A few weeks ago I made my family a stack of sandwiches in preparation to take a trip up the mountain for a picnic. As I made the sandwiches I realized how much bread it takes to feed my growing family of 6.
In the weeks that followed I began to notice that we were running out of bread earlier and earlier until we almost NEVER had any left for the weekend. I was a little reluctant to start adding another loaf to my shopping list each week because bread is expensive and I already felt like I bought way too much. After fighting the nagging thought in the back of my mind I knew I needed to start making my own bread, or at least some of it.
Here enters a MAJOR problem.
A few years after I was married I cried to my mother about my inability to make bread. Her response was to buy me a bread maker thinking it would solve my problems. It didn’t. I did notice, however, that I could successfully make a loaf from a store bought bread machine mix. So, I went out and bought a half a dozen box mixes at $4.00 a piece. Not really worth the effort of making bread, I can buy it for less than that.
So my solution was to make my own bread mix and seal it in quart jars for easy bread making and little mess.
Here is how it works
Mix Dry Ingredients together (no yeast)
Place Flour Mixture In Air Tight Containers (either individually or in bulk):
Label your 2 lb Bread Machine Mixes with this free label: WORD
Label your 1 1/2 lb Bread Machine Mixes with this free Label: WORD
Store Bread Machine Mix In Your Pantry Until Needed:
Wheat Bread Machine Mix
1 (5lb) bag Bread Flour
1 (5lb) bag Whole Wheat Flour
1 ¾ Cup Powdered Milk
1 ¼ Cups Sugar
4 ½ Tbsp Salt
Butter (as directed below)
Yeast (as directed below)
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a VERY LARGE bowl! Mix well with a mixer.
Store flour mixture in bulk or measure into smaller quantities for 1 ½ lb – 2lb loafs. (This recipe will make about 8 ½ lb loafs and 1 2lb loaf.)
To make a 1 ½ lb loaf: Pour 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp warm water into bread machine. Add 2 Tbsp soft butter, and 3 ½ cups Wheat Bread Machine Mix. Make a small indentation in the flour (like a volcano) and fill it with 1 ½ tsp quick active dry yeast. Select basic/white or whole wheat cycle and medium or light crust color. Press start!
To make a 2lb loaf: Pour 1 ½ cups warm water into bread machine. Add 3 Tbsp soft butter and 4 ½ cups Wheat Bread Machine Mix. Make a small indentation in the flour (like a volcano) and fill it with 2 tsp quick active dry yeast. Select basic/white or whole wheat cycle and medium or light crust color. Press Start!
I choose to store my bread mix in quart jars so I could vacuum seal the lids shut for a longer shelf life. This method only works with a 1 ½ lb loaf, a 2lb loaf will not fit in a quart jar.
This may be the greatest food storage/ self reliance project I have done yet. I can store this bread machine mix for long periods of time and it only took a few minutes to put together. Not to mention the money I can save buy making my own bread!