Happy Wednesday everyone! I feel like today may drag on! Ryan, Sam and I have been growing a giant pumpkin all summer and tonight we will be cutting it from the vine and bringing it to be weighed and judged! It is a tedious plant to maintain and grow. We have lost a couple in the years passed and this is by far the biggest we have been able to grow. We know it is WAY smaller then some of the others that will be there but we are still proud of it!
I feel like I have been doing a lot more "homesteading" this year. By definition homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. This is not an easy thing to do when you work a full time job outside of the home as well but Ryan and I have been working at growing and preserving things from our garden. Not only are we being more self-sufficient but also saves some money.
Ever since I received my bread maker last Christmas, I have had fun making different treats. Cinnamon buns, hamburger buns, nann bread, pizza and of course, bread!
While I loved having some homemade bread every once in a while, it was more of a treat then something that we would use everyday.
One day I
lost my mind decided it would be interesting to try and make all of our bread myself. This means a lot of bread. My husband has 2 sandwiches a day on his lunch. That's 4 slices of bread at least so it could mean more if I have a piece of toast myself.
It took a little tweaking but I did figure out which recipe works for my machine, our climate and for our taste buds.
This recipe makes 2 loaves of bread
1.5 cups of water
2 tbsp Vegetable oil
2 tbsp white sugar
4 cups of flour
(I like 3 cups of white flour and 1 cup of whole wheat. We prefer the taste of whole wheat but I found adding too much meant the bread wouldn't raise enough)
3 tsp of bread machine yeast
I dump all the ingredients into my bread maker in that order and set it for the dough cycle. This does all the mixing and rising in 1.5 hours.
When it's done I grease my pans and then divide the dough in two. I knead each half on a floured surface for a couple times. I like to roll it out into a rectangular shape and then roll it up and close the seams.
I leave the pans in a warm spot for another 1-1.5 hours.
When the dough has risen enough, I bake it for 13-15 minutes in 350 degrees.
Immediately, when the bread is cooked, I put on a cooking rack.
I allow the bread to completely cool. I use to not cut my bread but I noticed Ryan was horrible at this task in the morning. The slices would be very uneven and too thick. He'd be going through a loaf almost per day. So, I began to cut the bread myself to reduce waste or over consumption.
I find the best tool to use for this is my electric knife! Cuts into the bread like butter! Perfectly even slices and I can make them as thin or thick as I want.
I place one cut loaf in a freezer bag (I wash and re-use the bags each time!). I usually have 3-5 loaves in the freezer at all times!
It's been over 2 months since I started making all of our bread myself. I know this saves a little bit of money but the real treat is the taste of homemade bread all the time. It was a little difficult and felt like a huge chore at the beginning. But now it feels like routine! I usually make one go (2 loaves) on the weekend. Whichever free day I have. It is really hasn't been a huge inconvenience and I love knowing what I'm giving my family.