Two Easy Ways to Make Bread in the Oven

Two Easy Ways to Make Bread in the Oven

Dennis Weaver Dennis Weaver Jul 31, 2023

I have a friend in Minnesota; we talk for an hour every Tuesday, almost without fail. I’ve known Cy for about 25 years. We talk religion, philosophies, people, business—and bread. We’re both Christians but of different denominations. We both bake and share bread. When Cy goes to meet someone new, he takes a loaf of fresh bread.

When someone moves into our neighborhood, I grab a bread mix and make them a warm loaf of bread. (Sometimes, if I am busy, I’ll take them a pancake mix instead.) I know most everyone in the neighborhood. (It's not a big neighborhood.)

It’s not a bad way to live—fresh bread nearly every day and lots of friends.

Cy always gives away oven loaves. He likes the traditional look of oven loaves. It's easy. He puts his bread machine mix in his bread machine and then sets the bread machine to the dough setting.

After the cycle is complete, he takes the dough from the machine, forms a loaf, and puts it in a prepared bread pan, usually one 9x5-inches.  He prepares the pan simply by smearing shortening on the inside surfaces of the pan.

He puts the loaf inside a plastic proofing bag and lets the bread rise until it's poofy, usually 45 minutes to an hour. You should just start to see bubbles form under the surface of the loaf.

He then hurries the loaf to his preheated oven and bakes the loaf at 350 degrees for abut 30 minutes.

The second way is almost as simple.

Instead of putting the bread machine mix in the bread machine, empty the bread mix into the bowl of your stand-type mixer equipped with the dough hook attachment. Add the water and the yeast and set the machine to low speed to start the mixing. Once the mix ingredients start to come together and blend into a dough ball, increase the speed to medium high and let it run until the gluten is formed and the dough is stretchy. Seven minutes is fine in most machines.

Then you make a loaf--it doesn't have to be fancy--and put the loaf in a prepared pan. Bake it at 350 degrees just as Cy does.


What to do before your bread goes stale

Cy buys lots of bread machine mixes. He always has fresh bread at home. He makes bread mixes almost every week.  It’s just he and his wife at home. They eat a little and the rest goes in the freezer. He slices it, slips wax paper squares between the slices, labels it so that he knows what he’s got, and then freezes it. If he wants sunflower bread for breakfast, he digs a slice out of the freezer and toasts it. The toaster freshens it.

Freezing bread is a good way to store whatever bread you're not going to use in a few days. Because homemade bread is not laced with preservatives, it won't keep longer than maybe, five days.

In the freezer, bread will last three or four weeks or longer than that in a heavier bag or with the air pressed out. Toasting will help restore slices that have started to stale or dry out.

The waxed paper between the slices keep them from sticking together so you can remove one or two slices at a time.

Toasting helps restore the bread that has started to stale in the freezer. The surfaces will be dry and the center will be soft.





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