Food for the Masses!

Not too long ago, I wanted to create a bread that was both cheaper than store bought bread, and nutritionally worthwhile. Here's how I did it (I've provided links for some of the things that aren't typical):

12 oz white flour
5 oz wheat flour
.4 oz salt
1 packet yeast
3 tablespoons honey
1 egg
8 oz skim milk (room temperature)
4 oz water

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until you get a sticky dough (the soy flour and the yeast flakes are gluten free, this will result in extra stickiness). If you have a stand mixer, it can do all the work for you. In the mixer, let it go for about 7 or 8 minutes. Flour your counter top well, along with your hands and shape the dough into a ball. Put the dough into a bowl and let sit, covered, until the dough has doubled in size (around 30-45 minutes). At this point you can go for a double rise if you like. If so, just repeat the hand kneading and the dough in the bowl placing. Pre-heat your oven to about 350 degrees. Place dough in your (lightly oiled) loaf pan and shape it to your liking. Once oven has reached 350 degrees, put unbaked loaf in pan. Leave it in there for about 30 minutes or so. I'd recommend putting some ice cubes in a shallow pan in the oven for the first 10 minutes or so. The extra moisture will really help the crust. Once the internal temperature has reached around 200 degrees the bread is done. Take out of oven, gently remove from loaf pan, and let it cool on a plate. Covered if you have pets. Enjoy your bread.

The very approximate nutritional values are listed below:
All that nutrition for about $1.50/loaf (or less if you can find a deal). The sodium content is, admittedly, much higher than I would like, but without it the bread becomes very, very bland. Also, check out that protein content, and the B Vitamins. Can your bread do that for just a buck fifty, with no HFCS or any preservatives at all? Probably not. This is a good breakfast toast bread, but its awfully dense so your kids probably aren't going to want it on their sandwiches. For that, I turn it over to a good friend of mine who sent me his recipe for sandwich bread via e-mail, after listening to me bitch about it for a week.


Darren's No-Fuckin-Around Sandwich Bread

Phase One
8 oz whole wheat flour
12 oz liquid
2 tsp or 1 packet yeast

Phase Two
12 oz bread or AP flour
3 Tb sugar or honey or molasses
2 1/2 tsp salt
6 Tb melted butter or oil

The night before you plan to bake mix together the ingredients of Phase One and cover. This allows the harder grit of the wheat flour to soften so that it won't puncture the gas filled cavities that the yeast make and deflate your loaf, making it a dense and less spectacular cluster fuck.

The next day mix in the ingredients of Phase Two and knead for 10 minutes in a Kitchen Aid mixer. Cover it and let it rise until doubled. Scoop out the dough from the mixing bowl, mash it flat, roll it out like a pizza dough with a rolling pin, then take one end of the dough and roll it into a log (yer loaf). Put this into a pullman loaf pan and let rise until about 3/4" above the top of the pan or until you think it's as high as you like it. Bake for about 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven. The center of the loaf sound register 190 to 200 degrees.


Phase One says liquid. This could be water, milk, or whatever. If you use something thick like buttermilk, you might have to add extra liquid as the buttermilk is thicker and doesn't moisten the flour as well. Maybe an additional 2 oz at most if you think it needs it. The mix should look like a very thick batter.

Phase Two is where you would add things like wheat berries or raisins or cranberries or chocolate chips. Whatever.

I don't have nutritional info for this, but I do think I should adopt his two phase process. Might lighten up my bread. Now, if you look at the ingredients list, this bread is less healthy than the first, but it's still better than store bought bread in my opinion because there's no corn products, no preservatives, and it only costs around $1.10/loaf.