Free Form Friday: The Recipe For Your Daily Bread


(In interest of full disclosure, I got this recipe from my friend Jessica.  Having eaten it many times, I can assure you that it is, indeed, delicious.)

Eating healthy. Mom always said you should, and Mom knows best, right? But with the large amount of preservatives found in the simplest of foods these days, many think that it is a lost cause. Don’t be so quick to give up. Bread is one of the staples of the American diet, and here is a simple way to bake your own healthy alternative to the preservative-loaded white bread you’re eating now. It’s easier (and tastier) than you think.

First off, you will want to assemble all of the necessary ingredients, measuring cups and spoons, and other kitchen implements you will need. Make sure that you have a clear, clean counter top to work at.

Your bread-baking journey begins with a large empty bowl. Measure the following into the bowl: 2½ c whole wheat flour, ½ c oats, ½ c sesame seeds, ½ c flax seeds, ½ c ground flax seeds, ½ c sunflower seeds, 2½ tsp salt and 1 package of yeast. Mix the above well with a wooden spoon. Yes, the same spoon that you lived in terror of as a small child. It really does have uses other than teaching you that no means no.

Next you will want to combine 2 c water, 1 c milk, and ½ c melted butter in a saucepan and heat on the stove (or in a microwave, if you so desire). Heat ingredients until they are just hot enough to burn your finger. Admit it, you’ve used this very scientific method for measuring temperatures many times. Don’t let the mixture become too hot or too cold, as this will kill the yeast.

At this point, you should pour the liquid mixture into the bowl containing the dry ingredients, and mix well. Next, slowly add approximately 3½ c all purpose flour to the mixture in the bowl. You should add just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking.

Sprinkle some flour on a clean counter surface, place the dough on the counter, and knead it for five minutes. Add extra flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.

Now you need to grease a large clean bowl, and put the dough into it. Next, place a damp dish cloth on top of the bowl, covering it completely.

After this, the dough needs to be left to rise for one hour. There are two options for doing this. One is to fill the kitchen sink with hot water, place an oven rack over the sink, and place the cloth-covered bowl atop the rack. The other option is to turn your oven on as low as possible and place the bowl inside to rise.

After dough has risen, you will need to uncover it and punch it once. This provides the dual benefit of helping the baking process and giving you a bit of stress relief. How’s that for multi-tasking? Next, remove the dough from the bowl and place it back on the counter. Divide the dough into two equal parts, then shape into loaves.

Now place the loaves into greased loaf pans, cover with the damp dish cloth, and let it rise for 30-45 minutes. After the dough rises, place in an oven that has been pre-heated to 350 degrees, and bake uncovered for 40 minutes. When baked, the bread should be golden brown and make a slightly hollow sound when tapped.

Finally, remove from oven, slice, and savor. Now you have your daily bread, baked with your own two hands. Bread that is both tasty and healthy. Mom would be proud.

approx. 3½ c all purpose flour, ½ c oats, ½ c sesame seeds, ½ c flax seeds, ½ c ground flax seeds, ½ c sunflower seeds, 2½ c whole wheat flour, 2½ tsp salt, ½ c melted butter, 1 package yeast, 1 c milk, 2 c water.

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