I have a serious crush on homemade bread (and Jamie from Outlander. Daaamn). Who doesn't? I'm always happy in the kitchen, but baking bread always puts a smile on my face. The smell, the way the dough feels, and watching what sometimes feels a science experiment turn into something so tasty. Nothing beats a loaf of bread fresh from the oven. If you're looking for a good basic toast/sandwich bread, this is it. It's my staple bread recipe.
Embrace whole grains. Gluten free often doesn't mean healthy, and this bread is mostly definitely good for you. Unless you're celiac.
This is a nice, simple sandwich loaf made with 100% whole spelt flour. The recipe calls for sprouted flour, which has a couple of awesome qualities - it's easier to digest than regular flour (both spelt and conventional wheat) and it makes for a lovely light bread. Regular whole spelt flour just doesn't bake up like that. Keep in mind, though, that it won't last quite as long as other breads, so eat it pretty quick. You should be able to find sprouted spelt flour pretty easily. I get mine at bulk barn. If you're still a little wary about bread making, try this recipe. That said, you can do it! With a little bit of practice, bread is not hard to make and it's very rewarding. I recommend starting out with loaves like this before trying your hand at more complicated breads, but it's up to you.
Makes one loaf
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (one package)
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1 cup non-dairy milk
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 cups whole sprouted spelt flour
1 teaspoon salt
Put the water and honey into a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over it and let it sit for ten minutes. It should bubble up. If it doesn't your yeast is dead, and you need to get new stuff.
Add the milk, olive oil, 2 cups of the flour, and the salt. Stir until a wet dough forms.
Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, kneading, until a springy dough forms. It should be quite smooth and not really sticky. If you're using a stand mixer, use the dough attachment for this.
Place the dough into a large greased bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let it rise in a warm place for one hour, or until doubled in size (see photo). This is called proofing.
When the dough has risen, punch it down gently and put it in a greased standard-size loaf pan. Let this rise again for half an hour longer. While it's rising, heat your oven to 350F.
Bake the bread for about 45 minutes, or until it's golden and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool slightly before cutting. You can sprinkle a little flour on top before baking for extra prettiness.
Before and after the first proofing. My light changed in that hour, but you get it.