A great way to cut down your grocery bill is to identify the items you use most often, and how to either get it cheaper, or make it yourself. Bread is something most of us use, and I find it rather expensive considering the ingredients. I’ve been making my own bread for years, but my experience has evolved. I love homemade bread so much, that even as a single Hill staffer I would dodge elegant events with free food and drink provided by lobbyists, so that I could get back to my apartment and knead my bread. This did not please my chief-of-staff, but hey, I was a spokesperson, not a policy person, so I didn’t need to be there anyway. Really all I wanted to do is come home, kick off my heals and bake bread. Of course now, I use a bread baking method which does not require kneading, so I’m a step ahead. This is so easy that it’s ridiculous.
There is a fantastic book which employs the “no -knead” method of baking bread, called “Artisan Bread Five Minutes a Day” This is not a gimmick, and they are not exaggerating. Also, the ingredients are few. When I was recovering from my surgery, we had to resort to store bought bread. Talk about suffering. Honestly, your average store bought bread is like an entirely different food than homemade bread. It does take forever to toast homemade bread because it’s so fresh – – drying it out is a real chore for your toaster. What a great problem to have.
If you use a regular loaf pan, you are going to have an issue with the slices being wildly uneven. If you want a long, even loaf like you buy in the store, you need a Pullman loaf pan. They are inexpensive, and will save you tons of money. The top is purchased separately, but is necessary. While you are buying stuff, I would really recommend you buying the “Artisan Bread Five Minutes a Day” book. Much like the salad spinner has changed my salad-making life, this book will change your bread-making life. The ease in the recipes are freeing for busy people. This recipe I’m posting is the one I use every week, and I have it memorized along with a couple of amendments.
Light-Wheat Sandwich Bread
Adapted from, “Artisan Breads Five Minutes a Day”
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
3 1/2 cups of warm water
5 1/2 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
Store in a tightly covered container for up to 14 days. When ready to use, turn dough out on lightly floured counter. Dust dough with flour and work into a ball, turning dough underneath as you turn. Place dough in well greased Pullman pan.
Wasn’t that easy?