With a loaf made from ordinary baking powder, I can’t even ask you to read my yada yada while the dough is rising. Let’s make a deal, then… You click here, grab the recipe, and come back to read me while you enjoy your fresh warm bread…
My search for this recipe started when I was talking to my father on the phone. After having heard a Podcast* about wheat flour, I was telling him him how Brazilian flours are chemically modified and that the bread from the corner bakery is not that “homemade” and harmless . He replied saying exactly what most people would say, and that was my biggest fear. He said to me, “Everything’s under control. I eat a lot more store bought wholewheat bread than plain bakery bread.”
And, let’s face it … If you live on planet earth, in the 21st century, and have not surrendered to turning bread into a villain, you must also have thought that choosing a wholewheat version, filled with fibres and grains, even if it comes straight from the supermarket shelf, it’s better than eating ordinary bakery bread everyday, Right? Wrong!
Those store bought loaves are ultra-processed food. Let me allow Dr. Elizabeth Brenda, my super partner and ally in this search for less industrialized and more simple food, take the stand. She explains that “in addition to flour, the bread that’s on the supermarket shelf has a huge amount of other ingredients that are very harmful. The main one, in addition to chemical additives, is sugar, which comes in a variety of technical terms in order to cheat us and make us think we are being super healthy by eating your ‘wholewheat filled with cereals’ bread.” Well, the part of the added sugar and chemical additives I’m guessing you were already imagining, right? The thing is, it gets worts. “When the bread is industrially processed all the fibre that was in the flour gets removed and the manufacturer is obliged to put a certain quantity (insignificant) of the fibre that was originally separated from the bread. In fact, they’re just returning what processing the food stole from ti and, to top it al up they have the audacity of writing on the package that the bread is ‘enriched with fibres’.”
Hence my eternal plea for people to read labels and not packaging!
Did I come here to say that you can’t eat bread from the bakery ever again? For the love of all the gods, NO!
Did I come here to say that you can’t eat bread from the supermarket (wholewheat or not)? Most certainly not!
I only assume that knowledge is power and we can eat absolutely anything we want and like, as long as we know what we are eating. OK?
And that’s when my hunt for the simplest bread on the planet started. My mother is a beast in the kitchen. She’s really an amazing cook, but the idea was to find something that was easy and could beat the simplicity from reaching out to the”rich in fibres” bag of bread.
And after a few hours online and some attempts, I got the winner. Oh! And I’m all up for honesty and must admit that the original bases of this recipe is not mine !! I’ve bumped into it several times and in different versions, but I did make some adjustments, tests and what I’m sharing is my way of making this leaf that will make the baker miss me (and you).
Easiest bread on earth that’s going to change your life
1 cup plain flour
1 cup wholewheat flour
1 cup lukewarm milk (or vegetable drink of your choice)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (the one we use to make cake)
Optional (but highly recommended): dried herbs (such as thyme, oregano, rosemary…) and spices (like turmeric, paprika…)
Preheat the oven in 430°F. Yes, do preheat it. We’re making bread and you want your oven pretty warm for it to rise and shine.
When the oven is “good to go” it’s time to get your “hands dirty”. In quotation marks because this bread needs no kneading and has no special fermentation required. In fact, we’re going to get the spoon or spatula dirty.
On a large bowl (I always suggest using large bowls because it’ll prevent you from making a huge mess) mix the flours (yer, wholewheat bread need plain ordinary white flour in order to not turn into a solid rock), the baking powder and the salt.
If you took into my suggestion of adding herbs e/or spices to your bread, now’s also the time. Mix all dry ingredients. I did rosemary and fine herbs. Mom used oregano. I also added turmeric (the smell and color are amazing) and, the last time I made it I even added a few laminated almonds.
Now, little by little you can add the milk (or vegetable “milk”) and keep mixing it well with your spoon or spatula. Do not succumb to the temptation of getting your hands in the dough. Keep scratching the edges of the bowl and mixing it until you get a almost stiff and gooey dough.
I used nonfat milk and my mom used whole milk. Now I’m using vegetable milk because I really wanted to be able to propose a vegan/lac free version of it. I already used rice milk and almond milk, but any vegetable drink will do. Just pick your favourite.
If you’re choosing to use a vegetable drink keep this in mind. More neutral “milks” such as oatmeal, rice os soy will enhance the cereals of the wholewheat flour e/or the spices and herbs you’re using, whereas, if you choose more flavourful “milks” like peanut or almond, they might add a layer of flavour to the bread. All I ask of you is that you check the labels not to end up buying a highly industrialised beverage to make your homemade bread.
If you have a loaf pan it’s perfect. If you do not have one, no worries. Use whatever you have in hand and once you taste this baby you’ll want to invest on one.
Mine is a silicone bread pan and I also use parchment paper when using a glass pan (or any other kind of pan). You can also grease your pan a bit with oil so you’ll be sure it won’t stick. Better safe than sorry.
Get the dough inside the pan and, with the help of the spatula or spoon, spread it even all over the corners. With a serrated knife (I find it easier using a serrated knife) place some cuts on the top of the bread so it’ll rise beautifully. Don’t worry if it seems that’s gluing it back together. That’s normal…
Now all you have to do is let your oven do the work. Let the loaf bake for about 50 to 60 minutes. Once it’s out of the oven, unmold it and place it in a hack to it’ll sort of “finish cooking” and it won’t wilt. Calm down!!! You are going to have a nice warm freshly baked bread, just have a tiny bit of patience and let it cool just a little before cutting into it.
You’ll hear the crunchy crust and feel the softness inside. Delicious!
Hit play for the real/deal food porn:
The recipe I’m giving you gets you a 20oz bread (about 500g) and I think it’s the nice amount for someone who, like me, lives alone. It lasts for about 4 or 5 days if you store it in a bread bag or in the fridge. Oh! And you can also freeze it already pre sliced.
Mom doubled the recipe for her and dad. It was a good idea, since they ate almost half of it just right out the oven.
Now’s your turn to shine. Go crazy using different wholewheat flours. Try out herbs and spices and turn your everyday bread into a highly gourmet and much healthier version.
Now let’s hit the play and see mom rocking the bread and me, up there, just giving instructions from the cellphone screen.