I won’t lie: part of me wants to be this little urban homesteader. I want to can my own jams, and plant a vegetable garden every year, and, I don’t know, have bees (OK, maybe I don’t want bees…scary!). I admire women who lead these productive, homemade, very photo-worthy lives, and long to emulate them.
But then, I remember reality and am like, “Oh yeah, that’s probably not going to happen all at once.” Maybe it will happen in bits and pieces – NEXT year is garden year, I promise! – but not all at once. I used to think buying a house would motivate me to throw myself into various projects, and while I do feel somewhat motivated now that we have more space and I can finally see how these things might come to be, the fact remains that we’re busy people with limited funds. Some things are going to have to wait.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t bake bread! Baking your own sandwich bread has always been a point of homemaking pride, and for the longest time I’ve wanted to be one of those people who baked their own loaf every week. I still think that’s a good idea – it can help reduce our consumption of the store-bought bread we need for sandwiches every week. But because of LIFE, it doesn’t happen every week. Oh well.
Part of that problem in the past has been the lack of a really good bread recipe – something that was easy, quick, and didn’t involve an extra trip to the grocery store. I mean, if you’re going to make bread baking a routine, it has to fit into your life, right?
Right. And I think I’ve found the recipe that fits into mine. This recipe comes from Domestic Fits, and before that, it was the Classic Sandwich Bread recipe from the King Arthur Flour bag. The recipe is super simple: three cups of AP flour, two tablespoons of sugar, a packet of yeast, half a cup of milk, half a cup of water, a quarter cup of vegetable oil, and half a teaspoon of salt. See? I can remember it off the top of my head – THAT’S HOW EASY WE’RE TALKING.
Most of the kneading is done in your mixer, then you let it rise for an hour, knead it a little bit more and put it in your bread pan, let it rise one more time, and then bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. So, so easy. Seriously, if you’re at home, just mix it all up while you’re making lunch, let it rise during the afternoon, and then bake it so that the house smells AMAZING just as your husband comes home from work (although, since I’m not into stereotypes, I also encourage men to make this for their wives as well). I don’t consider myself to be suzy housewife, but I tell you what, there’s nothing like homemade bread to make your partner/friend/whatever go, “Wow, you really have this home thing down.” You could then feed them pizza rolls and still slightly frozen french fries for dinner and they’ll STILL think you’re Martha Stewart.
I made this bread yesterday, but because I’m lame and like to eat, I didn’t take any pictures, and now it’s halfway gone. WHOOPS. Just go make it yourself, and you’ll see.