There is nothing like a good loaf of homemade bread! In fact, the experience of biting into a warm slice of this fresh-baked goodness will ruin store-bought bread forever! Making bread is somewhat of a family tradition. My grandma, my mother, and my mother-in-law (The originator of the basic outline for the recipe here) all make their own bread. We all do it a little differently, but the end product is the same: delicious and nutritious bread!
People often ask, “How do you have the time?” Truth be told, it is not as time-consuming as people think and the effort required is so worth it. I like to experiment with different breads, but this is the go-to recipe which many of my other creations are based off of.
This recipe makes 4 loaves. It takes my husband and I awhile to go through that much on our own, but why make just one loaf when you can, with the same amount of effort, make four? I like to keep one out for us, give one away, and put the other two in the freezer.
Mix the following in a measuring cup or small bowl:
1/2 C. Warm Water
1 Tbsp. Yeast
1 Tbsp. Sugar
Allow to sit while you continue on with the recipe. Combine the following in a large bowl or mixer: (I use a Bosch mixer and love it!)
4 C. Warm Water
1 Tbsp. Sea Salt
1/2 C. Oil (I like to use Safflower Oil, but Vegetable Oil or even Olive Oil will be fine.)
1/2 C. Molasses or other sweetener
2 C. Quick Oats
4 C. Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbsp. Flax Seed – Freshly Ground
2 Tbsp. Gluten Flour
1/4 C. Soy Flour
Add and Mix Together:
Proofed Yeast Mixture
4 C. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
Add to the mixer or knead in about 4 more cups of flour, 1 or 2 cups at a time. (Note: If you are not using a mixer, you will likely use less flour) I usually use equal amounts of whole wheat and all-purpose. If using a mixer, the dough will no longer stick to the sides when it has enough flour.
Before you begin to knead the dough into loaves, fill a small saucepan with water and bring it to a boil on the stove. Dump your dough out onto a floured or oiled surface. (I like to spray the counter with some non-stick spray, it works really well and isn’t as messy!) Divide into 4 equal pieces and form into loaves. After the loaves are formed, roll them over some oats, place them in bread pans, and put them in the oven. (Note: The oven is NOT on yet!) Put the pan of boiling water on the bottom of your oven. The steam will help your bread rise more quickly. Set the timer for 30 minutes and go do something else, like write a new post for your blog!
After about 30 minutes, remove the bread from the oven and allow it to continue to rise while the oven heats up to 400 degrees. Once the oven reaches 400, the bread should be ready to go in. Bake for 25-30 minutes. When the bread is baked through, it should sound hollow when you tap on the bottom and the sides should not be squishy! Transfer the bread onto cooling racks. Allow to cool before slicing and enjoy!