Nothing is better than fresh homemade bread! That incredible smell wafting through the house, that fresh-out-of-the oven taste as you melt a little butter on a hearty sized slice.
The problem is not all of us have a special bread making machine or a fancy dough mixer. Well this recipe is for you! All you need is your two hands and a bowl…no fancy machines necessary!
I love the incredible flavor you get when you use a white whole wheat flour to make this bread. Of course you can use any all-purpose or unbleached flour, but we recommend you try this recipe with a variety of different whole grain flours. Both for health and the different flavor types you will enjoy in your bread! We like to use Wheat Montana’s naturally white all purpose flour regularly. But you could try a Prairie Gold whole wheat flour, and of course any other whole wheat flour you fancy.
Use This Bread Dough To Make Other Yummy Things!
This bread dough is actually pretty versatile! If you use all the dough it will make 4 loaves of bread.
But we love to make just a couple loaves, and use the rest to make rolls, braided bread, bread bowls, and any other shapes/uses you can think of!
We also love to turn it into sweet rolls and breakfast breads with dried fruit rolled into it. I have even used it in place of the pizza dough recipe here in my loaded vegan pizza recipe!
Homemade Bread How-To’s
I start by proofing my yeast half the time, but that is only because I buy dry yeast in bulk and like to make sure it is good. You probably don’t have to proof it, but in case you don’t make bread very often and want to ensure your dry yeast isn’t expired, here’s how:
Add the 4 cups of warm water stated in the recipe in an extra large bowl, add the yeast and the sweetener you chose. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. If it foams up, your yeast is good, if not you’ll want to discard it because nobody likes flat bread that was designed to rise.
Once you have confirmed your yeast is active, go ahead and add the rest of the ingredients except the flour to the bowl. Mix everything together, and slowly add a couple cups of flour at a time to the dough. Mix it in until it is too stiff to mix with a spoon.
Roll up those sleeves, rub flour on your clean hands, and get ready to knead! Keep adding flour until it is no longer overly sticky…more like dough, and less like a goopy messy.
As soon as you can move it from the bowl to the counter, you should. It will be easier to work with. Continue to add fine layers of flour as you knead. Be careful not to add so much flour that it becomes dry. It should still retain some stickiness but have enough flour to handle and knead without it sticking to your floured hands.
Clever Tip: Make The Crust The Best Part!
I’ve been making this homemade bread since I was a kid, and my favorite part has always been the honey (or agave) wash we would add to the top of the dough before it begins to rise.
Add a little warm water to some honey ,or agave nectar if you don’t use honey. Just enough to thin it so that you can brush it onto the unrisen dough. It is just as pretty as an egg wash, but twice as tasty!
Even kids who don’t like eating the crust or the back end of the bread will suddenly find it their favorite part. Who doesn’t love a slightly sweet crust?
Fresh Baked Bread Recipe
- 4 cups Warm water
- 2 tbsp Dry yeast
- 1 cup Organic brown sugar / Honey / Agave nectar
- 2 tbsp Salt
- 1 cup Vegetable oil
- 2 lb Bag of whole grain flour Winter wheat / Prairie gold / Unbleached
In a large bowl dissolve the yeast and sweetener in the 4 cups of warm water.
Add the salt and oil and mix with a spatula to ensure there are no lumps.
Slowly add in flour to the mixture until it begins to form a dough. You will not use the entire bag of flour, but keep adding flour until the dough is just dry enough to handle and knead with a little flour. Knead well and into any shape desired.
After placing shaped dough in oiled bread tin or cookie sheet, set it in a warm place to rise for an hour. Once it is double in size, pre-heat the oven to 350* F and bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
After baking, allow it to cool slightly and remove from the bread tin so it doesn't sweat. Allow to cool and enjoy!