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Make some dough to save some!

Once the economic downturn hit us on April Fool’s day (by the way, it was NOT a funny joke), I started looking for any additional ways to save some dough.  I used to love to bake bread, so I decided to once again make some dough to save some.

As in most of my recipes, I turned to http://www.allrecipes.com/ for inspiration.  I’m not paid to promote them in anyway, but I love their site because you can review what other people say about recipes.  One of their top 20 recipes is Amish White Bread.  I’ve tweaked the base recipe a bit per usual.

I use a Kitchen Aid mixer to make this.  I’ve had it for years, and it works wonderfully.  If you want to use another mixer, make sure it has a dough hook.  If you want to use your hands, you’re shit ass crazy cause that is too much work.

Updated 5/5/12: want a whole wheat version of this?  Click here.

1) Start with a warmed mixing bowl.  I usually put a bit of hot water in there, and swirl it around.  Let sit for a few min then dump.
2) Put 2 cups of hot water (~110 degrees) in the warmed bowl and add 1/2 cup of sugar.  I use evaporated cane juice (10 lbs organic from Costco for $7!).  Stir.  Add 1.5 tblsp of active dry yeast.  Stir. It will look like this:

A packet of yeast is 2 & 1/4 tsp, but if you plan to get serious about bread baking, buy a large container of yeast to save some money.  I love Bob’s Red Mill Premium refrigerated yeast.

Cover the bowl with a plate or a towel until it looks like this (this process is called proofing):

Next, add:
1.5 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of oil (I prefer olive oil to vegetable oil)
6 cups of all-purpose, wheat, or bread flour.  I’ve been using an all-purpose white/wheat flour mix from Costco that is fine.  Then my sis brought over some King Arthur Bread flour for our baking lesson and I was hooked!!!  Note, the recipe says to add it cup by cup.  Don’t do that, it makes for lumpy and sticky dough.

Once everything is added to the bowl, turn your mixer on.  I leave it on “1” or “stir” until the sides of the bowl are pretty clean and the dough sticks to the hook like this:

Next, spray a bowl (you can use the mixer bowl if you’re only make 1 batch) with cooking spray, or rub a little olive oil around the bowl.  Put dough in bowl and turn it once to coat with oil.  Cover with a warm wet towel and place in a warm place.  If you’re a heat Nazi like me and your place is like the ice castle from Superman II, turn on your oven for 10 min to “warm”, and then turn off.  You can safely put the bowl in there with the door closed.

This is the 1st rise, and you should let it rise until it has doubled in-size.  Timing varies, but generally it’s about an hour.  Your dough should look like this after the 1st rise:

Updated 12/13/10: I forgot to add that after the 1st rise, you need to knead it again.  I throw it back in the KA mixer for about 45 seconds.  Sorry for the interuption.  Please resume your baking.
Next, grease 9×5 bread pans with cooking spray or a little butter.  Divide dough in half and place in bread pans.  It’s going to look ugly when it goes in, but it will “rise” above that and eventually look pretty (har har):

Now you’re in to the 2nd rise.  Let it rest in a warm place until the dough looks like a loaf of bread (technical directions here people!).  I forgot to take a photo, so just picture the above photo with fluffier dough.

Next, bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 min.  Top of the bread should be golden brown and the loaves should feel hard when tapped.

