I have been making my own bread for ten years! I grew up eating only my mom’s homemade bread and she grew up eating her mom’s homemade bread. The main reason I make my own bread is the taste – I just plain do not like the flavor of store bought bread! I also make my own bread because it is cheaper than buying bakery bread and healthier.
My recipe is still a majority “white bread” recipe, but I like knowing exactly the ingredients going in it! It always makes me feel a little weird that the bread I make will start to mold around 4 days after leaving it on the counter while the store-bought bread will still sit not molding for 2+ weeks! The only time we ever buy bread is if we are going on a road trip or vacation.
I don’t have a bread machine, although I’m sure this recipe would work just fine using one! This recipe makes 10 loaves but when I used to live in an apartment and did not have a freezer in the garage, I would half the recipe to make 5 loaves and it worked great! The dough also works great for cinnamon rolls or raisin bread.
The #1 secret to great bread is using the right flour! I buy my bread flour in Canada because they have cheap 20kg bags at Costco. I typically buy Rogers Silver Star which is a high protein, unbleached hard-wheat flour that makes excellent bread! Robin Hood is also a Canadian brand that is a hard-wheat high-protein flour but it is more expensive than Rogers. I usually buy my Robin Hood brand for my wheat flour. The best flour I have found in the US that is comparable is King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour. I bought this when we lived in Nebraska and did not have access to the Canadian flour!
Most normal bowls are not big enough to make 10 loaves of bread so I use a Rubbermaid container that is sold as a “dish washing” container that works perfectly for making bread!
Sandwich Bread Recipe:
- 4T Active Dry Yeast
- 1 C Sugar
- 2 C Warm Water
- 1 C Oil
- 4 Eggs
- 1 T Salt
- 6 C Warm Water
- 2.5 C Whole Wheat Flour
- 20 C Bread Flour
- Combine yeast, sugar, and 2 C warm water. (You should be able to put your hand in the water without it hurting/burning. This is to avoid killing the yeast). Set for 10 minutes to let it proof (it will bubble up a little bit)
- Add oil, eggs, salt, 6 c warm water, and whole wheat flour
- Stir, add flour until no longer able to stir. (Stir as hard as you can! The less sticky the bread is when you dump it on the counter, the easier it will be to knead!). You will only add about 12 cups of flour to begin with – and most likely won’t use all 20. This part is what takes practice to feel when the dough has the right amount of flour. You want it to be smooth and stretchy, not sticky or floury/chunky when you are done!
- Knead bread for about 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Add flour as needed when the dough is too sticky.
- Place about 2 T of oil in a bowl (or wash out your Rubbermaid bin and use that), rub the oil on the bottom of the bowl, place dough inside then flip dough over so the oil lightly covers all the dough.
- Let rise for 1 hour with a towel or plastic wrap covering it
- Divide dough into 10 equal parts, lightly knead each part into the shape of a loaf. Place in greased pans about halfway full. Cover with a towel and let rise for about an hour.
- Bake 24-30 minutes at 350F. Let cool for about an hour.
- Eat within a couple days or freeze.
I know making bread can seem like a daunting task if you have never done it before, but it is really second nature to me now. I have the recipe memorized and even though it takes about 4-5 hours from start to finish, I am really only actually “making” the bread for about 30 minutes. The more you do it, the faster and better you will be!
These loaves last our family 2 weeks. I always slice them with an electric knife before freezing them. One loaf makes about 12 slices of bread. We use these for our lunch sandwiches, eat eggs on toast in the morning, and occasionally make French Toast or grilled cheese. I actually make our sandwiches in the morning on frozen bread and by lunch they are thawed and ready to eat!
Let me know if you have any questions about bread making! I love baking but I have never really branched out and tried any other bread recipes. Let me know if there are any other recipes you love or if you try to make bread for the first time yourself! Happy baking!