A loaf of bread doesn't cost more than a dollar or two, but that's only if you buy the cheap stuff. If you prefer to purchase healthier whole-wheat or whole-grain bread, you could spend twice as much (or more) on a single loaf. When you're feeding an entire family, those costs can add up.

While it might be easier to just run to the store for a loaf of bread, you should consider making it yourself at home. Not only will you save some money, but you have complete control over the ingredients you do (or don't) use. Plus, nothing beats the taste of homemade bread! Keep reading to receive some tips for making bread at home.

Simple Sandwich Bread

If all you want to do is make some simple sandwich bread, this recipe is extremely simple. It requires only six ingredients and just about an hour of your time.

  • 1 packet (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 2 ¼ cups warm water
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 to 6 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  1. Warm the water to about 110°F then sprinkle the yeast over it and let it dissolve.
  2. Stir in the sugar, olive oil, and salt then add 3 cups of flour.
  3. Beat the mixture until it is smooth and well combined then stir in the remaining flour a half cup at a time until it forms a soft dough.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it for 8 to 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl then cover and let rise for about 1 ½ hours until it doubles in size.
  6. Punch the dough down then turn it out onto a floured surface and divide it in half.
  7. Shape each half into a loaf and place them in greased loaf pans - cover and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes until doubled in size.
  8. Bake at 375°F until the bread sounds hollow when tapped then set on a wire cooling rack to cool.
  9. When the bread is fully cooled, remove it from the pan and slice as desired.

Tips for Making Other Types of Bread

When it comes to making bread at home, you can keep things as simple as you like or you can get creative. Don't be afraid to experiment with different types of flour, different flavors, and different add-ons like dried fruit or nuts. It's always a good idea to start with a recipe so you can get the proportions right for the ingredients, but once you get the hang of baking bread you'll be able to make some customizations of your own.

If you're interested in upping your homemade bread game, here are some simple tips to keep in mind:
  • Invest in a food scale and measure out your ingredients so they are exact. To make things even more exact, use a recipe that measures in metric for greater accuracy.
  • Always proof your yeast to make sure it is still alive (unless you've just purchased it). To proof your yeast, warm some of the water from the recipe and mix it in with a pinch of sugar and let it sit for 10 minutes until foamy.
  • Use the least amount of flour possible. Most bread recipes will call for a range of measurements for flour - just use as much as needed to keep the dough from being too sticky.
  • Always knead your dough without flour. To avoid adding too much flour, grease a surface with cooking spray for kneading instead of using a floured surface.
Now that you know how easy it is to get started with at-home bread-making, all you have to do is try it! Give the recipe above a try and see how it turns out!

Frugal Village