The smell of fresh bread baking in the early hours of a spring morning is one of the most comforting smells. I woke up early this morning with the intentions of starting the first recipe of this challenge– Easiest White Bread– at 7:00 am… but didn’t start until around 9:00. That’s fine, no problem.
Jenny Colgan begins this recipe explaining that it’s great to try on a lazy Sunday, but I decided that I’m going to bake it on this lazy(ish) Saturday instead. She also explains that it’s an incredibly easy bread, and perfect for beginners.
Easiest bread I can ever make? Challenge accepted.
The first step made me curious… Her recipe explains to heat the bread flour in the microwave for about a minute. Heat the flour? Why?
I had to do some research for myself. I absolutely love learning food science-y things, and this was giving me an opportunity to do just that! Unfortunately, my first searches lead to dead ends. I couldn’t find much about why it’s good to heat the flour, but I found reasons as to why it’s good to toast flour… Toasting flour adds a nutty flavour to breads and pastas when used. Not only that, but it gives the bread a darker colour. I definitely think I’ll try this next time I make bread, just to see how it differs in taste and look!
I was still stumped, and really wanted to know the reason for warming the flour! I reached out to multiple social media sites to see if anyone had any idea what the purpose of warm water is. A woman named Debra reached back out to me:
“I’ve heard of it but not in a long time. Depending on where the flour was stored, it might be very cold. Warming it would keep the dough temperature even and not slow down the yeast or starter. You want to be careful that the temperature has fallen to under 90 before adding to your other ingredients so it doesn’t kill the yeast.”
That, being the only response I received, was enough of a reason for me!
So after letting the dough proof, I wasn’t sure which kind of loaf pan to use. I have multiple loaf pan sizes, and even have some aluminum round ones that would fit the entire loaf, but I decided to try out two different sizes of loaf pans to see which one works best with this amount of dough. Popped it in the oven, and not even ten minutes after it was in there I could already smell the yeasty scent I’ve been anxiously awaiting all morning!
After anxiously waiting around 25 minutes… voila! My loaves of fresh white bread.
I have to say that this bread was absolutely amazing. Like, seriously. Amaze-balls. I just need to work on my rolling technique (you can see that the top is super crinkly and not smooth) but besides that I believe it came out quite well! I definitely also came to the conclusion that the smaller of the two loaf pans worked better.
Other loaf has made its way into the freezer fearing the warm weather and incredible amounts of bread I have at home, but I’m not sure it’s going to need to be in there long… The bread hasn’t even been out for 12 hours and it’s already almost gone!
Added Sunday, May 21st:
So, is this affordable to make?
Based on the ingredients I used at home:
- King Arthur Flour: 1.53
- Yeast: 31
- Domino Sugar: .01
- Morton Salt: .02
Total Price: It cost $1.87 to bake my own bread. Bread I can find in the store normally costs. Not only that, but I got two loaves of bread out of this recipe. That means each cost only $.94 to make.
- I usually purchase Arnold, Country Classic White: $3.39. A longish list of ingredients.
- Wonder Classic White Bread: $3.38. On their list of ingredients is high fructose corn syrup…? Who needs that?
Definitely worth making for both health reasons and the price. I’ll take this high quality, low cost bread over store bought bread any day.