Secret ingredient homemade bread

Since I’m assuming there are many of us out there with a little extra time on our hands, I thought I’d share my go-to bread recipe. It actually takes very little time to put together, but of course, if you include rising time, you just have to plan ahead. And since everyone is at home anyway, this is the perfect time to try something like this out!

So here’s my homemade bread recipe that took me literally years to finally nail down. You’d think bread would be super easy to make, right? Well, it’s simple, yet, not so simple. When we lived in Korea, the only edible bread had to be bought at the local bakery (not at the grocery store!). The only problem was that for a small loaf, it was around $3/$4. As you can imagine, that adds up fast for a bigger family. So I figured, what in the world is so hard about bread? I can make it, no problem. I then proceeded to try out every recipe I could find, and could never come up with quite the right texture or flavor or “fill-in-the-blank.” Something was always off. At least, according to my children. We create extremely honest kids in our family. Although, I have to admit, I don’t think we have the market cornered on brutally honest children. I’m certain every family has at least one! Am I right??

Anyway, finally a friend introduced me to this recipe. The only changes I’ve made is adding in chia seeds for nutrition and extra gluten for elasticity (i.e. chewiness). That was definitely a game-changer for me. I know most everyone is trying to REMOVE gluten from their diet, but adding a little to a bread recipe makes for an extremely chewy, delicious bread. And oh by the way, that’s how you make bread flour. Just regular all purpose flour with some gluten. From all I’ve read, all you need to add is about 1 tbsp to every cup of all-purpose flour (or actually, replace 1 tbsp of the all-purpose with one tbsp of gluten). If you add more, the bread ends up too dense. If you don’t add enough, the bread normally comes out a little dry. Who knew, right?

And just FYI, I definitely shoot from the hip a little when I cook. Hopefully my directions are clear, but if they’re not, just get in touch with me and I’ll be glad to clear anything up! I’ve made this so often, I don’t even think about it anymore. No more store bought bread for us. It’s been several years since we’ve purchased any. Good thing, since bread is right up there with toilet paper for things on the high priority list of hoarders these days!

Secret Ingredient Bread

Homemade sandwich bread at its best

  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ~4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup gluten (Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1-2 tbsp oil (canola or vegetable works fine)
  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer (or a large bowl) fitted with a dough hook, add 1/3 c water, yeast and 1 tsp sugar. Let sit until activated (around 5 minutes; should be bubbly)

  2. Next add flour, salt, 1 tbsp sugar, chia seeds, gluten, 1 1/2 cups warm water, and melted butter to your bowl. Start mixing until dough comes together. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour. The dough should only stick to the bottom of the bowl (i.e. nothing on the sides of the bowl).

  3. Using well floured hands, remove the dough hook, and knead the dough once or twice until a ball is formed. Add enough oil to coat the entire outside of the dough. Then let rise with a towel over the bowl for about an hour or so (should double in size).

  4. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and split the dough in half. Each half should then be split into 3 pieces. Each of those pieces should be shaped into a ball and placed into a greased loaf pan.

  5. Both loaf pans should be covered with a kitchen towel and allowed to rise for about 15 minutes. Start the oven at 350°F.

  6. Once the dough starts to rise again, place the loaves into the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown on the outside.

  7. Once out of the oven, turn out onto a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature before serving or freezing.

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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