March 24, 2011

Baking Bread Isn't Time Consuming

Wheat Bread and Rye Bread
Yesterday I baked 3 loaves of wheat bread and 2 loaves of rye bread.  Lately I have been able to purchase good quality bread, such as Nature Pride Multi Grain bread on sale for $2.00 to $2.50 for a 24 oz. loaf.  It has a lot of fiber in it, and I use it as my back up for when I don't have time to bake my own bread.

In the midst of all of my projects, I succumbed to store bought bread.  Yesterday I decided that I really wanted to bake up some bread and I wanted to figure out how long the hands on part of bread making took me.  Well, it really wasn't a big deal.  I have a Kitchen Aid mixer that does the mixing for me.  Then when I had to knead the dough it took 5 minutes for the wheat bread and 8 minutes for the rye bread.  The bread dough went in a greased bowl to rise until double.  Great - I finished laundry and did some pick up and started to work on my livingroom on the walls.  When the bread dough had doubled, I punched it down, divided it into three loaves and then let those rise til double.  Back I went to working in my living room.  When the loaves had risen, I baked them. 

This was the process for both types of bread.  The actual hands on time was 15 minutes for mixing and kneading, 5 minutes for forming the loaves.  So on a bad day it only takes about 20 to 25 minutes for hands on time in baking bread from scratch.     

Cuban Bread using Amy Dacyczyn's recipe

Today I baked two loaves of Cuban bread, one for us and one for a friend.  Again, it took a relatively small amount of hands on time to produce two loaves of crusty Cuban Bread.  While I was mixing and kneading the bread dough I watched something I had taped from the History channel. 

Now I have homemade loaves of bread stored in my freezer ready to be eaten.  When I freeze loaves of wheat bread, I cut the loaves in half so I don't need to take an entire loaf out of the freezer at a time.  That is why the picture shows loaves wrapped in plastic wrap.  Then I double wrap all of the bread in two ziploc bags to prevent freezer burn. 

Also those cookie sheets that the rye bread and wheat bread are resting on are old blackened from use cookie sheets.  I don't use them for baking anymore, but I find them invaluable when I need to set things on a rack for cooling.  The rack goes on the old cookie sheet, the bread goes on the rack and then I set the cookie sheet on top of my fridge so that the bread will cool and our black lab dog won't eat any of it.  Yes, it has happened before.  In fact one time the dog ate 1 loaf of bread dough and it was not pretty.

Bread making does not take much time and you get better at it the more you practice.  Also, I add things like flax seed and bran to my wheat bread to make it even healthier.  Yes, I could buy good quality store brand bread, but I think I will stick to my homemade bread.  It is just as healthy and it is so much cheaper. 


Anonymous said...

Please share your recipes for bread. There is nothing better than homemade bread.
Love your blog.

The Headstrong Housewife! said...

You could cut out more time by letting the mixer knead it for you. I don't even knead dough when I make bread, or pizza crust or anything like that, it is all done in the mixer.

Anonymous said...

I havent made cuban bread in ages, I think I will make it next weekend when I am off. I also need to start making hamburger and hot dog rolls again since they are getting so expensive!


Martha said...

@ Headstrong Housewife

I knead the bread as I like to do it by hand. I like the feel of the dough and I like to work out any frustrations on a big bowl of dough.

Martha said...
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