We rarely buy a loaf of bread. Sometimes we do, and we’ll buy variations of bread – like hot dog buns or bagels. But your standard loaf of bread is typically made at home. It’s cheaper, very easy, and tastes just as good if not better. It’s also nice to control and know exactly what is going into our bread.
But back to the easy part. We have a bread machine. That’s why we can get away with making it all the time. Sure, that no-knead bread is an easy substitute, but if you want to throw all of your ingredients in and press the start button, and then a few hours later discover that you have a loaf of bread – well, that’s the easiest type of homemade bread you can get.
This loaf of bread is somewhere in between the easier and easy.
I’ve been making almond milk nearly every weekend, and have wound up with more almond meal than I know what to do with. I decided to try putting it into bread, and what a smart thing to do. Although I can’t tell you that I really taste the almond meal, it does seem to give it an added moistness and softness that wouldn’t necessarily be there otherwise.
Almond Meal Bread
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 4 cups white or whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal (moist or dry should both work fine)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional if you don’t have)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 tablespoon fast acting yeast
Put all of your ingredients into a bread machine pan in the order of listed ingredients. (Make sure the paddle is already in place – I’ve forgotten to do this once or twice, but thankfully not before putting it into the machine. Still – it’s messy).
Pour your water in first.
I used all whole wheat flour next.
Then I put in about one half cup of almond meal. As you can see, I am using fresh almond meal, but I think that dry would probably work fine.
Put in your salt, sugar, and nutritional yeast.
I have to tell you about nutritional yeast at some point. It’s the yellow stuff in this picture. We use it all the time, and it is so tasty. I’ll share a “cheese” recipe with you soon.
Next put in your vegan butter. It doesn’t matter if it is softened or not because the machine will wind up softening it anyway.
Finally put your yeast in last. Our yeast is a little old so I usually put in extra just in case. It still works!
Once you have all of your ingredients in the pan, put it into the machine (unless you have to have your pan in place already).
Set your bread machine to the dough cycle and let it mix. We sometimes have to scrape the sides of the pan while it’s mixing so that it will grab all of the ingredients.
Once it is done, take the pan out of the machine. It should have risen quite a bit so far.
Grease a cookie sheet or some other pan you plan to bake your bread in, and shape your dough as you wish on the pan. Since I am using just a regular cookie sheet I formed mine into a ball.
Cover it with a towel and allow the dough to rise for about half an hour (30 minutes). A few minutes before it has completely risen turn on the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can get creative and cut a design into the bread, or just leave it untouched.
Bake the bread at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes, but you may want to do it for slightly less depending on how your oven operates.
Once it is done allow it to cool, then slice and serve.
This turned out really well, although I have to say that it wound up a little flat so the slices were long and short. The taste was still good, and the bread was moist.
Unless you have any suggestions on how I can remedy the flatness of the bread, I am thinking that I may actually buy loaf pans. I also vaguely remember my grandmother using old metal cans (i.e. from buying peaches at the store). Have any of you done that? Is that safe?