I use one bottle of off-the-shelf drinking water, less a few splashes. The water is placed into a clear measuring cup and microwaved to 105 degrees F, give or take a degree. I add one packet of yeast, stirring it in with a clean butter knife for 10/15 seconds, then let it set for 15 minutes times.
I place 3 cups of bread flour and 1 cup of wheat flour (measured) into a large, warm, glass bowl. I add 1 ½ tsp of salt and mix thoroughly.
I use one room-temperature egg yolk, stirred with a fork.
I use a Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook attachment. Yep!
I pour the liquid and egg yolk into the mixer and add two cups of flour. I start mixing always on low, stopping to scrape the sides, then start again. Then a little more flour, repeating til all the flour is added.
All of this mixing takes not more than 5 minutes maximum. In a perfect world, this mixture will yield a tacky dough. Not sticky, but tacky. Adding a small spoon of flour or a drop or two of water will be all it will take to make the dough mixture perfect.
I scrape the dough on to a lightly floured Pastry Cloth (my mother's hand me down - 50 years old at least). Lifting the edge of the pastry cloth will cause the dough ball to roll onto itself. Then, by hand, I roll the sides of the dough ball under while turning. No more than a minute to get that perfect ball.
Set dough ball into large greased glass bowl that I had coated bottom and sides a little butter. Cover with saran wrap. I poke one small hole in the saran wrap with a sharp knife. Cover with a lightweight dish towel and place in oven - with the oven light on - for 90 minutes.
I place the risen dough back onto the pastry cloth. Push down folding and turning a couple times. Cut dough in half, form each half and then place each into a Pyrex glass loaf pan greased with a piece of butter bottom and sides (do a good job of lightly greasing). Cover and let rise one hour.
Place into a 425 F heated oven, mid-level, and bake for 20/23 minutes.
I let it set 15 minutes before slicing. After several hours of setting, I freeze one loaf if it will not be eaten within a few days. Thawed loaves of bread are as good as the day baked.
Skill set improving.
One thousand dollars to fill up an 18-wheeler 3/12/22.
A package of chicken wings at wallyworld: $32 3/12/22.
We are starting to measure the cost of going to the grocery store in gallons of gas and doing the math. Her will begin traveling with neighbor lady friend to split costs when going to local towns shopping.
$5.28 delivered 3/12/22. I included this so I can go back and compare as this year continues to unfold.
I use a dough cutter to cut butter into the dough. I make 2% milk using coffee morning half and half and tap water. Equal parts.
Gifted breakfast deer sausage, package gravy and homemade biscuits. Enough for breakfast again tomorrow morning.
We are already using homemade loaves of bread for friendly barter. Have been raised to share. A dozen gifted eggs weekly now are met with a fresh loaf of thankyou homemade bread. No, it is not expected. But sharing is a heart thing both ways.
Someone in your circle of living will be cooking. Family and friends will never say no to a seat at the table. Adding good food/bulk/flavor to any meal will save many a day and take a large load of daily stress off of your shoulders.
How do I know? Because I have lived this and seen it over and over with my own eyes. It is a part of my life playbook.
If you are the cook and encounter (live-in family) complainers. You may not agree with this but keep it in your play book. You will only have to use it once. Say nothing. Pick up the complainer's dish and toss all into the garbage can. OR, ask the complainer to stand and take his/her seat at the table. Hand the apron to him/her and officially transfer the cooking duties off. Stand your ground!!
I sat at a table when this happened and it was of the greatest human interactions I ever witnessed. I was much younger but knew this to be a very serious moment that the adults were playing. It never happened again nor did anyone ever complain at the table. Taught me about complaining.
The cook for folks in down-times rules and deserves the highest respect, someone to whom offering help to is more than appreciated.