Nothing beats the smell and taste of a good loaf of fresh homemade bread. The ironic thing is that none of the ingredients in “fresh” bread is really all that fresh. They can all be stored in your food storage for months at a time. This is my recipe for homemade bread. It is the easiest recipe I have ever come across, and it is virtually foolproof. Where I list flour in the recipe, you can use whole wheat flour, all purpose white flour, or a combination for both. Sometimes I substitute a quarter cup each of cornmeal, quick oats, millet, and buckwheat flour for one of the cups of wheat flour. This makes a nice multi-grain loaf. For the milk I you can use fresh milk, buttermilk, or instant powdered milk. If you don’t have any of these, just use plain water; you’ll still get a good loaf of bread.
• 1 cup warm water
• 1 pack dry active yeast
• ¼ cup canola oil
• ¼ cup honey, molasses, or sugar
• 1/3 cup milk (I have used regular milk, and instant milk and water with equally good results)
• 1 ¼ tsp. salt (I use sea salt)
• 4 cups flour
• 3 tsp. wheat gluten
• 2 more tablespoons of canola oil
• 1 tablespoon Crisco
• Pour 1 cup warm (not boiling) water in large mixing bowl
• Add 1 pack dry active yeast and stir to dissolve
• Add oil, honey, and milk and stir well
• Add 1 cup flour and stir
• Add 1 ¼ tsp. salt and 1 tsp. wheat gluten and stir
• Add 2nd cup of flour and 1 tsp of wheat gluten and stir
• Add 3rd cup of flour and 1 tsp of wheat gluten and stir
• Add remaining flour a little at a time while working it in by hand. You may or may not need the entire 4th cup of flour. Let the consistency of the dough be your guide. Kneed ball of dough for about two minutes. Dough ball should be only very slightly sticky. If it is too sticky you may need to add a little more flour, but don’t over-do it.
• Remove dough ball from bowl and set aside. Rinse out bowl thoroughly, dry, and add two tablespoons of oil.
• Use your hand to coat inside of bowl with oil
• Place dough ball in bowl then turn it over once so that entire ball is coated with oil
• Cover with a clean dish towel and set in a warm place to rise until dough is doubled in size (about 1 to 1 ½ hours)
• Punch dough down and kneed in bowl for about a minute
• Turn dough out onto a floured cutting board and press down fairly flat (dough will be like a big tortilla that is about an inch thick)
• Fold sides of dough to the center and fold the ends in to form a loaf
• Place loaf in a bread pan that has been well greased on bottom and sides with Crisco
• Set uncovered loaf in a warm place to rise
• When dough has risen 1 inch above the sides of the bread pan, place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven
• Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until top of loaf is browned
• After removing bread from oven, turn it immediately out of the bread pan onto a cooling rack
• Allow bread to cool, slice, and enjoy.
Pictured Below: A fresh from the oven loaf of homemade bread
I think that you will really enjoy this bread, and the nice thing is that you can make it entirely from ingredients from your food storage. I do not recommend that you try to store a large quantity of whole wheat flour, as it will go rancid on you. If you want whole wheat, you will need to buy sealed buckets of hard red wheat for storage and then grind it fresh when preparing to make bread. White flour will store for much longer periods of time, but of course it doesn’t have the nutritional value of whole wheat.