As I've detailed in my post about trying to cut down the packaging waste my family creates, baking your own bread is incredibly simple and gratifying! After years of scouring plastic wrappers for ingredients, searching for bread options that contain no sugar, corn syrup, chemicals or other weird things, I decided to just start making it myself! My first attempt was an abysmal failure (apparently old whole wheat flour, kosher salt, and non quick rise yeast = rock). I ran to my baking guru (my 80 year old Grandma) and she set me straight. I now make two loaves twice a week and have freed myself from expensive and questionable grocery store bread. In case you are wondering, I make two loaves so that I can just hand one to my husband and don't have to get mad about him eating ALL the bread I just made! He's Italian and home made carbs are the way to his heart. Speaking of Italian - he, like most europeans- was shocking the first time he tasted American bread "it tastes like cake." Yeah, most places DON'T add sugar to everything. So I give you, Grandma Janet's tried and true French Bread!
1. 14.75 g (3 cups) Flour
2. 1.5 teaspoons salt (non-kosher)
3. 1 tablespoon room temperature butter
4. 10.5 g (1.25 cups) warm water (100 degrees if you are a stickler)
5. 2.5 tablespoons instant yeast.
1. Measure out ingredients using a kitchen scale (I know, I know, I had to buy one too. I picked
this one because it isn't plastic and had all 5 star reviews).
2. Dissolve yeast in about half of the warm water.
3. Put flour, butter, salt, and dissolved yeast into a mixing bowl. Add remaining water.
4. Place mixing bowl in stand mixer and leave to knead with bread hook on setting 2 for 10
minutes (if you don't have a stand mixer you can do it by hand and get an amazing arm
workout, but it might make making your own bread more work than you are willing to do! I
know these are a huge chunk of change but I got mine as a wedding present 13 years ago and its
STILL going strong)
5. Pull dough out of mixer and coat bowl with a small amount of olive oil, place a kitchen towel
over the bowl and let sit for 90 minutes, dough should rise to about double its size.
6. Coat a loaf pan with a small amount of olive oil and punch raised dough into pan. Let sit an
7. Bake at 400 F for 40 minutes and feel like a domestic goddess as your house fills with the
smells of freshly baked bread.
8. Enjoy with your family knowing you made this masterpiece and provided your loved ones with
chemical, sugar, and plastic wrapping free bread!