Sunday, March 24, 2013

Easy Homemade Bread

Leslie Mcilroy, a fabulous colleague of mine, is a copywriter and poet extraordinaire!  Check her out at
She was kind enough to share her fabulous recipe with me and of course, I had to try it out as soon as possible. Yum!
For those of you who are intimated by making fresh bread from scratch, give this a try; you won't be disappointed.
Of course I added some Dietitian fiber boosting options, for those of you who crave nutrient density in everything you eat:). (I know, it's a curse, but just embrace it!)

Leslie’s Easy Homemade Bread

Makes 2-3 loaves, depending on size
3 cups lukewarm water
1 ½ Tbsp. yeast (2 pkgs.)
1 Tbsp. salt
6 ½ cups bread flour such as King Arthur

Dietitian Fiber boost add-ins*:
1/3 cup millet
1/3 cup cornmeal
½ cup oats
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
½ cup additional water, as needed

*I added in all of these, but you can mix and match what you have and want, up to a total about  2 cups. I also used ½ bread flour and ½ white whole wheat flour.

Place water, yeast and salt in a large bowl; stir or whisk to dissolve yeast.
Add flour (plus any extra fiber boosters).I love millet! It adds a yummy crunch.  Mix until well combined (adding the additional water depending on how much extras you added).
The mixing may take a little arm strength to get the dough well combined.Feel free to use a stand mixer, but the point of this recipe is to make it easy, or why not just go old school and work a little. If you are a fan of "kneading", then please do so! Kneading the dough for about 5-10 minutes increases gluten, which adds elasticity to the bread. This will result is a puffier, chewier bread.
Cover with a plastic bag (or plastic wrap coated with cooking spray) and place in a warm area such as on top of the warm oven. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to two weeks (it gets more like sourdough the longer it is in the fridge).
I was not able to wait 2 entire at 1 hour of rising, I shaped the entire batch into 3 loaves!
Preheat oven to 425 F. Take 1/3 or ½ dough( or make several loaves like I did) , using a little flour as needed, and form loosely into a loaf ; place on a greased pan . Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes at room temperature.
Because I love it when my food looks pretty, I brushed the tops lightly with egg wash (beaten egg with a splash of water) and then sprinkled on some chopped chives, chia seeds and oat bran! I also scored the tops with a small paring knife for that artisan bread look.
Bake for about 30 minutes until golden browned and bottoms feel hollow when tapped. I baked the loaf about 10 minutes longer since it is deeper and turned to oven to 350F. The smaller loaf was done at 25 minutes, so keep an eye out if you are making multiple sizes. The bread recipe came at a perfect time for me; I gave one away at a dinner party that evening, the other is for a little get together tomorrow night (with Greek yogurt spinach dip), and the last loaf is for my week's lunches!


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