Listen, homemade bread doesn’t have to be such a chore!
And it can absolutely be healthy as well.
In my search for healthy homemade bread, I found all kinds of recipes that included hours or even days of work.
That just wouldn’t fly.
Nope, I needed something EASY.
But oh so delicious.
And I found a homemade bread recipe that I honestly have begun to swear by.
Have you ever heard of the book Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day?
With this way you make the bread dough, keep it in the fridge, and pull out a ball for a loaf of bread every day. (Or every day you want some bread!)
It all takes less than 5 minutes.
AND I THINK THAT’S GENIUS!
In the book, there’s gluten free recipes.
And whole wheat bread recipes
There’s even a recipe for soft whole wheat sandwich dough!
This is perfect for you moms like me that don’t want your kids eating the 30+ ingredients store bread.
What ARE some of those ingredients??
These breads are all whole, clean ingredients, made from your hands so it’s easy to know exactly what you are putting in your kids mouths.
Just to make it easy, I’ve given you the master recipe, which is really all you need.
You can expand to the other recipes in the book if you get tired of the plain wheat bread.
But this will be great for bread with pasta, sandwich bread, and even for those snacking times.
(Just spread some jelly on the bread and there’s a healthy snack for you!)
The Master Recipe
- 7 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp granulated yeast
- 1 tbsp kosher salt (increase or decrease to taste)
- 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
- 3 3/4 cups lukewarm water
Mixing and storing the dough:
- Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten in a 5 quart bowl or lidded (not air tight) food container.
- Add the water and mix without kneading, using a spoon or stand mixer. You might need to use your wet hands to get the last bit of flour to incorporate if you’re not using a machine.
- Cover (not airtight), and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approx. 2 hours.
- The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold.
- Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use it over the next 10 days. (the dough takes on it’s own sourdough flavors the longer you have it in the fridge, which I LOVE)
On baking day:
- Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece.
- Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. (The links above have wonderful videos of the authors doing this, it is very helpful to watch on your first time.)
- Allow the loaf to rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap, on a pizza peel prepared with cornmeal or lined with parchment paper for 90 minutes (40 min if you are using fresh, unrefrigerated dough). When I first started doing this, I didn’t have a pizza peel, so I rested it on a greased cookie sheet.
Thirty minutes before baking time:
- Preheat the oven to 450˚F with a baking stone placed on the middle rack (not completely necessary either, though it is nice to have once you get into the bread making.)
- Place a metal broiler tray on any other rack that won’t interfere with the rising bread. (My broiler tray now lives on the bottom of the oven.)
- Just before baking, use a pastry brush or paper towel to paint the top of the bread with water.
- Slash the loaf with 1/4 inch deep parallel cuts, using a serrated bread knife.
- Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone, if you have one. If not, place the cookie sheet in the oven.
- Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until richly browned and firm. Adjust time for how small or large your loaf is.
- Allow the bread to cool on a rack before slicing and eating!
I can’t wait to hear about your bread making adventures!!
I’ll tell you, the first time I made this recipe, I was amazed at how fast it was to make the dough. Maybe even more amazed at how fast it was to pull the dough and and form it into a ball.
The times when it is resting and baking, I was able to walk away and do other things until the timer beeped at me. It seriously took NO TIME AT ALL.
I always thought making homemade bread was some kind of arduous task.
With this recipe, it’s not like that. That’s why I love it.
And since the bread creates sourdough flavors on it’s own in the fridge due to the wetness of this particular recipe, you never have to worry about bothersome sourdough starters. The more you make the bread, the prettier and prettier your loaves get!
I actually love giving people my bread loaves, I feel so proud of myself.
For more clean, whole ingredient recipes, check out my Healthy Recipes page.
For a printable version: