Monday, February 6, 2012

Wheat Bread

Yes, I have been a little absent lately, but when I show you the photos for our newly remodeled bathroom, you will totally understand!  Remodeling is hard work, and I'm hungry, so time for some fresh bread!  I'm going to attempt my first honey wheat bread recipe.

The Store Brand: La Brea 9 Grain Wheat Bread

My Recipe (adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/simple-whole-wheat-bread/):
1 cup warm water
2 tsp active dry yeast (just about 1 packet)
2 tablespoons honey
1-1/2 cup bread flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and honey. Add white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.


Mix in melted butter and salt. Stir in 1 cup of whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour (continue to add in to avoid sticking). Knead in sunflower seeds as you go.  This may take up to 1 additional cup of whole wheat flour.


Place in a greased bowl and cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
Punch down and place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.  Allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.


Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.


Both breads were delicious.  I think my version was a better sandwich type bread.  It didn't have the nice hard crust that I prefer, but it was very moist and tasty.  The store bread is obviously much smaller, but that's just because I bought a petite loaf so I would be on bread overload this week (I used full size for the cost comparison).

Mine on left, storebought on right.
The cost difference is amazing!  It costs 4x as much to buy the store brand.  And before anyone says, WHO PAYS $5 FOR A LOAF OF BREAD??: I really don't like the preservative laden packaged breads, so I always buy the grocery store baked kind.  It is pricey, but it's SO much better.  And even if you are buying the $1.99 sliced wheat bread, it STILL costs less to make it - and it is wayyyy tastier than that type.

SizeCostCost/Oz
La Brea 9 Grain Wheat Bread18 oz $      4.99  $            0.28
Homemade18 oz $      1.21  $            0.07

So yeah, I had to knead bread for TEN minutes.  But it was totally worth it.  It was SO good.  I think next time I will look for a "crustier" recipe, but I will definitely be baking this again.

Bake or Buy?  BAKE!

6 comments:

  1. I can't BELIEVE how much less it is to make your own. I've been intimidated by bread for so long... this may push me over the edge to try it.

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  2. Whoaaa! never knew it was so much cheaper to make. I've always thought it was cheaper to buy because bread was so easily available in the supermarkets. But yeah! your recipe doesn't seem too intimidating and the proofing doesn't take too long! yay!

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  3. Bernard Clayton's "New Complete Book of Breads" has techniques for kneading bread using a stand mixer or a food processor. I've used the stand mixer version of a couple of his recipes, and they make baking bread ridiculously easy.

    I don't know if your price comparison is fair, though, because I always wind up eating more if it's homemade. :-)

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  4. I made my first homemade rolls the other day. First time around the dough didn't rise so my friend gave me lessons. Oh my goodness... so good. It's an easy recipe, you just have to get the kneading and flour right. I think it's like $1.25 for 16 rolls! It's so much cheaper. I'll have to give the bread a try.

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