Italian bread can be easily made for pennies. This frugal recipe comes together easily and, although it will take almost 3 hours from start to finish, most of the time is hands off time. When you and your family taste this bread, you will be glad you took the time to make it.
My family is not really fond of store bought white or wheat bread. We love a bread that has a little texture to it. This Italian bread is soft, but also has a little substance to it. The day I made these loaves, my family kept asking me when they could grab a slice and spread some butter on it! I held them off until the bread cooled. Then I fought them off even longer – I made them wait until dinner! Oh what a horrible person I am! Hehehe!
There is something wonderful about making bread I am not sure what I like the most – the feel of the dough as you knead it or the smell of the bread when it is baking. Of course, there is the taste! Bread from the store can not hold a candle to homemade bread.
If you have never tried making bread, I would suggest this recipe. It really is easy to pull together. There is not a lot of work to it either. I think the hardest you may work is when you knead the bread. If you have never kneaded bread, I have made a little video for you. If you have made bread before, you might find it fun to watch how I do it.
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 2 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, salt
- and 3 cups flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in
- remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about
- 6-8 minutes.
- Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the
- top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down.
- Turn onto a floured surface; divide in half. Shape
- each portion into a loaf. Place each loaf seam side down on a
- greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30
- minutes. With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across top of
- each loaf.
- Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from
- pans to wire racks to cool.
Now on to the good part! The cost of these lovely loaves of bread. You can make two loaves of bread for under the price of one store purchased loaf. How frugal is that?
- Yeast = .036
- Water = nothing
- 1 tsp sugar = .002
- 2 tsp salt = .0002
- 5 1/2 cups flour = .77
- Total cost for 2 loaves (about 24 slices) $.81
By the way, have you read my Meal Planning Made Easy Series? Part 1 is about Why you should meal plan and Part 2 is How to Meal Plan. I will soon be publishing the Lets go shopping section! Meal Planning saves you time and money!
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