Oh my, it has been quite a while since I've posted anything! It was a crazy Summer and things aren't slowing down as we get into Fall. We moved into our first house, I got transferred to a new virtual school and have been working very hard getting students settled into the school year, and of course we are preparing for baby number two who is due in less than a week!
One of the things my husband and I wanted to start doing once we were in our own place was to regularly bake our own bread. I came across a recipe online for "Depression Era Homemade Bread," and it was just the type of thing I was looking for; simple, plentiful, and cheap! The original recipe is nothing but all purpose flour, salt, yeast, and water. My version is "Recession Era Bread" as I adjusted it to make a whole wheat version and added in a stick of butter. This makes it a little more expensive, but I like the increased health factor of the whole wheat flour, and a little butter makes everything better!
This recipe makes 6 loaves of bread and of course if you use a whole bag of each kind of flour rather than just half, you can make 12 loaves in one day; though you will need to do it in two separate batches unless you have a VERY big mixing bowl! Bread freezes very well, so just keep one or two loaves out on the counter in a plastic bag and store the rest in the freezer for later. This is a great tip for saving money on store bought bread as well. I remember going on trips to the "day old bread store" with my mom to load up on bread at low prices and sticking most of it in the freezer when we got home. Its so easy I've never understood why grocery stores have a problem with day old bread anyway.
I've only encountered one big dilemma with this recipe: Homemade bread tastes so much better on its own than store bought, we have tendency to go through it faster! Thankfully our picky four year old loves the bread and the transition from store bought to homemade was pretty painless. In fact when he asks for sandwich he usually asks for, "A peanut butter and honey sandwich on homemade bread please!"
Whole Wheat Recession Era Bread
2.5 lbs (1/2 bag) all purpose flour
2.5 lbs (1/2 bag) whole wheat flour
3 pkgs yeast ( 6 3/4 teaspoons)
2 Tbsps salt
1 stick melted butter
6 cups warm water
1. Dump flour and salt into a large bowl and mix together. Make a well in the flour and pour the yeast in. Pour the melted butter and warm water into the well and mix the dough.. I like to just dig in and mix it with my hands.
2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead. Place dough in an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled in size.
3. Punch down dough and divide into 6 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.