About two years ago, I stopped buying bread regularly from the grocery store and decided to start making my own. When we discovered that Ninja Boy was allergic to nuts, we realized how many things you buy at the store either contains or may contain nuts. Making our own foods became a lot easier than finding convenience foods that were completely nut free. Also, after looking at the ingredients in the store-bought breads, it frustrated me how many ingredients there were in just a loaf of bread and how many of them I couldn’t even pronounce. This began our journey toward eating mostly unprocessed whole foods. My mom helped get us started and gave me her old bread machine that she didn’t use often (I bought another one almost new from the online garage sale after a few months so now I can make two at a time).
I started off with a basic white bread recipe online, but I tend to start tweaking after awhile and got a bit more creative in order to have a more nutritious bread (especially since our family REALLY likes bread). I subbed the canola oil for olive oil and the the white sugar for local raw honey. Also, instead of just white flour, I did a combo of organic white flour, organic whole wheat pastry flour (or just whole wheat flour), and flaxseed. Not only is the bread healthier, but it tastes so much better than the original recipe. My family devours it freshly made (which could be a problem depending on how often I make it). However, my kids stay full longer when they eat this bread rather than basic white or even the wheat breads (which can sometimes just be brown colored white bread as far as nutrition goes).
I have been asked to share my recipe, but I will only do it if you promise to give it a few tries. When you have a bread machine, it’s like a baby. You have to get to know it’s personality. It took me a good five or six tries before I got the original recipe down and then another year or more before I developed this recipe to my liking. The first loaf might not turn out just like you hoped, but I promise if you keep at it, it will turn out beautifully. So do you promise??
Here’s the recipe for Melinda’s Nutritious and Delicious Bread Machine Wheat Bread (I know, such a long title, one word for every ingredient):
(This is the order that I put my ingredients in, and my machines are two different brands. Check your bread machine manual though just to make sure your machine likes it this way too)
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil (trust me, it’s way better than canola or vegetable, and it’s healthier. Or try coconut oil and tell me what you think because I haven’t tried it yet, melt it first)
- 3 tbsp Raw Honey (I get Terry’s Wild Honey from my area, let me know in the comments below if you want info about it)
- 1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 cup hot water (I guesstimate, but it should be about 110 degrees)
- 1 1/2 cups Organic Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 1/2 cups (replace 2 tbsp with Milled Flaxseed) Organic Unbleached White Flour
- 2 1/4 tsp Bread Machine Yeast or 1 package Bread Machine Yeast (Make sure its 2 1/4 tsp)
Tip #1: Measure out your Olive Oil first and pour it in. Then measure out your honey in the same measuring cup or spoon, the honey slides right out. Less scraping and no wasting precious raw honey!
Tip #2: Use 3/4 Cup to measure out flour. Fill up twice for your 1 1/2 cups. When measuring the white flour, put the 2 tbsp flaxseed in the 3/4 cup first then fill up the rest of the way with your white flour.
Tip #3: Don’t let your yeast touch the water when measuring and pouring in. Let the paddle do the mixing.
Check your manual, but I put in all the ingredients then set my machine to the medium color whole wheat setting. Then wait! It takes just under 4 hours to go through the process. You’ll know that it’s getting close to being done when your house starts smelling like a bakery!
To get a softer crust, remove the bread as soon as it is cool enough to come out of the pan. Then wrap tightly with plastic wrap or put it in a plastic container. It will get a little steamy, but trust me it keeps it nice and moist.
The bread (if it even lasts that long) stays fresh for 4-5 days. By day 6, it’s perfect for French Toast!
What’s your favorite kind of bread?