We used to get the whole grain bread from Costco and we'd get 4+ loaves per trip and that wouldn't last long enough until the next trip. Costco is even further that the regular grocery store, over an hour away. With gas (and time) costing so much, we only make the trek down the mountain when we "need" to.
For my birthday last year Mr. M went big and got me a beautiful, wonderful, magnificent Kitchenaid Mixer. One thing you have to know about my normally thrifty husband is that when he decides to invest in a tool (and you better belive a mixer in my kitchen is a tool) he goes big. We lucked out and found the Professional 600 series on sale for only $10 more that the "normal" one. Yeah, for $10 you better believe I'm getting the ginormous one. I got it home and immediately started playing. I had grand ideas of bread baking so I got started and failed. Seriously after the first 5 attempts at bread making I gave up and my beautiful mixer sat neglected on my counter. The thing is so big it wouldn't fit into any of my cabinets and it stared at me and I swear it laughed at me.
As I was reading some of my favorite food blogs I came across a book by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. Several of them mentioned the book so I ordered it from Amazon. It has changed my life! With this book, and their 2nd book, Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, it's so stinking easy to have fresh baked bread there is no need (I seriously was almost punny and said "knead") to buy bread.
Here's one of my favorite breads from the "Healthy" book, 10 Grain Bread. This recipe makes about four 1-pound loaves. If you want a hearty sandwich size loaf, then use about 1/3 of the dough.
|The ingredients.... 2 cups ten-grain cereal (Bob's Red Mill is what they recommend), 3 cups wheat flour, 2 cups white flour, 1.5 Tbl yeast, 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten, 1 Tbl salt and 3.5 cups lukewarm water|
|Put all the dry ingredients in a 5 quart bowl. I used my mixer bowl because it's 6 quarts|
|I didn't take pictures of adding all the ingredients individually, I'm sure you're smart enough to add 2 cups of flour without a picture.|
|Either whisk them together or give it a few turns with the paddle attachment of your mixer. See how the cereal is incorporated into the flours.|
|pour in 3.5 cups of lukewarm water|
|without kneading mix it all together. You might need to wet your hands to get the last little bits if you're not using a mixer.|
|Mix it until it looks like this. It's going to be fairly wet. Don't worry, it's supposed to be that way.|
|Plop it into your 6 quart container and cover (not airtight). Let it rise for about 2 hours|
|until it looks like this. At this point, you can bake a loaf of bread or toss the container in your fridge for use in the next 10 days.|
|When you're ready to bake a loaf, pull off a hunk and form it into the loaf (you can do a free form one too) and put it into your loaf pan. Cover and let rise for 1 hour 40 minutes. (only 40 if you're using fresh, unrefrigerated dough)|
|Preheat the oven to 450. Make some slits on top of the bread with a serrated knife. You can brush with water and add more of the cereal if you'd like. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until brown and firm.|
|Let cool before slicing.|