Bread at Home

Tomorrow is National Homemade Bread Day. While most of us think nothing of baking challah every week, the world at large considers bread baked at home worthy of celebration. This day was established by homemakers in the 1980s to encourage the idea that homemade is way better than store-bought. Ummm, we already knew that! But we decided it would be a good opportunity to share some satisfying recipes for you to try at home. So let’s get baking!

Homemade Sandwich Bread

While this may look like the white stuff you buy at the grocery, it tastes vastly different. Not to mention no preservatives keeping it shelf-stable.

5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 heaping tablespoon instant yeast (not rapid rise)

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

2 1/2 cups hot water

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon canola oil for brushing

Combine flour, yeast and sugar in your mixing bowl. Add water and salt. Knead 8–10 minutes.

Cover with towel and put the dough in a warm place to rise until doubled in size; about 40 minutes.

The dough will be really sticky, so flour your hands to make it easier to work with.

Divide dough in half and form a loaf by tucking the sides of the dough down into itself, leaving the top smooth.

Place into two greased 9- or 10-inch loaf pans. Let dough rise until it touches the top of the loaf pans.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes in a 350° oven. Start with a cold oven. No need to preheat.

Remove loaves when the tops are golden. Brush with canola oil and cool before cutting.

Homemade Dinner Rolls

Dinner rolls are richer than basic bread as they contain fat and eggs. Of course, you can serve these anytime — not just for dinner.

5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon instant yeast

1/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup rice milk

1 large egg

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 cup (2 sticks) chilled margarine, cut into slices

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water for wash

Poppy seeds

Place flour, yeast and sugar in your mixer bowl. Add rice milk, oil, egg and salt into yeast mixture. Mix until smooth. Add margarine, kneading until a smooth dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough remains sticky, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time. Continue kneading about 5 minutes.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough overnight. (It can also be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

Grease and flour 24 nonstick muffin cups.

Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead briefly until smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes.

Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Roll out 1 dough portion on floured surface to 13×11-inch rectangle, about 1/8” thick. Return the remaining dough to the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

Cut the rectangle lengthwise into 6 strips, each about 2 inches wide. Stack strips one on top of another, forming 6 layers and pressing slightly to adhere. Cut strips crosswise into 6 equal stacks, each about 2 inches long. Place 1 dough stack, 1 cut side down, into each muffin cup. The dough will fan out slightly and fill muffin cups as it rises.

Repeat with four remaining chilled dough pieces.

If you prefer, dinner rolls can be knots, small braids or basic rounds balls. You can also press three small balls of dough into the muffin cup to form a clover-leaf roll.

Cover rolls with a dish towel. Let rise in warm area until rolls are puffed and doubled in volume, about 15 minutes.

Preheat to 350°. Brush rolls gently with egg wash. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake until rolls are golden brown, switching top and bottom baking pans halfway through baking, about 25 minutes. Transfer pans to rack and cool rolls 5 minutes. Serve warm.