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Baking Bread, Breaking Bread {Day 49}

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Baking Bread, Breaking Bread @ AVirtuousWoman.org

From Chaos to Calm: Day 49

Scripture Memory: “And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2: 46-47

      Mmmm. The smell of baking bread…. Is there anything more comforting that leaves you with a sweet anticipation of what’s to come?

[Tweet “Is there anything more comforting that the smell of freshly baking bread?”]

     As you rework and rework your daily schedule and as your home becomes organized you should find that you have pockets of time that will give you the opportunity to do some real baking.

     I guarantee that if your husband walks in the door to the smell of warm, just baked bread on a regular basis, he will never want to leave! Of course that is if you welcome him with a smile and not a scowl everyday!

Baking Homemade Bread

     Baking bread is rewarding. The thrill of soft, supple dough rising to perfection is so satisfying, if you can devote time to learning how to bake your own bread, you will begin to crave the experience. Each step of bread making typically takes only minutes, so it should not be too hard to work it into a good schedule. Depending on the type of bread, you can have bread in as little as two hours or more.

For my family, I can have enough bread to last us a week if I plan on baking two or three days of the week. Since I am home most of the time, I simply prepare the dough and allow it to rise and then bake in between my other tasks. Bread that you make with your own hands is healthier and will bring joy to your family. My children and my husband beg for homemade bread – whether it is toasted and buttered, used for sandwiches, or served with gravy.

I suggest making homemade biscuits on Sunday that can be frozen for use later in the week. Sunday afternoon, in my house is a good time for me to make a basic sandwich bread, pumpernickel, French bread. Sometimes on Wednesdays I will prepare Challah bread for the Sabbath. If I have time during the week, I can bake extra loaves so we are never without. Hamburger buns, pita breads, and English muffins are all simple to make and just take a little practice.

     Quick breads such as Banana Bread, Zucchini Bread, Orange Nut Bread are all delicious and are easily prepared. If you are new to making bread, start with a quick bread recipe and then work your way up to making fresh yeast breads. Quick Breads also make nice gifts to surprise church members with. To me, good homemade bread is synonymous with love.

If you’ve never made bread before, it may take some patience to learn how dough works,but it’s worth a try!

Country White Bread

  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add sugar, salt, eggs, oil and 3 cups of flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Divide in half and shape into loaves. Place in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to cool on wire racks.

French Bread Rolls

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups bread flour

In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, and form into round balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Hawaiian Sweet Bread

  • 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour, potato flakes, sugar, yeast, salt and ginger. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, water, butter and pineapple juice to 120 degrees F-130 degrees F. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add eggs; beat until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/4 hours.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into thirds. Shape each into a ball. Place in three greased 9-in. round baking pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cover loosely with foil if top browns too quickly. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Honey Wheat Bread

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package rapid rise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup melted shortening
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water.

Combine milk, 1/4 cup water, shortening, honey, salt and wheat flour in food processor or bowl. Mix in yeast mixture, and let rest 15 minutes. Add white flour, and process until dough forms a ball. Knead dough by processing an additional 80 seconds in food processor, or mix and knead by hand 10 minutes. Place the dough in a buttered bowl, and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise for 45 minutes, or until almost doubled.

Punch down, and divide dough in half. Roll out each half, and pound out the bubbles. Form into loaves, and place in buttered 9×5 inch bread pans. Butter the tops of the dough, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area until doubled; second rise should take about 30 minutes.

Place a small pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until tops are dark golden brown. Butter crusts while warm. Slice when cool.

Communion Bread

  • 1/2 Cup of Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup of Water
  • Salt
  • 2 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour

Preheat the oven to 350 F . Combine the olive oil, water, and salt. Wisk it with a wisk or a fork until its near-frothy white. Alternatively, you can put it in a blender instead.

Loosely mix the flour to the blend. You don’t want to mix it too much or glutton chains will start to form. When making normal bread, this is desirable. But, since we’re making unleavened bread, it will make it too hard. Make sure the dough is the same consistency of a drier batch of cookie dough. Grease a cookie sheet well.

Roll the dough flat (as thin as pie crust). I find it helpful using a hand roller.

Once the dough is flat, it is necessary to make some incisions so that bubbles will not form in the baking process. I like to cut it into cracker-like squares. If you want to keep larger pieces, simply make a sizable incision every 6-12 inches.

Bake for about 10 minutes. Watch it constantly after 9 minutes to avoid burn. Browned (not just burnt) communion bread tastes bitter. Adjust the time for crispier or flimsier bread.

Banana Bread

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Spray one 9×5 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray coating. Blend together the eggs, buttermilk, oil and bananas. Sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Add to banana mixture and stir in pecans. Mix well. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • Grated peel of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another bowl, beat egg. Add orange juice, peel, butter and hot water. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Gently fold in cranberries and walnuts. Spoon into greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees F for 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

More Homemade Bread Recipes You’ll Love

You’ll find more than two dozen homemade bread recipes in The Recipe Box here at A Virtuous Woman.

Baking Bread, Breaking Bread @ AVirtuousWoman.org

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  1. Thank you for these recipes, I have been wanting to try my hand at bread baking and these recipes are perfect starters. Thank you for your ministry.
  2. I've recently started baking bread for our family. I was surprised at how easy it really was. Thanks for posting these recipes. I can't wait to try them.
  3. Hi Melissa Tried your tea towel biscuits and they turned out really lovely. I cut them out in little heart shapes and my family enjoyed them with a thin layer of butter and some homemade jam :-) What a quick and easy recipe and no sugar... I joined in half way through your chaos to calm podcast and I missed a whole lot of episodes but I would love to go back and have a listen to the ones I missed, is there any way I can do this? Kind Regards Therese
    1. Hi Therese, you can find the entire series here: http://avirtuouswoman.org/from-chaos-to-calm-15-weeks-to-a-happy-home-podcast-and-devotion/ Thanks! And I'm so glad you enjoyed the biscuits! :)
  4. I agree with you that baked bread is a way of showing love. My mother would make breads, and sweet rolls when I was younger, and it would bring the entire family together when she did. I believe the art of bread making is becoming a dying art, but it doesn't have to be! I've started to bake bread in my home and I hope it has the same impact on my husband and children (all boys) as it did on me when I was little! Thank you for the recipes!
  5. Growing up, my grandma and I used to get together on Sundays, and she'd bake homemade bread. I don't have the recipe any longer and am trying to figure out what to do, so I appreciated your tip to find some time to learn how to bake in your schedule and to know that it is very rewarding. I'd also love to find a bakery in Pittsburgh, PA that sells homemade bread if I don't find the time.

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