BREAD MIX: Make your own!

If you’ve never considered making your own bread mix, you’ll be surprised how easy it is!

Bread mixes can be so convenient, and while it takes time to prepare them, they’re great to have when you need home-made bread in a hurry!

If you’ve used commercial mixes in the past, you’re well aware that they aren’t always easy to find, and some are plenty expensive. If you bake bread to save money, commercial mixes may not fit your budget very well.

So, here are the simple steps you can take to make your own!

Set a time for creating bread mix when it’s most convenient for you. If you organize the process like an assembly line, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can create bread mixes customized for your personal bread baking goals.

Some commercial bread mixes may have elements not found in you your home-made mix: artificial color, preservatives and highly processed flour(s). You’ll also find that your home-made whole grain bread mix typically produces a heavier bread because of 100% whole grains.

To begin creating mixes, select the bread recipe(s) you want to use. Make sure you have all recipe ingredients on hand (dry and wet) so you’ll be able to stir up your mix when the time comes.

For best results, all flours and whole grains and/or other dry ingredients should be as fresh as possible. Most processed flours have a shelf life of 12 months maximum. It’s better to use flour up within six months of purchase.

Due to the oil contained in whole grains, they have a shorter shelf life. It’s best to at least keep these flours and grains in the refrigerator; better yet to store them in the freezer. The fresher all your ingredients are, the better flavor in your bread.

To create your bread mix(es), measure dry ingredients and place them either in a plastic bag or some type of container. DON’T add yeast to the flour mixture. Even commercial mixes come with a separate packet of yeast so it won’t be affected by either the recipe’s salt or other ingredients. When yeast comes in direct contact with salt, it dies.

You can still measure the yeast and secure it in a small bag or container. You might also wrap it in plastic wrap and tuck it on top of the bag/container holding your main bread mix ingredients.

For bread mix containers, you may want to consider saving small boxes or using quart of half-gallon glass jars. No matter the of container, I highly recommend labeling it with either an indelible marker – recording the type of bread such as whole wheat, multi-grain, etc. – and date you made the mix. This leaves no room for doubt about what the mix contains or its expiration date.

When storing multiple mixes, I’ve found that tucking the mixes in an oblong box that fits on my freezer shelf helps keep all the mixes together so I can easily see what I have on hand.

To cut down time down in using your home made mix, prepare all utensils and remaining ingredients the night before or a few hours prior to making the bread. This helps you complete the task quickly and efficiently.

Find my favorite wheat bread recipe (which is easily set up as a bread mix) here:

https://www.grit.com/food/recipes/light-tasty-100-home-made-whole-wheat-bread-yes-you-can

Long time journalist Loretta Sorensen is the author of Secrets To Baking Your Best Bread Ever! and regularly shares information about whole grains and bread baking. You’ll find more about her book on her blog page at www.bakeyourbestever.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the Country Store at Our Dakota Horse Tales. Her weekly bread baking posts are featured at Mother Earth Living, GRIT Magazine, Our Dakota Horse Tales, and on Pinterestand Facebook.

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