I baked my first loaf of this bread on Wednesday and needed to bake another loaf by Sunday. Um what? Is that impressive or embarrassing?
My husband eats it like it is his job, and also shoves slices into our visitors’ hands all hours of the night, so I suppose I understand how it’s disappearing so fast. But come on, fellas, do you all really need pb&j’s at 11:00 at night? Yeah, okay, I suppose you’ve convinced me.
This bread is slightly addicting. It’s moist, it’s fluffy, and it’s perfect for every. single. thing. you can think of.
I loved it for sweet and savory breakfast options like my avocado toast and pb strawberry toast pictured here. For the avocado toast: you can use a vegan mayo as the base or the white bean chive spread I used (check out my recipe here), then top with sliced avocado, hemp seeds, salt and pepper, a dash of garlic powder, and a little chili powder. My sweet breakfast option was a slice of this warm toasted heavenly bread with peanut butter, farm fresh strawberries, and hemp seeds for a touch of extra protein. Next step, fluffy toasty vegan grilled cheeses. I’m not drooling, you’re drooling.
How to store homemade bread:
I store mine in a giant airtight container. After baking, let the bread cool before putting in your container or the steam will get trapped inside and the moisture can cause it go get moldy before you have a chance to eat it. Many people go the tinfoil or plastic bag route, but we’re realllllly trying for a no waste kitchen, right pals?
This bread will stay good for about a week before it starts getting a little stale. I claim this from experience with other breads I’ve made, as this one in particular has never had the opportunity to last a whole week in our house. BUT, fear not! If your bread is getting a little stale, chop it into cubes, spritz with a fine olive oil mist, and a dash of garlic powder, salt, pepper, and herbs, and toast for 5-6 minutes on a baking sheet for some quick and delicious homemade croutons. I also love to preslice my bread and pop right into the freezer in an airtight container as soon as it cools. This takes the pressure off of trying to eat a whole loaf of bread in a week, although somehow in our house this is not a pressure I’m too familiar with .. cough cough…. You can pull a few pieces out when you need them and pop into the toaster like supermarket frozen bagels.
How to make this bread:
I use a food processor with a dough blade to knead my dough, but of course you can use a standing mixer, bread machine, or knead it by hand. None of these ways are any better or worse for the outcome of your bread, it just depends on how much time and muscle you are willing to put in.
The first thing to do when starting any loaf of bread is to get your yeast ready to go. Add your sugar, yeast, and warm water in the bowl or food processor where you’ll be mixing the dough. The sugar acts as a food for the yeast, so it is important to let the yeast sit for long enough to develop. Hot water will kill the yeast, but warm water will make it thrive, so be cautious here not to scald the yeast. You should start to see your water get cloudy and develop little puffy clusters of yeast after a few moments. After about 5 or so minutes with instant yeast, or 10-15 for regular active dry yeast, you can add in your other ingredients slowly and start mixing. If kneading by hand, do so for about 15-20 minutes, zone out, and call it meditation. If you’re taking the easy way out like me, let your dough blade knead for about 5-7 minutes. This is important because it builds up the gluten content, which traps the gasses created by the yeast, and allows the bread to rise to a perfect fluffy state. Under kneaded bread turns out flat and dense.
Spritz a 4×9 bread tin with olive oil and gently place your dough ball in it, then cover with a clean towel. I usually let mine rise for about 60-75 minutes in a warmer area, like near a heater or on the stove top if the oven is on. You can even pop into your oven at 90 degrees if you don’t have a warm spot handy. I’m not too proud though, and put mine on the floor right up against the heater behind a chair so my kitties can’t get to it. After the dough has doubled in size (this can take between 60-90 minutes depending on heat level), gently punch it down to knock out any air bubbles. I know, this seems counter intuitive because we want that giant fluffy loaf, but don’t worry, it’ll rise back up again.
Take the dough out of the baking tin, and spritz with olive oil once more, so your dough doesn’t stick. At this point, I put the dough back in , usually upside down so the top rises into a nice smooth dome when baked. Let the covered dough rise again for another 20 minutes or so in a warm spot, then pop into a preheated oven for 30 minutes at 390 degrees.
So for this bread, you’ll need the following ingredients:
4 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp instant rise yeast
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp room temp butter
For questions about this, or any of my recipes, feel free to send me an email or direct message on Instagram. I can’t wait to see the amazing ways you use this bread. Now excuse me while I get started on loaf number 3…