Today I went to the grocery store and I was startled to see bread selling for $3.99 a loaf for the decent kind that has some substance to it. "What!" I thought. "I can buy a 5lb bag of flour on sale for $2 and make four loaves of bread for that same price...and I will know what's in it too!" And that's just what I did.

For those of us who are interested in natural and organic food, making bread makes sense (and saves cents too). So it took me about 20 minutes to make the dough and tonight we had delicious homemade bread for dinner. One more loaf is sitting on the counter and two loaves are in the freezer.  Now, for those of you who are new to breadmaking, I'd like to suggest a few tips on how to make bread....

1) Let the yeast sit for 10 minutes in warm water and a bit of sugar before you mix it into the dough. It will foam a bit and then you'll know it really is active.
2) Kneeding matters. If the recipe says to kneed the dough for 10 minutes, it means it. It is a great arm workout too I figure. You've got to get a soft, elastic feel to that dough and it's like it is transforming over time as you work it.
3) Be patient and leave it alone. Put it in a nice warm, quiet place where people aren't going to be stealing dough too much. Put waxed paper on top of the bowl and then maybe aluminum foil to keep everything in there and working its magic.
4) Make memories. Breadmaking is as old as time. It's been a family activity for thousands of years. Let the kids or grandkids or nieces and nephews enjoy this activity with you. Make pizzas with the dough, try pretzels, sticky buns, or crescent rolls. There's nothing like the look on the kids' faces when they taste the real deal--fresh, homemade bread. Enjoy!