It all started with a loaf of bread. A lot of loaves of bread actually. An article began circulating on the Internet about a “yoga mat” ingredient that had been identified in Subway’s “fresh-baked” loaves of bread. There were articles talking about how outraged people should be and articles about how we were all blowing it out of proportion.
I have actually been baking bread with a bread machine since my twin sister gifted me one for my birthday last year. And I love it. I started by making delicious rosemary bread and then tried out a whole wheat recipe with modest success.
Then on March 1 of this year, I saw a little post by Slate.com titled “130 Brands Not Named Subway Also Use the “Yoga Mat” Chemical”. The sheer number seemed ludicrous and made me laugh out loud. It takes only a handful of ingredients to make a delicious loaf of bread, so I shared the article on Facebook with a kind suggestion to my fellow Facebook friends that they might want to consider trying to make their own bread at home. I shared a link to the bread machine I own and one of my favorite bread recipes.
The response took me by surprise. One friend suggested I start a blog and then others chimed in that they would like to read my blog should I start one. Other friends told me about the bread machines they dusted off (some still had theirs in the original box). Still other friends and family members began sending me emails, writing me Facebook messages, and texting me to let me know about their newfound inspiration to try their hands at baking bread at home. As someone who loves cooking, dining at restaurants, shopping for groceries, reading cookbooks, and searching for recipes, and who also loves to write, it seemed a natural next step to put this energy toward creating a place where others could learn more about cooking from scratch and eating real food right along side me.
I quickly pulled together some photos of recipes I had tried over the last several weeks and started writing up my first blog entries. I then took a great leap of faith and shared my new blog – Roudabush Real Food Revolution – on Facebook. The reaction by friends and family was unbelievably overwhelming. Daily I receive messages from people from all walks of my life, telling me how this blog has inspired them and how they are working to incorporate more real foods into their lifestyle. Your inspiration feeds my passion and I hope you will join me on this journey as we figure out how to create and enjoy a real food lifestyle. Thanks for joining the revolution.
And now for that bread recipe…
I found this one through a Pinterest search that led me to Plan to Eat’s website. What I love about this recipe is its simplicity. Bread making (especially in a bread machine – I own this one) should be simple. Just a few delicious ingredients assembled in fewer than 5 minutes and you’re ready to go.
Whole Wheat Bread Machine Recipe
(shared from plantoeat.com)
1 cup water (I try to get the water to about 100-110 degrees)
1/4 cup raw milk (I use Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk)
2 Tbsp butter (grass-fed, organic)
2 Tbsp honey (I use raw honey)
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup (only the real stuff!)
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/4 cup Whole Wheat Bread Flour (I use Central Milling Company’s Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour)
1 1/2 tsp yeast (I use Bob’s Red Mill Active Dry Yeast, stored in the fridge)
For bread machine recipes, you always want to add the ingredients in the order they are listed. I put my bread pan on the counter with the paddle in and start adding ingredients one by one.
Make sure the water is warm so that when you add the milk to it, the temperature doesn’t drop too much. I’ve found if my water isn’t warm enough, I get a short, dense whole wheat loaf as the yeast doesn’t work it’s magic. I use a digital read thermometer to check the temp.
Next add the butter. I like to cut it into a few pieces, but I don’t think that is necessary. Then add in the honey and the maple syrup.
Lightly spoon your flour into a measuring cup and level off with a knife. Sprinkle it on top of the liquids to fully cover the surface. Make a small, shallow well in the middle of the flour and pour the yeast into it.
Put the bread pan in the machine and choose the following settings:
Menu: 3 (Whole Wheat)
Loaf Size: 2 lbs.
Crust Color: Medium (or darker if you prefer)
Time: My machine takes 4:38 for whole wheat. This recipe indicates 3:48 (perhaps they simply mixed up the numbers?).
You’ll want to check your bread machine model for cycle times to ensure you don’t leave the house for too long and miss taking the loaf out. Another note on baking – my machine beeps when the Rise cycle is done to let me know it’s about to start baking. At this time, you have the option to gently take out the dough and remove the paddle from the machine (or from the bottom of the dough if it’s stuck to it). You can bake the loaf with the paddle in; you’ll just want to break it loose once the bread has cooled.
It is important to remove the bread pan from the machine (with oven mitts!) when the baking is done. I put my loaf on a wire cooling rack to come to room temperature and then put it in a large plastic Ziploc bag. You don’t want to leave the bread out for too long as it will start to get dry on the outside. The bread will be deliciously fresh for the first several days after baking it. After about 5 days, you’ll notice it starts to dry out a bit. If we haven’t finished eating the bread by this time, we’ll use it for toast with breakfast or grilled sandwiches. You can also freeze leftovers or the heels of the bread for breadcrumbs. Or make a nice breakfast strata! The possibilities are endless.
If you’ve never made bread before, I hope this post inspires you to consider giving it a try. It’s cheap, fast, and easy and far more delicious than a loaf bought off the shelf at your grocery store. Oh, and did I mention that your house is going to smell amazing? Happy Baking!
Nutrition Information (prepared with Almond Milk): 16 servings. Each serving has 131 calories, 2 g of fat, 4 g of protein, and 3 g of fiber.
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