Homemade bread is special. It’s like love in a loaf form. And making it regularly is something I have always wanted to do — but didn’t.
With gas prices escalating, I have been looking for ways to trim our budget. One way I realized we could live more frugally? By breaking out the bread machine and bread pans and making my own bread. Last week, all the bread eaten in our house — and at school — was made by me. It took three loaves and maybe a total of 15 minutes (5 per loaf) to feed us for a week. Easy.
Two of those three loaves? Country White Bread. It’s a must-make bread recipe.
It was luscious and springy … so tender with a delicate, crackling crust. Before I made this recipe for Country White Bread from Melissa Clark‘s cookbook, The Bread Machine Cookbook, I didn’t realize that the bread machine was capable of making such an airy, light loaf. It’s simply amazing — like a really good bakery focaccia.
We like this warm, right from the bread machine, spread with Kate’s Homemade Butter, my favorite. So good. But it’s also great as the base for open-face sandwiches or used as toast with eggs over easy.
Do you use a bread machine often? Do you make bread?
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 tbsp organic sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 3 cups bread flour
- 2 1/2 tsp dry active yeast (1 packet)
Add the ingredients to the bread machine in the order listed. Set it to the white bread setting for a 1 1/2 lb loaf.
About 1/2 way through the kneading, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. If the dough is sticking to the sides, add an additional tablespoon or so of flour.
Then, let the machine do the rest of the work.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. Her latest cookbook is The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook, published by Rockridge Press, which focuses on quick, easy, from-scratch cooking for busy people. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.