by Texas Homesteader ~
Since I’m baking bread so often I went looking for ways to shorten my bread-baking tasks. Let me tell ya, whether using a bread machine or mixing & baking it up the old fashioned way, these shortcuts make homemade bread a breeze!
Finding The Perfect Homemade Bread Recipe
Recently I learned that bread machines have apparently changed for the better. Now I find I really love the convenience.
So I tweaked RancherMan’s favorite Honey/Oatmeal Sandwich Bread recipe to make a 2-Lb Loaf for a Bread Machine. I use that bread machine to whip up hot, fresh homemade bread for him several times a week.
Properly Measuring Flour
One of the most common ways bakers end up disappointed in their freshly baked bread is to measure the flour improperly.
To measure flour properly for bread you need to spoon the flour into the measuring cup, then scrape the excess away with the flat edge of a butter knife.
If you just scoop the flour out it will be compacted. That means you’ll end up with way too much flour, resulting in a dense, heavy loaf that won’t rise correctly.
So although spooning in the flour is the proper way to measure it for bread, it takes so much more time when you’re measuring several cups for a recipe.
Enter a huge Texas Homesteader kitchen shortcut:
Weighing The Flour Instead
But weighing the flour instead of measuring is SO much faster! So I first measured & weighed the amount of each of the flours for my recipe. Then I made notes of those weights to go with the actual measurements on my recipe card.
Now I simply tare the weight of an empty container on my kitchen scale and start pouring in the flour until it weighs what I’ve noted in my recipe. FAST!
NOTE: I’ve heard that the weight of your flour could vary based on type, and even the humidity in your area. Although this is probably only an estimate, here’s a link from King Arthur Flour that gives estimated weights of a cup of flour.
For me, I just layer up the jar like this:
- Place the jar & funnel on the scale and tare it to ‘0’ weight.
- Add all-purpose flour until the scale reaches 1 lb .07 oz, tare back to ZERO
- Add Oat Flour until scale shows 2 oz.
- Remove the jar, add 1 3/4 tsp salt, put a lid on top and store it in the pantry until it’s ready to use!
- (Note: my yeast is not included in the jar – it’s added on bread-baking day to keep it fresh)
But remember, your weight could vary a bit. These weights are based on the weather conditions in our home in NE Texas. Your humidity in, say, Arizona might be different.
So Do This:
To find out what each of your ingredients weighs, measure your first ingredient the way you traditionally do with a measuring cup.
Then put an empty container on your digital scale, tare the weight back to ‘0’ to remove the weight of the container. Pour your measured ingredient into the empty container and read what it weighs. Then document the weight of that ingredient on your recipe card.
Repeat until you get all your ingredients weighed and documented. From now on your measuring will go lightening fast!
Pre-Measured Dry Ingredient Containers
Enter the next super-simple Texas Homesteader kitchen shortcut:
Since measuring out the dry ingredients is now so fast, I’ve pre-mixed several batches of the bread’s dry ingredients at one time.
Using the weighing shortcut I had several bread ingredient packets made up in just minutes.
Although I’d prefer to store this mix in glass jars, the volume just didn’t seem to quite fit into even the quart jars I have. But I figured at least I’d be able to reuse these small baggies for years.
Then the skies opened up and the choirs sing. Although a regular mouth quart jar just didn’t have enough room, I discovered that the wide mouth quart size gives me just a little more room than a regular-mouth jar does.
The flour all fits in a wide-mouth quart jar beautifully! I use *Wide-Mouth Food-Safe Jar Storage Lids to keep everything neat and tidy. I sure don’t want to have to mess with a two-part lid every time I bake bread.
Shortcuts, my friends. SHORTCUTS!
So now my bread mix is always pre-measured and stored in glass jars. They’re my own inexpensive convenience mix!
Weighing The Wet Ingredients Too!
Since my dry ingredients are already measured up & waiting for me, all I need to do is add the wet ingredients on bread-baking day. For my bread that means milk, water, honey and a touch of Bacon Grease.
But finding out that weighing the dry ingredients worked so well, I now measure and weigh the wet ingredients too!
The ounces have been noted on my recipe card next to the actual measurements. NOW baking bread is about to be done at lightening speed!
Bread-Baking Day – SIMPLIFIED!
On bread-baking day I bring out the pan that goes into my bread machine. I place it on my scale and tare the weight to zero. Then I pour in the milk until it reaches the ounces noted on my recipe.
After the milk is added I tare the weight back to zero and pour in the water until it reaches the ounces noted on my recipe. I repeat these steps with the honey and bacon grease too.
No measuring cups to dirty up. And no measuring spoons with sticky honey to clean. It’s all added directly into the baking pan!
So on bread-baking day I just bring out my bread machine’s pan and add in (by weight) the wet ingredients. Then I top with my jar of dry ingredients & yeast and place the pan into the bread machine.
Now I simply push a button & walk away!
Work smarter, not harder…
Other Favorite Breads
- Soft Sandwich Bread
- Oatmeal Sandwich Bread
- Making Pre-Mix Bread Ingredient Packets
- Bread Machine Recipe: Honey Oatmeal Bread
- Making My Own Oat Flour For CHEAP
- No-Knead Rosemary Skillet Bread
- No-Knead Boule Bread
- Jalapeno/cheese Yeast Bread
- Jalapeno/Cheese/Beer Hamburger Buns
- Basic Beer Bread
- Rosemary/Cheddar Beer Bread
- Pesto Beer Bread
- Homemade Country-Style Buttermilk Biscuits
- Leftover Biscuit Dough Cinnamon Rolls!
- Snappy Jalapeno/Cheese Biscuits
- Jalapeno Cornbread
- Corn Dodgers – A Delicious Accident
- Mix-n-Pour Tortillas
- Easy Corn Tortillas
- Sweet Pumpkin Bread
- Cantaloupe Bread w/Pecan Praline Glaze
- My Favorite Bread-Making Kitchen Feature
- Homemade Bread-Making Shortcuts, Tips & Tricks
- Our Favorite Bread Recipes, All In One Post
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