I like to kid myself sometimes that I truly care about saving money in regards to food. I love that a loaf of homemade bread is, at most, a dollar per loaf, and store-bought is generally $3 a loaf. I’m saving at least $2 on bread a week. That’s $8 a month! That’s $96 year! Wow! And that makes me feel super thrifty and accomplished.
When I’m done congratulating myself, I realize I just enjoy this perk as a byproduct of caring about taste. Homemade bread tastes so much better than store-bought that I’d probably make it even if I didn’t save any money. The taste factor makes it impossible for me to go back to store-bought. Even if you’re a loyal grocery store bread-buyer (and continue to be after an experience with homemade bread), try this recipe out! It takes a little time but it’s really good and good for you.
Cracked Wheat Bread
This recipe is adapted from countrycleaver.com. My current favorite way to eat it is to toast it, then slather it with peanut butter and raspberry freezer jam.
1 cup cracked wheat or steel-cut oats
2 ½ cups boiling water
¼ cup honey
¼ cup canola oil
2 ½ teaspoons yeast
1 tbsp kosher salt, or scant 1 tbsp table salt
3 cups all-purpose Flour
⅛ cup vital wheat gluten*
1 ½ cup whole Wheat Flour
*You can find this in the specialty flours section of the grocery store. If you don’t feel like buying it, just use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the cracked wheat or steel-cut oats together with the boiling water. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, or until you can comfortably stick your finger in the water.
Add the rest of the ingredients. With a dough attachment, knead the dough for 5 minutes, adding more water if necessary. It’s important the dough isn’t too dry. It should stick to your fingers when you touch it. Scrape the dough away from the sides of the bowl, cover with a towel and let it rise for 30 minutes or until doubled.
Spray 2 loaf pans with non-stick spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured workspace and divide in half. Form the dough into two loaves and place in pans. Cover with a towel and let it rise for 30 min or until double. Bake for 35 minutes.
Empty loaves onto a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing. Or dig in.