Basic Bread if Doing the Soaking Method

If you’ve never made homemade bread, you are missing out on one of the most delightful aroma’s that could fill a home!  Homemade bread dough can also be SO versatile.  You can use your dough to make not only loaves of bread, but rolls, sandwich buns, pizza crusts, tortillas, calzones, pocket pies, bagels, soft pretzels, cinnamon rolls, the list goes on!

I have to say that I have done a LOT of reading about the art of making bread.  I have learned much and it has allowed me to explore so many different ways of making bread.  I’ve tried complex methods that involve many unique ingredients and waiting times, I’ve done refrigerator artisan bread methods, I’ve done different shaping and rising techniques.  It has been so much FUN learning all about bread and I’m thankful for all I have learned.  But some of you just want a basic recipe to make an easy bread and I’m here to give you just that!  This is my main bread recipe that I use for multiple things.  The reason to do the soaking method, instead of just a quicker one day method, is to make the grains more easily digestible so your body can absorb all the nutrients possible from the grains.

A Note About Your Flour:
Try to use whole-grains, commercial flour has pretty much no nutritional value.  Use spelt if you’re like most Americans who consume entirely too much wheat.  There are many other grains you can use as well or can do a combination of grains; such as spelt, millet, rye, kamut, oat flour, rice flour, barley, amaranth, etc.  I use spelt most often, but a lot of times I just throw in a little of everything to make a multi-grain bread!  Of course, if you own a high-powered blender, buy the actual grain and grind it yourself in your blender for FRESH whole-grain flour!

Ingredients: (7 easy things you probably already have on-hand)
6 cups Whole-Grain Flour
2 Tbsp ACV (I use Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar) (you can sub lemon juice).
1 3/4 cups Pure Water
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup Honey
AND THEN…
4 tsp Yeast (I use instant yeast, check package instructions for proofing if you’re are using another type of baking yeast)
1/2 cup Warm, Pure Water
2 tsp Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Honey
More Flour as needed to keep from being sticky

Instructions:
Starting the day BEFORE: You don’t have to start your bread the day before, but it makes the flour more easily digestible for your body by “pre-wetting” (aka soaking) it as described below.  Also, by throwing the stuff together the night before, it makes bread day a cinch!
Step One: Combine 6 cups flour, 2 T ACV, 1 3/4 cup water, 3 T oil, and1/4 cup honey in a bowl.  Mix until all flour is incorporated.
Step Two: Cover bowl tightly (plastic wrap or lid) and let sit overnight.

Bread Day:
Step One: Combine yeast, 1/2 cup water, 2tsp salt, and 1 T honey in small bowl and mix.

Step Two: Combine yeast mixture with yesterday’s dough mixture!
This step  may be tough if you’re mixing by hand.  Keep working at it until you have a nice ball of dough and all water is absorbed.  Continue to fold and smash the dough.  You may add more flour as needed to keep dough from being sticky, but don’t over-do it on the extra flour or your bread may be tough and dense.

Step Three: Cover your dough with a kitchen towel.  Turn your oven on to the “warm” setting for about 90 seconds.  Turn off oven.  Put your covered bowl of dough into your slightly warmed oven and let sit (this is the 1st rising) for 60 minutes.  You may skip this step if you’re short on time, but I think the bread is fluffier with this extra rising.

Step Four: Remove dough and shape/ form into desired product(s) (rolls, loaf, etc).  Put in/ on your baking pan (loaf pan, cookie sheet, etc).  This amount of dough makes slightly more than one standard loaf.  So you could make a loaf plus 6 dinner rolls, for example.

Step Five: Cover your loaf with a kitchen towel (rolls don’t need to be covered, although you could put a little oil on the top of them if desired).  Warm your oven again.  Let rise again.
If you are doing a whole loaf, let rise 60 minutes exactly, then bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until sides and top start to brown.  If you are doing rolls or something smaller, let rise 20-30 minutes, then bake at 350 degrees (rolls take about 15-20 minutes to bake).

For Fun Step Six!! Time it to where your husband is walking in the door from work and the bread has 5 minutes left to bake.  Greet him with a kiss, let him hug on the little ones, then serve hot, fresh bread!

If I’m making plain bread, our FAVORITE way to eat it is with a vinegarette oil that I make, YUMMY!!!  Here’s my Vinegarette Recipe!

Vinegarette:
Step One: Get a glass bottle with a pour spout.
Step Two: Add 2/3 cup olive oil (a good tasting one), 1/3 cup Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, and then your choices of spices.  (Consuming Raw ACV is fantastic for your health, here’s a great way to consume 1/3 cup of it!)
My favorite combinations of spices are: (to add to the oil/ vinegar)
-Pinch of Salt, Garlic Powder, and Oregano (sometimes I throw in a pinch of onion powder also)
-Rosemary, Salt
-Salt, Oregano
-Salt, Honey

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