This is a really easy recipe to make a staple pantry item without having to brave the grocery stores. You can do it with a standing mixer or your hands with a little extra elbow grease. You can freeze these loaves for later, and if you have kids at home this is a great activity to get them involved in the kitchen too!
- One packet (or about 2Tbsp) of Active Dry Yeast
- 2 ¼ cups warm water
- 2 ½ Tbsp white sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (can substitute vegetable oil)
- 6 cups of all-purpose flour
(you can substitute any other flours of your choice)
- Dried fruit and grains (optional to mix into the dough)
Serving Size: three loaves Preheat Oven: 350° Time: 25-35 minutes
- Pour your warm water into your bowl and add in the active dry yeast and sugar. Make sure to let the mixture sit for about 4 minutes or until there is a nice foamy layer of bubbles on the surface.
- Tip – monitor the temperature of your water. Too hot and it will kill the yeast, too cold and there won’t be much action. You want a nice lukewarm temperature.
- Attach the whisk attachment to your mixer if using a standing machine or break out the traditional whisk if doing by hand. Mix in the salt, oil, and one cup of flour until well incorporated and smooth.
- Switch out your whisk for the bread hook attachment if using a standing mixer or throw some flour on your hands and use that elbow grease. Begin adding flour one cup at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and is able to be worked without sticking to your fingers too much. In a standing mixer it will easily and cleanly fall of the hook without leaving too much residue. Approximately 7 minutes in a mixer at medium-low speed; add more time for hand mixing.
- Knead your dough on a lightly floured surface until a smooth. Fold into a ball and cut into thirds. Place each of your three dough balls into their own lightly oiled bowls. Cover the bowls loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes or doubled in size.
- Dump your risen dough back onto a floured surface and knead a second time. This is also where you can add dried fruit, grains, and anything else you would like. Just make a slight impression in the center of the dough with your fist and pour all your toppings into the impression. Then fold them into the dough until well incorporated. It’s okay if some fall out.
- Tip – I like to use dried apricots, chia seeds, and whole oats!
- Free form your dough onto well oiled baking sheets or place in well-oiled loaf pans and let them rise a second time for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Tip – To get the nice ridges in your loaves you can score the dough with a knife by lightly cutting lines into the surface of the dough.
- Place in oven at 350° for 25-35 minutes or until tops are slightly golden brown. Enjoy!
Written by Alexandra Reustle, M.A., Doctoral Intern & Biofeedback Technician