Note, the above loaves are different sizes because I have 2 9×5 and 2 9×10 pans.  I prefer my 9×5 pans.
Cool bread on wire racks and enjoy!  We’re carbovores in our house, so I make a double batch every 1-2 weeks.  Triple-wrapped in foil, the bread stores beautifully in the freezer.  To defrost, simply leave it on the counter for a few hours.
This recipe is pretty forgiving and I’ve had fun adding spices (garlic and rosemary, etc) to it with little issues. I’ve even added butter, chopped apples, vanilla and cinnamon to make a sweet bread.  I’m sure you could add seeds, etc.
If you like rolls, after the 1st rise, break off little bits of the dough and roll in to balls.  Let it rise on a baking sheet for a bit and then bake at 350 for about 22 minutes.  I like to brush melted butter on then top when they come out, and sprinkle with a bit of garlic salt.  You can also make little dough balls after the 1st rise, place on a parchment lined cookiesheet and put in the freezer.  Once frozen solid, move to a freezer bag and you’ll have freezer rolls ready to go!  Defrost in the counter or fridge and bake.  Just don’t leave them on the cookiesheet in the freezer for 3 days like I always do.
Bread making is time consuming in that you have to wait for things to rise, but the actual amount of time you’re spending in “hands-on” work the very very minimal.  I usually wait until starting the 1st rise, and then go grocery shopping, or run a few errands.  Don’t be a slave to your dough.
Overall, this is a really easy recipe, but bread making can take a bit of a learning curve.  Just try it out and see how you do.  Ugly bread is still usually delicious!
Yo yo, head’s up, this post might contain affiliate links which help to support my site. And my canning, seed buying, and aggressive saving habits.

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19 comments on “Make some dough to save some!”

  1. OMG, did you make the garlic rolls that were at Thanksgiving!! Those were so GOOD!! I think I need to ask for a mixer for Christmas so I can make bread! (you already have a mixer, so you win!)

  2. Yep, those rolls were mine. Ann said that next year during the “thankful circle” she was going to say that she was thankful for the garlic rolls. Hee hee. My aunt cancelled Christmas, so we’ll be with you guys this year and I’m bringing rolls!

    I love my mixer SO much; best gift I’ve ever gotten.

    And yeah, I do WIN! =D

  3. Oh KitchenAid, will the wonders of your stand mixers never cease to amaze? I’ll definately be trying your recipe!

  4. I love homemade bread and my KitchenAid makes quick work of it, though at the end I like to get my hands in and knead, it’s therapeutic.

    -Brenda

  5. Check out http://www.frugal-families.com/basic-frugal-white-bread.htm This is the best white bread recipe I’ve used! I’ve never made a bad batch. I add parmesan, rosemary, garlic, and kosher salt both inside and out! Mmmmm….

  6. Love your blog and your humor, can’t wait to try your recipes. Thanks.

  7. When the dough rises the first time, slice it off and toss in a frying pan with butter. Called Toutons where I come from & are great with bacon, eggs & hashbrowns

  8. I was going to subscribe to your blog, but I am very turned off by the ugly language used in this recipe. Reminder: (shit ass crazy). Not necessary. Just me but come on……….

    • I’m not sure what kind of response/attention you expected, but frankly it doesn’t bother me in the least that you’re not subscribing. While I enjoy people reading my blog, I write for myself. Editing who I am would be disingenuous to me and you. Some people don’t like it, and some do, but in the end, I present my true self instead of some version of me.

      And boy howdy the internet sure does give people balls. I put myself out there and am true, and yet here you are commenting anonymously no less. I highly doubt you’d come in to my house and try to edit my speech in real life.

      And frankly, time is precious and if you don’t want to waste it reading someone you don’t agree with, fine. But there is so much intrinsic value in learning and reading from people we don’t agree with 100% of the time. What a boring world that would be.

      So best of luck to you in finding someone you do agree with and enjoy more. I’ll still be here. Writing like how I’ve been writing for the last 2 years.

    • HA! I just added your blog to my Feedly BECAUSE of the foul language and off-color humor. Life is too short…live your own!

  9. You’ve inspired me!! I must break out my neglected KA mixer and give this a whirl! and BTW your language and humor is a fun little quirk that I love, keep it real girl!!

  10. The best bread making instructions and pictures! I’ve gotten grumpy with posts on making bread by dumping all the ingredients into a bread machine. I have a KA and want to use it! Anyways, I have happily made two batches that have looked and tasted wonderfully. Thanks! Azure K.

  11. Have you ever frozen this dough and if so at what stage?

  12. I like your shit ass crazy remarks! It’s like reading something a real person wrote and not something dry and stuffy!

  13. If honey were used would you also use 1/2 c? My hubby is diabetic and while honey still counts as carbs it doesn’t jack up his blood sugar quite so bad. Although he loves my zucchini bread and it is loaded with sugar. O.o

  14. Pingback: Updating an old favorite - sandwich bread - Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity