In an attempt to cut back wherever possible, I have decided to take on the challenge of making our sandwich and dinner roll bread. If it works, I'll be saving us loads of money! If not, well, at least I can say I tried, and I'd only be out 10 bucks.
I totally forgot to take pictures throughout my first attempt, but here's the result.
They didn't turn out *too* bad; but they definitely did not turn out the way I intended. After talking with a few of my friends (including the one who gave me the recipe), I came to the conclusion that I did not let the bread rise enough. The bread tasted fantastic! But, because they did not rise enough, the loaves were super dense and had a squishy texture in the middle. Not good enough for sandwiches, but they worked out great for snacking! We gobbled up all four loaves in 3 days!
Well, today, I decided to give it another go & I'm glad I did! I still need to keep a better eye on the rising, but I am pleased with the results. And, I remembered to take pictures this time!
First, I pulled out my mixer, put the kneading hook on & gathered up all my ingredients.
|Flour, sugar, yeast, salt, olive oil, warm water|
I put the warm water into the mixer, added the yeast & let it sit for a few minutes.
While that was sitting, I combined the rest of the dry ingredients & mixed them well.
Once the yeast/water was ready, I dumped the dry ingredients into the mixer. When I turned around, I saw the oil! I probably should have tossed that in before the dry ingredients, but I don't think it really mattered.
I put the mixer on "stir" for a minute, then put it up to 2 for 2 minutes. The dough came out perfect!
I decided to only do 2 loaves this time, so I halved the dough.
I took one of the halves & split it again, into the shape of 2 loaves....
...I placed them on a plate lined with parchment paper & when they were frozen, I put them into a ziploc bag & back into the freezer to bake another day.
I placed the other half of the dough into a bowl & then placed it into a warmish oven to rise for about 25 minutes. (I left the oven door open. I was afraid it would start to bake! lol)
I can't believe I didn't take a picture of it, but once the dough had had doubled in size, I shaped it into 2 loaves. I placed each one in a greased (I used Pam) bread pan.....
....then back into the warmish oven for the second rise.
I kept the bread in the warmish oven for 15 minutes. Then, I placed them on top of the oven, to finish raising (is that a word?) while the oven pre-heated.
Here's what they looked like just before going in the oven. Looks good, so far!
I baked them for 20 mins & put them on the counter to cool. Here's what they look like from the side....
Pretty good, right?! The one on the left was a bit too short & was more dense than I wanted. But, it was way better than before! The loaf on the right was more of what I was looking for. I think I needed them to rise a bit longer, but all in all, they turned out great! I'm looking forward to getting this right & making this work. The bread is super tasty & will be great for sandwiches & rolls!
Here's the recipe I used. It makes 4 loaves. OH! Make note that the original recipe calls for INSTANT yeast. I bought DRY ACTIVE yeast & that's why I had to do the double rise. If you use the instant yeast, follow the directions below. If you use the dry active yeast, then you'll need to do what I did, and have the dough rise twice. Once in the bowl & then again in the loaf pans.
Ingredients: 10 1/2 cups white unbleached bread flour (a 25lb bag of flour is only 7 bucks at Costco! That's the same price as 2 loaves of bread! What a savings!)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp salt
3 rounded tbsp Instant Yeast (This also can be purchased at Costco. It was $5, and will last quite a while)
3 tbsp liquid lecithin* (veg. or olive oil ok to use. I used olive oil.)
4 cups warm tap water
Instructions: Mix dry ingredients. Add lecithin/oil and water. Mix for 1 minute and check consistency. If dough is too dry, add more water. If dough is too moist, add more flour. Mix for 5 minutes. If you have a Kitchenaid mixer, you'll only need to mix for 2 minutes. (Do not add water or flour to the dough after it has finished mixing.)
To cook now- Spray counter and pans with Pam. Shape loaves and cover with a dish towel. Let raise 25 minutes, or until dough has doubled in size. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
To freeze- form the bread into the shape that you will be cooking it in (rolls, bread-sticks, or a loaf) and put in freezer on a cookie sheet until stiff. Take off of the cookie sheet and place in a labeled freezer bag. Leave rolls out approximately 3 hours before cooking and bread about 4. Add toppings (cheese or spices) to the bread-sticks just before baking.
***For wheat bread: Use 3 cups water and 1 cup applesauce. I also exchange my white sugar for brown sugar and add some honey for honey wheat. I tend to allow my wheat bread far more rise time in an effort to keep it from being too dense.
I have no idea the actual cost of each loaf, but I'm guessing it's just over a buck. NICE! Not only will we have great tasting bread, but it will be made with only real ingredients, and will be saving us money. I think I hit the jackpot with this one! =D