I find it interesting to hear how other people began their journeys to live a simpler life, a return to a simpler time. Ours began with a loaf of bread.
When E was about 6 months old, and I unexpectedly found myself as a stay-at-home mom. Up until this point, I wasn’t terribly domestic and prided myself as a career-minded woman (not that you can’t be both, I just wasn’t). With E’s birth, it was as if my eyes were opened to how crooked our lives, priorities and health had become. Here was a blank slate of purity, a perfect little untarnished being. How was I going to raise her to guard the heart and health that was naturally gifted to her?
As I became more conscious of our lifestyle, I began reevaluating everything. Was it necessary? Was it honest? Was it good? One thing that caught me off guard was a loaf of bread. We had made the switch to whole wheat and assumed it was better for us. But in a loaf of traditional store-bought, 100% stone ground whole wheat bread, there is 23 ingredients. Twenty-three!
Do you know how many ingredients are in a basic loaf of homemade bread?
Water (which I don’t think is even included on traditional food labels)
Six. Versus 23 ingredients in a store-bought loaf. Most of which I can’t even pronounce.
So with my nonexistent homemaking skills, I started making our own bread. Which should tell you how easy it is. People are often mistakenly impressed when I mention making bread. This recipe is incredibly simple and pretty hard to mess up – believe me, I’ve tried. So, let me be clear, I am no bread making master but this stuff is darn good. If you want to talk to someone far better at bread-baking than I, check out my friend Mariah and her Year of Bread. That girl can knead.
Basic Bread Recipe
Note: I use my KitchenAid standing mixer but you can also do this by hand, you will just have to knead it on your counter
In the bowl of your mixer, combine 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast (I like Fleishman’s), 1/4 c hot water and 1 tsp sugar. Let sit about 10 minutes or until the mixture foams and doubles in size.
Add in 3 TBSP melted butter (I use coconut butter or another non-dairy spread), 1/4 c hot water and 1/4 c milk (I use almond milk). Give it a quick twirl to mix. Add 1 TBSP sugar and 1 tsp salt. Another quick twirl. Slowly, add in 1 c all purpose flour and 1 1/2 c whole wheat flour, alternating. You may need to adjust the amount of flour depending on the type you use – you will know you have the right ratio when the dough pulls from the sides, around your hook. Mix for a few minutes.
Oil a medium sized bowl and transfer dough. Place somewhere warm (which is anywhere in my house right now) and cover with a kitchen towel to rise for 60 minutes.
At the end of 60 minutes, punch the loaf, roll and place in a greased bread pan. Let rise another 30 minutes.
Let cool, slice and serve with toppings of choice. J’s favorite? Coconut butter and tupelo honey from Urbanna Farm.
This recipe is so wonderfully basic, you can dress it up with raisins and cinnamon for a change.
Six ingredients! Enjoy 🙂