This Wisconsin Homemaker Homemade Bread Recipe uses simple ingredients and bakes up a rich crumb in under three hours.
Quick and Easy Wisconsin Homemaker Homemade Bread Recipe
I’ve been making homemade bread on and off for years, but never to much success, except when it was with a pre-made boxed version and using a bread machine.
Fast forward to today, when I can honestly say: I did it all sans bread machine–all from scratch!! And the results were beautiful loaves that had a rich crumb (the delicious part between the crust), as well as the crust which was buttery perfection.
My success was serendipitous thanks to the fact that our air conditioner had died and the house was hovering at a warm 80 degrees F indoors.
And, if you know anything about baking, allowing the bread dough to rise properly in a warm environment, is one of the secrets to light but delicious homemade bread.
So, when the air condition failed, I decided once and for all to overcome my nemesis and make homemade bread–yes, this Wisconsin Homemaker was going to make it the old fashioned way: homemade, sans bread machine or packaged bread mix–made from scratch.
At first I tried a 50/50 mix of whole wheat and bread flour. Those are the ones in the back in the image below.
They look awful because I put the ingredients all together, much like a dump cake.
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Well, bread, if you haven’t guessed, isn’t a dump cake but a well-honed chemical mix of “just the right” ingredients that must be added in the correct order. So if you are like me and want to try to put everything together all at the same time–don’t. Otherwise, your loaf will look like this (see below): a bit flat.
Not pretty, huh? Not at all. (But I do have to admit it did taste pretty delish–just saying.)
Anyway, if you look again at the image above this one, you’ll see the loaf in front of the ugly ones. This is the batch I put everything in the CORRECT order.
And, for this version I used 100% white bread dough.
Bread Baking Tip: Be sure to use only Quick Rise Yeast for this recipe.
The results were a beautifully formed, proofed bread dough that was a joy to behold.
And, because of the indoor temperature, the loaves rose to great heights–a feat that I hadn’t been able to achieve no matter what I tried.
After the first proof, I greased two loaf pans (I used Pam nonstick spray), and divided the dough in half. Then, I sprayed the tops with nonstick spray, again, and allowed the dough to rise one more time before baking.
Here is a crucial tip for all newbie bakers: Allow your dough to rise to the height you want your loaves to be in the end. This way, you’ll be assured of nice tall loaves, rather than short squat ones. (I speak from experience–trust me.)
Finally, it’s time to bake for approximately one hour. Once baked, I lightly brushed melted butter on the top and sides of each loaf. This gives the bread a beautiful shine.
The final tip I have to offer is this: Don’t, and I mean don’t, slice the bread hot out of the oven. Otherwise, you’ll rip the bread apart.
Err on the side of restraint and let the loaves cool completely before slicing. You’ll be so glad with the results that like me, you might even dance for joy.
As you can see: bread that is both delicious and beautiful. Enjoy!
For more delicious bread-inspired recipes be sure to check out Wisconsin Homemaker’s Recipe Section, as well as these amazing family favorites:
- Easy Artisan French Baguette Recipe
- No Flour Cornbread Recipe
- Tuscan-Style Panzanella Recipe
- Easy Apple Stuffing
- Herbed Irish Soda Bread
Wisconsin Homemaker Homemade Bread Recipe
- 26 ounces white bread flour
- 2 tsp iodized salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp lard or 2 tbsp butter
- 0.75 oz Quick Yeast (use Quick versus Rapid Rise Yeast for this recipe)
- 1 1/2 cup water warm (plus extra, if needed)
- In a large mixing bowl add dry ingredients (except Quick Yeast), using your dough hook. Mix well.
- In a glass measuring cup, add 1 cup warm 100 degrees F water, and yeast. Allow the yeast to proof for about five minutes.
- With your mixer on low, begin adding 1/3 of the yeast-water to the dough. Allow the mixer to incorporate the liquid, then add another 1/3 of the yeast-water. Repeat one more time. If you find that any flour remains, add about a tablespoon or so of additional warm water and swish in measuring cup. Add this to dough mixture.
- Now, allow the dough hook to knead the dough for about 5-8 minutes.
- Spray a glass bowl with non-stick spray and place dough in bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about an hour.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, punch down and divide into to large loaves.
- Knead each dough ball briefly and place in a glass loaf pan that’s been sprayed with non-stick spray.
- Allow it to rise to the size you want and bake in a preheated 380 degrees F oven for about 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees F.
- Brush melted butter to the crust to brown and remove from the oven.
- Let cool while still in glass loaf pan for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from loaf pan and allow to completely cool before slicing.
- Store in a plastic bread bag.