Thursday, April 28, 2011

Learn With Me: Make your own "Bread Flour" AND My Favorite Homemade Sandwich Bread

It has taken me several months and a half-dozen breadmaker disasters (read about those mishaps here!) BUT I have finally perfected the perfect sandwich bread.  In fact, I finally learned the important component to making bread - Gluten! 

That's right.  Learn with me!  You can make your own bread flour!  You don't need to buy special store-bought flours to make bread!  Bread flour is simply regular flour plus vital wheat gluten flour in it.  Follow this simple recipe to make your own "bread flour" for baking the best loaves of bread possible. 


Bread Flour
1 Tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten flour - Just one bag of this this stuff lasts you quite a long time!!  Look for it in the flour section of your grocery store or the healthy/organic section!
1 cup of flour - you can use regular, all purpose flour.  But I like to use King Arthur's 100% Natural White Wheat

Combine 1 Tbsp of Gluten flour into 1 cup of regular flour.  If a recipe calls for three cups of flour, then use 3 Tbsp of gluten in the recipe!  That is how you get "bread flour."  The gluten give it more elasticity. 


Yes, I've finally realized that you don't need store bought bread flour or other fancy flours to make decent bread.  You just need regular flour and extra gluten (flour) to make it a flexible, rising loaf.  In fact, I would recommend NOT using bread flour because most of the ones out there are not natural and enriched with components your body does not need.  Instead, choose an unbleached, unenriched flour (like whole wheat ). 

Note: If you have gluten allergies, don't worry!  There are other options for you, such as this delicious looking gluten-free sandwich bread recipe!  For gluten free breads, you need mixes and flours that do not contain wheat and that have the component xanthan gum in it.  I will be trying out a gluten-free bread soon and will share the results here!

In the mean time, I'd like to share with you my new favorite, homemade sandwich bread that I make every week now!  I love it.  The recipe is easy and it always comes out moist and perfect.  It is a whole wheat, healthy and all natural bread that my family loves.  We use it in almost every capacity - grilled cheese sandwiches, French toast and bread crumbs.  This versatile bread is great compared with anything!

Mandy's Favorite Sandwich Bread - Yogurt Whole Wheat Bread

(Makes a 2 lb loaf)

1 cup of warm water
1 and 1/3 cup of plain yogurt (I used fat free)
5 cups of whole wheat, all natural flour (I use the King Arthur 100% White Wheat brand)
6 Tbsp of vital gluten flour
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp of bread machine yeast (or 2 and 1/2 tsp. SAF yeast)

Place all ingredients in a lightly greased bread loaf in the order in which they are listed above.  Set your bread machine to the basic cycle and set to medium crust.  Mine was ready in 3 hours and fifteen minutes.  

Remove from the machine (or oven).  Let it cool for about ten minutes.  Turn it over and dump it from the pan.  Slice it and serve.  (I get about 14 to 16 slices out of my bread loaves).

You can make this bread my hand as well and bake it in the oven for just over an hour.  However, I love my bread machine and don't have time to do this by hand much.  If you try it by hand, let me know! 

Do you have a favorite sandwich bread?  Do you make your own bread or buy them from the store? 

Every now and then I still buy a loaf from the store, if I find a good deal.  But there is nothing quite like the freshness and smells from my kitchen when I bake homemade bread! 


  1. I made a yogurt loaf this week (it was white, though)! Every time I've used AP flour for recipes, I've had to add extra b/c it never comes together. I'm kinda attached to my Pillsbury bread flour :) I'll have to see about making some of my own! Glad you're showing that machine who's boss!

  2. this is a dumb question, but how do you buy gluten? is it a powder or a liquid? anne

  3. Anne - There are no dumb questions! :-) I went back and edited my post to make it more clearer. I meant to say "Vital Gluten Flour" which is a powder form. It's important to all breads. You should be able to find it near the flours in your grocery aisle or perhaps the organic/healthy section. One bag of this stuff has lasted me almost six months but it's very important to your homemade breads! Let me know if you try it out! Good luck!

    Jess - How dare ye use the store bought bread flour? ;-) Actually I have used it myself but really, it's so darn easy to make it yourself and it saves you money! Whatever works for you though! :-)

  4. the problem with this recipe is that reg. JUNK. IT has the nutrients sucked out of it. to truly make flour you must start by milling your own that the vitamin E and other essential vitamins are still there. sorry just saying