When it’s Time to Bake Bread

Crescent Rolls Homemade Bread

There are  just a few days left in the month. I used the last of our grocery money on Monday and discovered this morning that we are out of bread. It matters because all the kids pack their own lunches in a half asleep state at 6:30 am and when there’s no bread they get confused, and require my help.  I’m not good help at 6:30 am.

Danish Dough Wisk

I haven’t baked bread in a long time.  I just needed a little motivation to get back to it. Thankfully none of us are gluten sensitive.  Here’s why we still eat wheat: “Wheat ranks first among the grains for its nutritional value.  Wheat is an excellent source of fiber and many critical B-vitamins when used in its entirety, including the bran, germ, and endosperm.  Wheat germ is one of the richest sources of vitamin E if used when freshly milled, before oxidation takes place.” Source Plus it tastes good and it’s affordable.

Here’s why I don’t always soak it.  Well, that’s how I sleep at night.  The actual reason I don’t soak is it’s an extra step that stresses me out, and we prefer the taste without soaking.

Danish Dough Wisk

My all time favorite bread recipe is Vickilynn’s Absolute Best Challah. I usually bake her 2 loaf version, but today went with the whopper 6 loaf one.  It takes 15 cups of flour!  My kitchen aid can only handle about 6 before the dough starts climbing up into the motor shaft….so I mixed this by hand with a Danish Dough Wisk.  When it got too hard to do with the wisk, I dumped it out and kneaded it by hand for 15 minutes (while watching Brain Games on Netflix.)

IMG_0616.JPG

I really wanted a lot of bread, but I only have 3 loaf pans.

IMG_0617.JPG

No matter, the dough makes good rolls too.  I usually do clover leaf rolls with 3 small balls of dough in each muffin tin, but we had to leave for violin lessons in 5 minutes and I just plopped a big ball in each well.

IMG_0618.JPG

And then I ran out of muffin tins….so I made crescents.

IMG_0619.JPG

Before rising.

Bread DoughWhen we got back from violin, they were nice and big.  Time to proof the oven and let them rise a little more.

Muffin Tin Dinner Rolls

They went over well :).

Homemade Hamburger Buns

 

There was a time in my life when baking buns was not noteworthy.  I just did it, because that is how we survived.  I’ve gotten lazy since then.  It happened between the birth of my 5th and 6th babies.  Life just overwhelmed me and baking bread was “too hard.”  But today, I made hamburger buns and feel like shouting it from the rooftop.  After it was done, the thinking about it was the hardest part.  The doing didn’t take long. A Grocery Shrink Plus member did it last week and posted her beautiful pictures on our facebook group page. I said, those are awesome.  Thinking,  “I don’t have time for that anymore.”  Famous last words :).

image

My daughter had a birthday party this month and I bought fancy foods from Aldi that used up my grocery budget quickly.  Our budget has no room for fluff–or very little of it.  It’s necessities only–or it won’t last.  And last it didn’t.

image

I went to the store with my last $20 on Monday and we bought a gallon of milk, a few fresh veggies and some yogurt.  I had to put food back before getting the checkout line after I estimated the total in my mind.  Brandon (age 5) was a little traumatized.  He’s never seen me make these hard decisions before, or was too young to understand.  He tried to give me money so we could buy whatever we wanted.  I explained to him that I have plenty of money, but we decided at the beginning of the month how much we would spend on food and I was determined to stick to that no matter what.  It’s like a game :).  He wasn’t sure it was a fun game…lol.  We have a full pantry, so it isn’t as big a deal to run out of grocery money.

I started the buns with the recipe from King Arthur Flour.  I have a different one in my Grocery Shrink Plus menus, but wanted to try something new.  I adapted it quite a bit–switched from butter to oil so the rolls would be soft, even cold.  And used 100% fresh ground whole wheat flour.  Hard white wheat makes my bread so much better than when I used hard red wheat.  And now I can buy 25 lb bags of wheat berries from Wal-mart!

I keep my wheat grinder on the counter all the time, cleaned, with the hopper full of berries and the lid on.  Then all I have to do is flip a switch for fresh ground flour.  It takes a lot of the dread out of baking for me.

Here’s my adapted recipe:

100% Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup stevia in the raw
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  1. Combine water, and sugar until sugar is dissolved.  Stir in yeast.  Wait a few minutes for it to soften and activate.
  2. Stir in 1 cup of flour, oil, egg, stevia and salt.
  3. Add remaining flour a little at a time until a soft dough forms that pulls away from the sides of the mixer.  Knead by hand 8 minutes or by mixer 3-4 minutes. Oil lightly and cover with a towel.  Let rise until double.
  4. Roll dough out 1/2 inch thick and cut with a wide glass. Set on greased pans and allow to rise until double.
  5. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.