Frugal Baking- Homemade Bread

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I love to cook and I am a pretty confident baker, however, one thing I've struggled with is finding a really yummy bread recipe. I know- kind of funny being as there are a zillion out there and bread is one of those ‘basics” that almost anyone can make themselves. Nevertheless, I keep trying new recipes and have finally found one I really like and have gotten good results from! Even better- it's easy and from start to finish it takes just over 2 hours!

I got the recipe here and have made it several times, modifying it slightly each time. I only use 1/2 cup of sugar and I add a “secret ingredient.” I put it in quotes because it's not going to be secret very long- I'll fill you in on that later. I also used half whole wheat flour.
The cost of a basic whole wheat loaf of bread in the store is about $2. You can easily spend a lot more! I've estimated the cost of a loaf of homemade bread is about .45-.50! That's even factoring in energy costs! Amazing.
**Note: in the pics below, I was only making 1 loaf. Recipe yields 2 loaves, so plan accordingly!
Amish Bread
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups bread flour (3 cups white, 3 cups whole wheat- or any ratio you'd like!)
In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.

Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Add secret ingredient- dough enhancer! I add 2-4 TBSP depending on how much whole wheat flour I've used. It really helps make the bread lighter and fluffier! I got mine at Walmart for $5.88 and it will last a long time.

Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. (I find I keep my house too cool for dough to rise properly, so what I do is turn the oven on low while I'm mixing the ingredients, then turn it off when I start kneading. Once the dough is ready to sit and rise, the oven has cooled slightly, but is still warm. My dough raises beautifully in 1 hour!)

Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9×5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans. (As you can see from the pic below, I let mine rise in the 2nd time in the oven. It works well as it's still warm and the bread doesn't get disturbed by me moving it.)

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.

Voila! Beautiful, delicious homemade bread for a fraction of the cost!

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13 thoughts on “Frugal Baking- Homemade Bread

  1. Utah Deal Diva says:

    Megan- I just use regular white flour. My whole wheat flour says “Whole Wheat Baking Flour” on it. I think it was the only whole wheat flour at Walmart though- so it wasn’t any more expensive.

  2. Allie says:

    That looks really good!

    I just found a new bread recipe too- my old one hadn’t been turning out well the last several times.

    The best bread recipe I’ve found lately is for “artisan bread”, I’m not sure how much money we’ve saved by not having to buy fancy bread, because we didn’t buy it that often before, but we sure enjoy having nice bread with oil and balsamic vinegar for dinner. I’ll have to find the link again.

    I’ve never tried the dough enhancer. I’ve been making bread with all whole wheat flour, and have wondered what dough enhancer would do.

  3. Utah Deal Diva says:

    Allie- you should try the dough enhancer! I’ve seen it several places now- just saw it at Dick’s. I think it really makes a difference. If you use all whole wheat flour, you’ll need to add more. BTW- there are different recipes online for homemade dough enhancer- I haven’t tried them but the ingredients are totally different than what’s in my store-bought dough enhancer! (soy lecithin)

  4. Semi-Organized Mom says:

    I am running to walmart to get the dough enhancer right now. I’ve also seen ww bread recipes using wheat gluten, but I haven’t found any store that actually sells this except for the bosch store….and well, since it’s Sunday…it’s closed.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have always been extremely intimidated by bread making and anything else that requires yeast until today!! Thanks so much for your step-by-step instructions and for the great pictures. I followed your recipe and my loaves were awesome!!! Thanks so much!

  6. Brianna says:

    I just made this bread tonight and all I can say is WOW. Ive never made bread before and I still cant believe I was successful! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I thought I needed a bread machine to be able to get it right and now I know I can ddo it myself. Thanks!!!

  7. Sarah Allred says:

    I'm WAY late posting this – sorry! BUT, I've been a faithful 'Amish Bread' baker since you posted this recipe! Thank you! Easy! Dough Enhancer saved my life! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I appreciate the time you took to write it down, and take pictures for us. Thanks again!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I just discovered your blog from Butter with a side of bread blog. This looks so delicious…can't wait to try it. Just wondering if you could use 1/4 c honey instead of sugar and also just to clarify that it is regular flour you used and not bread flour. Thanks so much.

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