Monday, January 9, 2012

Homemade Bread

    So one of my goals for this year (and for years to follow) is to start making healthier choices for our family. Not just in food choices, although that will be the biggest change, but in our everyday life. I don't want to jump into it thinking that I can switch everything overnight; I am aware this will be a long, slow process. The first thing I decided to do was make our own sandwich bread and buy natural peanut butter.  My kids eat a slice of bread with peanut butter pretty much every single day for lunch, so I thought this small change could make a big impact on their nutrition.
    Buying natural peanut butter was a piece of cake... I went to the grocery store and found one with flax seed and wheat germ added for extra nutrition. The bread on the other hand is a much bigger commitment. I know I will have to set aside time to make it and that can be difficult for me, but I am determined to do it. I found a recipe that I LOVE and it makes three loaves at a time so I will only have to make it once a week (maybe every week and a half) which isn't too bad. I found it on and you can click here if you want it.
    I started it at night and then let it sit in the fridge overnight before letting it rise (a second time) and then baking.

Apparently making bread is really funny
    I'm really excited to have a reason to use my stand mixer on a regular basis for something healthy, and not just treats. It was so nice to turn it on and let it kneed the bread for me. Such a time saver, and you can clean up while it's going. After that process, I let it rise in the bowl and then punched it down before breaking it into three parts for the loaves.

     Funny story: I had never made a bread that you actually had to go through the whole rise, punch down, rise again process. So when I went to punch it down i was quite surprised by the way it just deflated like a popped balloon. I think I even gasped... wish Derek would have caught that moment on camera.
    The next day I took out two loaves (I froze the third one to use later in the week) and let them rise. Our house is not very well insulated and is pretty chilly during the winter, so I set them on top of the radiator to get them to rise a little quicker.

    Once it was done rising I just put it in the oven for 25 min. and wa-lah!!

Fresh bread!
    Just add some melted butter to the top so the crust doesn't get hard

    And then let it cool completely before slicing (I slice mine as needed)

Tastes way better than the store bought stuff!
    My kids love it and I feel good about giving them a meal with no additives or high fructose corn syrup. Plus, making it yourself saves money and teaches your children that food starts with single ingredients, and it doesn't just magically show up in a package at the store.

    This recipe would make fantastic rolls as well... enjoy! And I would love to hear from any of you who decide to try it. Let me know what you think in the comment section.

   The next thing I plan to try is homemade butter to go with the rolls... yum!


  1. You've inspired me! I got a stand mixer for Christmas and I think the only non-treat I've made with it is mashed potatoes and corn bread. I thought about making bread, but I was scared to do it. I'm going to give it a go once we're low on bread (it was on sale yesterday, so I have a loaf in the freezer and in the pantry). Can't wait to try it! Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. I absolutely adore you and your family Mandy! I will be investing in a stand mixer because mixing butter cream frosting by hand is NOT fun! LOL!

  3. Mandy, I wish we lived closer! You are such an inspiration. Hilarious thing is, I use also, and the recipe you suggested is actually the one I have on my phone to try! I am so excited. I came home from the grocery store with whole wheat flour and bread flour, and I am thrilled to put my Kitchen-Aid mixer to good use! Likewise, Jesse and I value healthy foods and we do our best to stay away from high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and any other additives. Cooking with fresh ingredients is something I love to do! I will let you know how bread-making goes! Thank you!