 tsp honey)
- 1 cup sour milk slightly warm (for sour milk add tsp white vinegar to milk)
- 2 cups warm water
- 4 tbsp real butter (soft)
- 6-7 cups of unbleached flourI use this flour and more for dusting
- In a large mixing bowl mix 1/4 cup warm water, tsp sugar, and 2 tsp of yeast
- Allow this to activate for about 5 minutes.
- Warm milk and butter slightly in a saucepan turn off heat, and add a tsp of white vinegar (make sure milk isn’t hot, just warm)
- Whisk in milk, sugar, and additional warm water, and salt in with yeast mixture.
- 1 cup at a time, add flour. Mix until fully incorporated and there is no dry flour.
- Cover with press-n-seal or dish towel. Set aside in a warm spot in your kitchen to rise. It will rise to the top of the bowl and get little bubbles on top. The amount of time it takes to rise will vary on the temperature of your kitchen.
- After it is risen, you can place in the refrigerator until your ready to bake. If I have time I like to do this, it makes the dough easier to work with.
- Lightly grease 2 loaf pans.I use these loaf pans I like to brush pans with refined coconut oil.
- On a clean counter top, sprinkle a generous amount of flour. Place all dough on counter and sprinkle more flour on top.
- Knead dough by pressing the dough forward with the heels of your hand, the fold the fold the furthest edge of the dough back toward yourself. Rotate the dough and repeat for about 5 minutes. Add more flour as needed during the kneading to achieve a smooth slightly tacky dough.
- Cut the dough in even halves.
- Flatten dough out with your hand to an oval shape. Roll dough into a log shape (this helps to achieve a smooth even loaf) and place in loaf pan. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
- Pre-heat oven to 400
- Let rise until bread is just to the top of the loaf pans, or slightly under.
- When bread has risen, bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown.
- When you pull bread out, with a pastry brush, brush with butter.get a pastry brush here
*You can use a mixed with a paddle attachment. I have a great mixer, but usually mix up by hand.
*Bread comes out of pans easier when you allow it to cool first.
*You can add ground oats, nuts, flax, seeds, etc…. to this loaf. You can also bush with egg white wash before baking, and sprinkle with oats to make it look pretty.
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