Did you know that heaven smells like fresh baked bread? At least, that’s what I hope it will smell like. It is one of the most comforting scents in the world and I wish my house smelled like that everyday. Unfortunately, that would require me to actually bake the bread on a daily basis.
I think I’ve been pretty open about my love/hate relationship with being in my kitchen: I really dislike it. I’m not a fan of cooking and baking, but I am a fan of feeding my family healthy, wholesome food. I’m also pretty good and cooking and baking, which is so ironic to me. Nevertheless, my love of homemade bread has so far outweighed my distaste of being in the kitchen, but only because I have discovered the EASIEST way possible to make the world’s best homemade bread.
Wanna know the trick? I use my bread machine for the mixing and kneading part of it so I don’t have to do hardly any work! I have perfected the art of being lazy and efficient all at the same time. Someone should give me a medal.
In the meantime, I thought I would share my super-easy, super-delicious bread recipe with you fine people. Give it a shot and tell me it’s not the best thing since (store bought, flavorless) sliced bread.
- 3 cups organic all-purpose flour (you can use white whole wheat if you prefer)
- 1/4 cup organic vital wheat gluten flour
- 1 tsp salt (I use Real Salt)
- 9 ounces warm water
- 1 tbsp milk (I've used almond milk too)
- 2 tbsp organic butter, chopped into pieces
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 1/4 tsp fast rise yeast
- Put all ingredients into the bread machine (use your specific machine's instructions, but mine calls for me to put in all wet ingredients first and then the dry).
- Set your machine to it's required settings and let the machine do all the work for you (i.e., if you're making a honey-white loaf, set it to white, if you're making a honey-wheat, set it to wheat). If you are making by hand or with a mixer, mix ingredients and then knead the bread until it forms a firm ball.
- Once the machine is done kneading the bread, take the dough ball out of the machine (I always cover my hands with olive oil so it doesn't stick to me) and press into a greased loaf pan, cover with a clean towel and let rise for an hour. (Personal note: I don't let the bread machine bake my bread because I've never liked how it's turned out. If you don't mind it, let the machine do all the work for you! But I personally like to bake my loaf in a normal pan in the oven because I find it bakes much better and the loaf comes out a normal size.)
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Bake in the oven for about 24 minutes.
- When the bread is lightly golden on top, remove from the oven and take the loaf out of the pan, setting it to cool on a rack (I usually slide a butter knife around the edges to loosen it a bit before popping it out of the loaf pan).
- Let it cool.
So, so easy to make and AMAZING to eat! The trick to keeping the loaf fresh for about a week, I have found, is to keep the loaf in a bread keeper like this one. I also bought this awesome contraption to make slicing the bread easy and uniform (because I’m OCD about the thickness of my bread slices).
My family loves this bread and we end up eating the whole thing before the week is over. It is good enough to eat with just a little dollop of butter or honey, or you can toast it or make sandwiches with it. I try really hard to watch my carbs but when this bread is around, my willpower goes out the window!
Do you have a favorite easy bread recipe? Share it!