Fresh Baked Bread

Image by Will Merydith via Flickr

When was the last time you looked at the ingredient list on a loaf of bread? Many of them have powdered milk (dairy) and ingredient lists a mile long. It’s also expensive to keep in the house. It seems to always disappear quickly from my pantry.

Before we began our dairy free adventure, I never thought twice about the bread I purchased. After diagnosis, reading all of the labels took a long time. I had to put back loaf after loaf in an effort to find one that was dairy free. As I searched for dairy free bread, I noticed that there was an awful lot of junk in all of the packaged breads available. I didn’t want to put all of that in my kids.

With that in mind, I looked up a few bread recipes and to my delight, there were just a few ingredients and I could read them all! Flour, water, yeast, salt, and sugar. Yes! That sounds much better, don’t you think? Then I started experimenting. I’ve always had a bakers heart, so making bread was something that fit in nicely. I discovered that bread was very easy to make and tasted so much better than anything I could purchase at the store for a reasonable price. The mixing, kneading, and rising were a process that felt wonderfully domestic. I soon established a habit of making our own bread.

As the years and seasons have come and gone my bread making has evolved to suit our needs as a family. I still adore feeling the goopy mass turn into a beautiful, springy, soft mound of bread dough. I love to feel the dough change right under my hands; it’s magical to me.  As seasons have changed it’s not always practical to spend much time in the morning kneading bread dough. So I’ve come to rely on my simple, cheap, bread machine.  I don’t like it to handle a loaf of bread start to finish, but I do let it handle the prep work that seems to take so much time.  I just put in the ingredients, press the dough cycle, and when it beeps the dough is ready to shape and rise for the second time. It is a glorious thing!

To keep bread in the house for my boys’ lunches I need to make a loaf every other day. If I have it started by 9 in the morning, it is usually ready by lunch time.

If you’d like to make your own bread, try this simple, tasty recipe!

Basic Oat Bread-Dairy Free

Makes one loaf

You’ll Need:

  • 1 ¼ Cups Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Margarine (Fleischmann’s Unsalted Stick is dairy free!)
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1 ½ Teaspoon Yeast (or one packet)

To Make:

  1. Place all ingredients in your bread machine in the order stated above.
  2. Set to dough cycle and let the machine do its work.
  3. When the dough cycle is complete, it’s time to shape your loaf.
  4. Have a buttered loaf pan ready to go.
  5. You can either shape the loaf on the counter top or in the loaf pan.
  6. I’m not so concerned with looks, so I just remove the dough from the bread machine and shape in the loaf pan.
  7. Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes or until the dough is about double in size.
  8. Preheat your oven to 400F
  9. Before you stick the loaf in the oven, take a very sharp knife and make a slit down the middle of the loaf.
  10. Bake your loaf in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
  11. After baking is done, remove the bread from the loaf pan and cool on a wire rack.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Additional Resources