One lesson I learned from our 10 days of real food experiment was how easy and economical it is to make your own bread. While I don’t eat a lot of whole wheat bread because of my mild gluten intolerance, my family does love their bread for sandwiches and toast. Most bread at the grocery store is unacceptable from a “real food” perspective, because even the “organic” and “all-natural” varieties tend have at least 20 ingredients, including added sweeteners, refined oils, and other mysterious ingredients.
We enjoy the honey whole wheat bread from Great Harvest, but it costs $5 a loaf. I’d rather not have to keep up with that price tag since my family goes through 2 loaves of bread a week. Lisa of 100 Days of Real Food created a good copy of this bread, but hers calls for a bread machine. I make it in the oven with a couple adjustments.
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
$1.75 per loaf
- 2 tsp. active dry yeast
- 4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 1 cup warm water give or take
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan with olive oil.
Measure 1/4 cup of lukewarm water and mix it together with the yeast and honey. Set aside.
In a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine the flour, salt, and olive oil. Slowly add the yeast/water mixture, and then slowly add about a cup of lukewarm water. Stop when the dough begins to come together into a ball.
Put the ball of dough in a non-reactive bowl and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes (use the longer time if the air temperature is cool).
Form the ball into a rectangle and transfer it into the loaf pan. Allow it to rise close to the top of the pan (about another 60 to 90 minutes).
Bake for 40-45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Honey Whole Wheat Bread Price Breakdown
This loaf of bread weighs 2.2 pounds, the same as the Great Harvest loaf. Here is what I paid for each of the ingredients:
2 tsp. yeast: $.37
4 cups white whole wheat flour: $.75
½ tsp. salt: $.01
¼ cup honey: $.50
2 tbs. olive oil: $.12
Total cost: $1.75
The Great Harvest store is 30 minutes away from our house, so it takes us a lot more time to buy a loaf from Great Harvest than to make it ourselves. It takes me 10 minutes to mix the ingredients at a moderate pace, and the rest of the work is just watching the clock and doing things at the necessary times. Going through 2 loaves of bread a week, a homemade batch costs $3.50 compared to $10 for a similar amount of bread from Great Harvest. It’s definitely worth it to me!