We're fans of homemade bread around here. Our aim is to always bake our own bread. It's cheaper and what's better than fresh bread with a slab of butter? The answer is nothing. While I don't always have the time, I do love a good homemade bread. I've had a lot of requests for my various recipes so I thought I would share a few of our favorites. These are tried and true and feature regularly in this household. First up is a traditional wholewheat loaf that's simple to make. I'll also be sharing recipes for my mom's famous bread, Phil's artisan crusty bread, and my dad's french bread (which is a great quick bread that I like making for dinner guests).
This bread is the one I bake most often. It's simple to make and doesn't call for any fancy ingredients. I find that it needs to be kneaded fully and it needs to rise longer so that it gets nice and tall. I use a mixture of wholewheat and white flours but you can use whatever flour you like. This bread is a great basic bread, I've adapted it into sweet or savory breads with no problem. Simply add in more sugar for a sweet bread or add in flavors like garlic or tomato paste for a more savory bread.
Traditional Wholewheat Bread
3 cups flour (whatever kind you like)
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp yeast
bread improver (optional, I use 1 tsp)
Mix together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add:
1 cup water
1 Tbsp olive oil
Mix ingredients then knead for 8-10 minutes. Set the dough in an oiled bowl and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Knock back, shape, leave to rise again until doubled and bake at 180C for 35-40 minutes.
I knead all my breads with a stand mixer and bake in a preheated oven. Before I got a stand mixer we hand kneaded all our bread with the same results. No fancy equipment needed here!