I’ve always wanted to know how to make homemade bread! It’s healthier, cheaper and it tastes better than store bought bread. Plus, it’s oh so good when it comes out of the oven hot! When I visited my Aunt Karen (queen of all things homemade) she gave me some yeast starter. She has cultivated this yeast starter for more than 20 years! Needless to say, I handled it with care! I carried a 1/4 cup of yeast starter in a plastic dish on the plane home and grew it into 1 1/2 cups by slowing adding more whole wheat and water. I left the glass dish of yeast starter on the counter and added the wheat and water in the same ratio that was in the dish. So, if you have a 1/4 cup of yeast starter you add 1/4 cup of dry wheat and 1/4 cup of water. When the starter begins to bubble, you add more. It took me a couple of days to go from 1/4 cup of yeast starter to 1 1/2 cups. If you are interested in making your own starter, check out http://allrecipes.com/recipe/no-commercial-yeast-starter/. It’s basically just flour and water! The benefits of using the yeast starter is that it’s MUCH easier to make the bread! Ounce I had 1 1/2 cups of yeast starter, I was ready to make 2 loaves of bread. Imagine, you grow the yeast starter during the week and then ounce a week you make 2 loaves of healthy, hot, homemade bread! And you know there are no chemicals or weird stuff in there. Plus, it tastes better! And you can experiment with different type os dough. I also find it very therapeutic to kneed dough. A little added benefit. Make sure to reserve about 1/4 cup of starter for next time! You MUST keep feeding the starter to keep it active. It will keep inactive (without you adding more) for about 1 week in the refrigerator or about 1 day on the counter.
Here is the recipe for homemade bread with yeast starter (it’s easier with the yeast starter!):
1 to 1 1/2 cups of starter
3 cups of water (room temp.)
1/2 cup gluten or a cup of white flour
1 TB maple syrup (optional)
add enough flour to make an elastic dough ball (several cups) (I use whole wheat, but you can use white, or part white)
Then, place the dough ball in a bowl on the counter covered with a towel for two to four hours (it can be flexible depending on your schedule). Next, kneed the dough for about 5 min., divide in half and put into two loaf pans. Slash the top of the loaves to encourage rising. Allow dough to rise until doubled in size (usually two hours at the room temp.). Then, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and carefully put raised loaves in the oven. Cook for 40 min. Enjoy!
Another option: Roll out dough and top with cinnamon, brown sugar, nuts and re roll. Then cut into cinnamon rolls! Let them rise like bread and cook 25 min at 350.
Another option: If you want to make crackers, roll the bread dough out as thin as you can and bake it at 350 till crisp (15 min.). You can roll other spices into the crackers or sweeten.