I love how quiet everything seems. The sounds of the world fade away as I listen to the snow fall. I have always loved the snow. It seems like such a pure thing. So fresh and white.
My wonderful, hardworking, big-hearted husband is out plowing.
It’s the only thing I don’t like about the snow. When it snows, he goes.
I always like to make something he would enjoy for dinner, on nights I know he’ll be working late. But more than that, I want him to know how much I appreciate everything he does to let me be a stay at home mom.
So, a fresh loaf of homemade bread it is.
I tried for YEARS to make bread. I can’t even count how many loaves have failed and gone into the trash. (UGH, I hate to think about it)
But one day, it just clicked.
I think I was just determined.
We have tried to cut costs in every way possible. So I’ve been making a lot more from scratch. Actually, almost everything now is from scratch. Tortillas, broth, soups, desserts, rolls, cinnamon rolls, breads.
It’s been a great learning experience, and a very accomplishing feeling. I know that I’m making most of my families food, and that brings great pride to my heart.
The number one way I save money is buying in bulk.
We thankfully have a store close by that sells bulk baking goods for a reasonable price. A few baking goods I buy in bulk:
King Arthur ‘Sir Galahad’ Flour
Whole Wheat Flour
Spices (That I haven’t grown myself)
Just to name a few.
I have saved SO MUCH money buying in bulk. Plus, I can buy quality ingredients (like King Arthur brand items) for a bargain when I buy a large quantity.
When I buy in bulk, my bread ends up costing me a big whopping…wait for it…
For homemade, no extra fillers, whole wheat bread.
When I was buying bread, I would spend anywhere from $2.75 to $4 for bread. I always bought Aunt Millie’s or some artisan brand.
We love bread in my house and go through about a loaf a week.
52 weeks x $3.25(avg bread cost)= $169 a year in bread
52 weeks x .50= $26
That’s a pretty significant cost difference for our family.
So, homemade bread it is.
It really isn’t as daunting as it seems. I spend about 30 minutes making a recipe, and the rest of the time is just letting it do its thing. (Resting, rising, baking)
Here is my easy Whole Wheat Bread Recipe:
YIELD: 2 LOAVES
-4 cups King Arthur Sir Galahad Flour
-3-4 cups Whole Wheat Flour (start off with 3…add if your dough is too sticky)
-4 1/2 tsp of Dry Active Yeast
-1 TBLS Salt
-1 1/2 cups 2% (or whole) Milk
-1 1/2 cups of Water
-1/4 cup plus 2 TBLS Butter
-1/4 cup Honey
Combine 4 cups of King Arthur Flour with yeast and salt. Set aside.
In a small sauce pan combine milk, water, butter, and honey. Warm mixture until the temperature is between 120 to 130 degrees.
Stir flour mixture and milk mixture together in stand mixer.
Beat until smooth (about 3 minutes)
Add the remaining whole wheat flour (starting with 3 cups), and using a dough hook, incorporate in.
******SIDE NOTE: Just to give you a heads up, I almost always add 4 cups of the whole wheat dough.*****
Turn dough out onto a floured surface.
LET REST FOR AT LEAST 10 MINUTES BEFORE KNEADING. (This is important!!!!!!!!)
Knead dough 4-5 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic.
Place dough back into your bowl, cover with saran wrap, and set in a warm place to rise.
NOTE ON RISING: I feel like this is ALWAYS where I would fail. My dough would never rise, so I would get frusterated and just bake it as is… and I would end up with a hockey puck.
I have a fireplace now, and my “no-fail” way is to set my bowl right in front of the fireplace.
When recipes tell you to “let rise in a warm place” they never mention that “warm” is around 85 degrees! Who keeps their houses at 85 degrees?!
Girl, you must be trippin!
If you DON’T have a fireplace, here’s my trick: Set your oven to 200 degrees. Only DON’T let it get that hot. After your oven has pre-heated for 3 minutes, turn it off and pop in your covered bread to rise.
Let bread rise around an hour, or until the bread has doubled.
Divide bread into 2 sections, and place into your bread pans.
Let bread rise again in pans for another 30-45 minutes.
Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes.
And that’s it!
If you need any help with the kneading I watched this YouTube tutorial about a zillion times.
(The key: Don’t use your fingers…use your palms with light pressure)