Everyday Bread

A slice of homemade bread with burgers from scratch and spinach salad

Today’s recipe is adapted from the great book “Make the Bread, Buy the Butter” by Jennifer Reese (Amazon affiliate link). We have made three batches of it so far during our 30-Day Whole Foods Thrifty Challenge and it never goes to waste.  It’s quite tasty!

    • 1 1/4 teaspoons of instant yeast
    • 3 1/2 cups of warm water
    • 5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
    • 4 teaspoons salt (kosher preferred)

1.  Grease the inside of two 9 x 5-inch metal pans (I use an organic olive oil spray).

2.  In a large bowl, mix the yeast, water, flours, and salt.  Divide in half and place into the pans.  Drape with a clean, damp dish towel and let rise until the dough is level with the tops of the pans (this could take as little as two or as long as four hours).   TIP:  For the damp towel, I use a spray bottle filled with water.  I drape the bread, tuck the towel under the bottom of the pans, and squirt the surface of the towel over the bread until it’s damp.  Depending on your kitchen, it could dry out during the time the dough rises, so check and see if it needs another squirt.

3.  When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

4.  Bake loaves for 30 minutes.

5.  Take the bread out of the pans and pop them back in the oven for another 15 minutes.  The bread is done when it’s a lovely golden brown color and has a hollow sound when you tap it.

Don’t miss my interview with Jennifer Reese, the author of “Make the Bread, Buy the Butter.”



Read ALL the 30-Day Whole Foods Thrifty Challenge posts.

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8 Responses to Everyday Bread

  1. Mike January 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    I have tried the recipe from Reese’s book twice, both times resulting in very dense, hard loaves. First time I just used all WW flour, so I may have deserved it. But second time I used a little more WW than called for. Next time I’ll try using a little more yeast (like you say 1.25 tsp instead of the 1 she suggests), and WARM water. I was using tap water that I tried to guess was “room temperature” like Reese’s recipe calls for. Dense is good, but I’m still hopeful to get a little more fluffy and delicious!

  2. Lisa Johnson January 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    Hi Mike, yes, I used warm water and as an added trick, I put the yeast into the water and let it sit for a while while I was putting the other ingredients together. That seems to get the most air into the batch. Also, the rise time isn’t as important as “level with the rim” so that’s what you want to shoot for.

    That said, it’s still a dense bread, which is filling on our 30 day challenge. :-)

  3. Dianne Menacher February 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Is there a gluten free versions?

  4. Karen February 25, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    @Dianne just made it using Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour and White Rice Flour. You have to add more water until the dough is a little souper than “normal” bread but it worked and was delish!! Definitely worth a try!

  5. Teresa February 25, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    Make sure you’re using INSTANT yeast, not active dry.

  6. Lisa February 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    Teresa thanks for the tip, yes I was using Instant. :) L–

  7. A different Lisa March 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    The type of yeast doesn’t matter. As Lisa said, the bread just has to have risen enough before you put it in the oven, so don’t go by time, go by the dough. Temperature, humidity, etc., all affect the dough.

  8. Lisa March 13, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    Thanks Lisa well put … L–

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