Basic Bread Making

Welcome to a weekly series where we are going to help you learn skills, tips, and trick to help you on your journey of homesteading. Many places post list of things you should/could do as far as homesteading skill, but I feel lists are at times overwhelming and can make people give up before they even start. So every Tuesday I am going to share one thing for you to try or consider. I hope you join us every Tuesday and I would love to hear about your adventures with each weeks topic.

This week I thought we would start off with a simple topic, that anyone can do, but some people are afraid to try….. Making your own bread. Making your own bread is one of the first, shall I say, gateway skills into being more self sufficient. Believe it or not it, is easy to do and the rewards? Well your house smells yummy and your tummy will be full of homestead goodness!!!

There are many types of bread in this big old world (and I do have a few different recipes on my blog) but I am going to start you off with something simple… a plain old loaf of white bread (or wheat if you wish.) It is quick and simple and even the oldest country kid (a 7 year old boy) can pull this one off, so lets get started.

 

Freshly milled wheat flour

Ingredient

2 packets of yeast (dry active)
3 1/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar (we use cane because beet sugar is GMO)
1 Tablespoon salt
3 Tablespoon Shortening (we use lard)

10 cups of flour (we mill our own but use what you like)
(This makes 2 loaves)

 

In a bowl dissolve the sugar into the warm water. This is what is going to “feed” your yeast. When the sugar is dissolved add in your yeast, gently mixing it in. You want the yeast to eat and grow thus rising your bread, so be nice to it! Let that sit a few minutes so the yeast can get going.

Next add in your salt, shortening and flour. Add the flour in a few cups at a time so you don’t end up with a big old mess. Once everything is combined in the bowl, the fun starts. It is time to kneed that dough (which is both a workout and stress reliever!) Divide the dough into two balls and kneed each until they become elastic (not sticky) but don’t over do it or your breed will be tough.

Shape them back into balls and leave them in a warm place to rise for an hour. Kids love this next step, which is punching down the dough. You just punch it with your fist and it deflates! Now at this point you can either let it rise again (some times I do if I have time because I think it makes it just that much better) or you can roll each ball out into a rectangle with your rolling pin or anything else you might have around that is long and round. I have been know to grab a can of cooking spray and use it when I can’t find my rolling pin!

I grease my bread pans and dust with a little flour to get them ready. One you roll up the dough so it is a long log, you tuck the ends under so it fits in the pan. Plop them in the pans and put them some where warm to rise an hour. Now it is time to bake them up at 425 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes.

Trust me, once you master this bread, which shouldn’t take long, your curiosity will take over and you will want to try other recipes. Making bread is the simplest way to start doing more for yourself and your family. So enjoy and I hope to see you back next week for another Homestead Tips on Tuesday.

Bread bowls for soup made from this recipe,
just divided into smaller balls and baked on
a cookie sheet.

 

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55 thoughts on “Basic Bread Making

    1. It will work, I promise… make sure your yeast is fresh, new…. if your sugar and yeast don't bubble then your yeast is dead. Dead yeast means no rise. I have never used a bread machine myself, but if your yeast is alive you shouldn't have a problem.

  1. Oh I love homemade bread! I have just started experimenting with sourdough…and it has a big learning curve as I am finding out but the bread is so good. Can't wait to keep up with the rest of this series.

  2. I have been making all my families bread for over a year now. We used to have to rush to the store to buy bread because school or work was starting and it was blowing my budget and I wanted to stop feeding my family all those chemicals. I started and then found the bread that my family likes and I make is every week. I also started making my own rolls/buns which I love even more and make ahead to freeze. I was afraid of yeast and I use the bread machine which I thought made it easier but now I can make it from scratch too. I also moved to buying yeast in bulk because I was going through a jar a month. There is nothing better then the smell of bread going through your house!!! I might have to try out your recipe soon πŸ™‚

    1. Alison, can you share any tips for affordability? I love the control over ingredients making bread gives me, but sadly I can buy a loaf at the store for $0.89, and I haven't been able to touch that from scratch. Since you make all the bread you use, are you buying bulk ingredients other than yeast, like your flour? I'm considering buying bulk flour & sugar.

    2. Jen, if you have a grain mill you can buy wheat in bulk and make your own flour. While it may cost a little more to make your own bread, you hit the nail on the head….. you can control what goes into it.

    3. Jen, I have started buying most of my baking products in bulk. Grinding my own wheat is a step too far for me but I am buying flour in 50lb bags and storing in large food grade tubs. I am shopping at Winco for my bulk supplies at the moment as the budget is stupidly tight, while this does not necessarily meet my long term wish for non GMO/organic, we are surviving and eating well. A tip if you want to go the bulk shopping route, as the food grade tubs and the special screw lids are a tad on the expensive side (but are one off purchases) is decide on one product a month to buy in proper bulk, continue buying the others from the bulk aisle but in regular quantities this will help you gradually re-plan your budget.

  3. This looks delicious. I love fresh bread but I always seem to end up making some sort of flavored sweet bread. There's just something soothing about the smell of bread baking. That soup looks great too. Thanks for sharing your recipe at Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party.
    Angel

    1. Maybe you're falling for recipes for "quick bread"? Quick bread is almost like cake, coffee cake & banana bread & friendship bread are all quick breads. If the recipe doesn't require kneading, its probably a quick bread, which relies on baking soda or other leavening (not yeast). Another trick may be to look for yeast breads (or just use this recipe LOL)

  4. Thanks for the recipe. I just made bread today for the first time (not in my bread machine) and realized partway through the process that it had to rise twice. Living is learning. Fortunately it worked out, although I left it in the oven for a bit too long. Everyone at the dinner table really enjoyed it. Stopping by to say hi from the hop.
    Cheers,
    Char
    http://1epicmom.com

  5. Hi! I would love to make some homemade bread! My hubby makes some killer hot rolls, which could be easily made into loaves, as well. I wanted to tell you all one thing he does. If he's going to put the yeast and water into a metal or glass bowl, he runs hot water in the bowl first, just to get it warmed up, because they hold on to the cold so much that it can make your water temp go down pretty quickly. Before he figured out to do this, his yeast would sometimes not bloom correctly. I hope that helps anyone who has trouble with that part. πŸ™‚

  6. I can't wait to try your bread recipe. I have just found out I am allergic to a lot of additives in foods, so things are changing in our home. I have a sourdough starter that an 84 year young friend gave me in 2009. I don't have a clue how old it is. Haven't killed it yet. It even survived a move. We sold tons at the local farmer's market. I have been looking for a good recipe for sandwich slices. The sourdough is a little soft and sweet for a sandwich, but a lot of folks love it. Have a great day,Linda.

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