We don’t buy bread anymore. Well not in bulk the way we used to anyway. When trying to rework a budget though we looked at everything, including our basic grocery shopping purchases and tried to find ways to cut back. We did really good and actually enjoyed the dinners that came about from having bought more affordable groceries. More affordable for us translated into raw, basic ingredients that we had to start from scratch with. It took a lot of getting used to and in some ways I am still adjusting. One of the things that we didn’t change at first was the bread that we bought. All I knew was that we couldn’t go any cheaper in that area, unless I could cut back on how much we had to buy each week.
Between Jason, the kids and me, and the usual lunches you make for kids when you’re not inspired and the lunches you make for your husband at 6:30 am when you are definitely not inspired, we went through a LOT of bread each week! I’m actually almost too embarrassed to say how many loaves we used. Somewhere around 6! Or was it 8? Hmmmm I seem to be having trouble remembering things today! Anyway 6-8 loaves a week, even when buying the cheap white sandwich bread, was around 10 dollars! Yes that sounds pretty affordable, but I give cheap a new definition when shopping so it was KILLING me!! That and for some odd reason I was having urgings to feed my kids healthy wheat bread! Weird how motherhood works! 🙂
This got Jason and me to brainstorming and we decided that if people used to make all of their own bread why couldn’t we? I love to bake and all of the ingredients for bread are really affordable so I had no problem with the idea. I found my favorite bread recipe in this cook book from 1947, which was a yard sale find! Its my constant go-to book. In fact if I could recommend one thing for anybody who wants to cook filling but simple, affordable meals, I would tell you to get on the internet and find a cookbook from the 50’s or older. I have several and they are my favorites!
I now bake every Thursday and one of the things that I know to bake automatically is 4 loaves of wheat bread. Since I am the one baking, we spread it out more and make it last longer, which means our lunches are more inspired now! However I would love to share this recipe with you since it really does make a wonderful bread for everyday use or as a special side for dinner. It’s the easiest yeast bread that I have ever made and I recommend it for anybody!
Whole Wheat Bread
1 pack dry yeast 1/2 Cup HOT water
2 Cups warm water 1/2 Cup brown sugar
2 Tbs. sugar 3 Tbs. shortening
2 tsp. salt 3 Cups wheat flour
3 Cups white flour
Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about half and hour. Meanwhile boil some water for the half cup you will need. I like to put the 3 Tbs. shortening into the bottom of the measuring cup that I’m going to pour the hot water in, that way it can dissolve most of the way. Pour in your hot water on top of the shortening and add the half cup of brown sugar. Stir until dissolved and let
sit until your sponge is ready. When your sponge is doubled add the liquid and mix well.
Finally add the wheat flour. Mix as much as you can in the bowl and then turn out onto a floured surface to knead.
Knead until smooth and elastic. About 5 minutes. PERK: kneading dough is great for toning your arms! And if your strange like me you will for some reason stand on the balls of your feet while doing this, instead of flat-footed, and find later that you gave your upper legs a workout also! Dont ask me why I do it since I do without even realizing it!
Pour a little bit of cooking oil into a bowl and place the bread in, turning it over to coat the whole thing. Cover with a towel, place in a warm place and let rise for about an hour. Take out of bowl and elongate like so…
section in on itself. Tightly like you would a sleeping bag and then lightly pinch or smash the ends together to seal it.Shape into a loaf and place in a lightly greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise till doubled, about an hour. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until golden on top. My oven runs different from time to time so I tend just to keep and eye on it instead of timing. Cool in pans for a little bit and then remove and finish cooling on racks.
So there it is, my favorite bread recipe! If anyone tries it, let me know what you think and don’t try to spare my feelings! Also since this is the first recipe I have posted let me know if there is anything you think I should change.Was it too long? Too many pictures? Let me know what you would like to see!