Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pantry Secrets Bread - Product Review and How-To

Even if you choose not to make your own bread, it is important to know how, just in case you ever need to in an emergency.  Personally I like this recipe the best.

About a year ago, I decided to test out our food storage abilities, and withheld going to the store for quiet a while.  I had tried a few bread recipes before, but wasn't extremely satisfied.  However, I decided I better find a good recipe if we wanted to ever have any bread.

I attended a class held by the Relief Society on bread making, taught by Pantry Secrets
I have never gone back to store bought bread since.

There are several reasons why I chose to stick with this particular recipe:

- The entire process of making it takes about 1 hour - and only requires your attention for about 10 minutes

- It only requires 6 ingredients; which are very easy to come by

- Ingredients are inexpensive; one loaf of bread costs about .25 cents to make

- The ingredients used have at least a one year shelf life, making it perfect for long term storage

- The same recipe can be used to make other things; bread sticks, rolls, pizza dough, etc.

- It is by far the easiest bread I've ever made

- It is delicious!  Everyone loves it!

I have recommended this recipe to several people, but a lot are scared away by the different ingredients.
So I decided to do a Product Review and How-To post to answer questions.

Lets start with the Recipe:
For White Bread:
Makes 4 loaves of bread (I always half this):

10 1/2 c. Lehi Roller Mills Turkey Brand Flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
3 rounded Tbsp. Saf-Instant Yeast
3 Tbsp./quarter size drops of Liquid lecithin
4 c. HOT tap water

Mix dry ingredients. 
Add lecithin and water.
Mix for a total of 6 minutes.
Dough should be slightly sticky.
Do not add water or flour to the dough after it has finished mixing.
Spray counter and pans with Pam.
Shape loaves, place in pans, and cover with a dish towel.
Let raise 25 minutes.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes  (for rolls, bake at 350 for 15 mintues).

For Whole Wheat Bread: (when making 4 loaves):
Replace 1 c. of the water with applesauce.  Add an additional Tbsp/quarter of lecithin.
Mix for 8-10 minutes instead of 6.

This recipe has different ingredients and a different style of making it - which usually turns people away - so lets cover the basics:

The 3 ingredients not commonly used by other recipes are
1) Lehi Roller Mills Turkey Brand Flour
2) Saf-Instant Yeast
3) Liquid Lecithin

Lehi Roller Mills Turkey Brand Flour
First of all,this flour has nothing to do with turkeys.  It is simply the name brand (it has a turkey on the package):

Why use it?
- This flour has a high gluten content, which means that it has the ability to make delicious bread without being an actual "bread" flour. 

- This also means that you do not need to use 'vital wheat gluten' (which is an ingredient used if baking bread with regular all-purpose flour).

- This flour isn't a bread flour, so it can be used in all of your other recipes as well... no need to buy more than one kind.  This is the only flour I have at my house.

- It is inexpensive.  Costco sells it for $7-8 dollars a bag (which I believe is cheaper than what Lehi Roller Mills sells it for).

- From my personal research, this flour has a shelf life of over a year, being stored in normal conditions (poly bucket in the basement), and still maintains its good quality.

**As a side note, it really is THAT different from regular all-purpose flour.  I have made the bread without it and it doesn't turn out the same.

Saf-Instant Yeast
Saf-Instant is simply the brand name - the creator of this recipe found it to be the best, but I personally haven't tried it with another instant yeast. 
This is what it looks like:
Sorry for the horrible picture, I downloaded it from the internet.

Why use it?
- Instant Yeast allows you to mix the bread dough, shape it immediately, and then let it rise. 

- With regular yeast, you mix the dough, let it rise, punch it down, shape it, and then let it rise again. 

- Using instant yeast cuts your bread making time in HALF.

- This yeast can handle extreme heat without causing damage (since you use HOT tap water, this comes in handy).

- Saf-Instant yeast can be purchased at Alison's Pantry and at Macey's for about  $2.50 (on sale) and probably $3.50 regularly.

- This yeast has an extremely long shelf life - at LEAST a year if left at room temperature - almost INDEFINATELY if kept in the freezer.

Liquid Lecithin
Probably the most unusual ingredient for most people.  Liquid lecithin has the same texture, consistency, and color as honey - but it is extremely sticky.

Why use it?
- Liquid Lecithin is used as the oil replacement in this recipe

- It has a shelf life of about 10 years, whereas oil can go rancid very quickly - making it the perfect candidate for long term storage

- It is much better for you than oil

- 32 oz. bottles can be purchased for $10-15 at the Bosch store, or you can purchase some from the Pantry Secrets website. 

Now lets make some bread,
and hopefully answer any other questions you may have:

First, assemble dry ingredients and mix together.

Add lecithin
** Lecithin is measured in Tbsp/'quarters' because it is extremely sticky and difficult to remove.  It is recommended that you don't use an acutal Tbsp. to measure, since it will stick to it (even after the dishwasher).

1 Tbsp. should equal the size of a 'quarter' when poured into the flour mixture.
It has a tendency to run, which is why this picture didn't turn out, but you get the idea (this picture shows enough lecithin for 2 loaves of bread - about 1 1/2 Tbsp/quarters worth)

I have mine in this cheapo ketchup container with a hole in the top so I can just squeeze the desired amount out.  I know a lot of people who just pour it straight from the bottle.  If you purchase lecithin from pantry secrets it will come in a squeeze bottle like this one, only it has a removable cap over the top.

Now add the HOT tap water, and start mixing.

You should mix the dough for a total of 6 minutes (I just set a timer as soon as I add the water and turn it on).
After a minute or so of mixing, check to see if you need to add more flour or more water.
This picture demonstrates how it should look - the sides are starting to come clean, and it is forming a nice ball in the center.
If it is too dry, the dough will not come together in a ball, and you will need to add more water - a 1/2 Tbsp. at a time.
If it is too wet, the dough will continue to stick to the sides of the bowl and won't form a ball.  You will need to add more flour - a 1/2 Tbsp. at a time.

Once you have the right consistency, DO NOT ADD ANY MORE FLOUR OR WATER.
Adding flour without providing time for it to properly mix will not allow the gluten in the flour to activate - which pretty much defeats the purpose.
Continue mixing until the 6 minutes is up.
It should look something like this:

The sides of the bowl should be clean, and the dough should be centered around the kneading blade.
It should hold its shape fairly well, like this:

Place the dough on a large cutting board (or your counter) that has been sprayed with pam.
**Using Pam cooking spray instead of flour to keep the dough from sticking keeps it moist, as well as avoids the problem of having flour that isn't blended in, as I explained above.

Spray one of your hands with Pam and then rub them together so the dough won't stick to them.
Knead the dough 4 times, and form into a ball.
Cut the ball into 4 equal parts (to make 4 loaves).

With each ball, knead a few times before forming into a loaf.  Be sure and pinch the sides and the seam together.  Put into greased loaf pans (I use large pans).

Cover with a clean dish towel (I must admit that I never do that).
Let raise for 25 minutes.

Then bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Perfect bread every time!

This recipe can aso be used for Whole Wheat Bread.
Just use the same amount of wheat flour as regular flour.
Use the same amount of salt and sugar.
Increase the lecithin amount by 1 Tbsp. (for 4 loaves), and
replace 1 c. of water with applesauce (for 4 loaves).
** The appleasuace simply helps to keep the wheat bread moist.  If you are going to be eating it all within a day or two, you wouldn't need to replace any water with applesauce.  After a few days however, it would dry out very quickly.
Also, increase the mixing time from 6 minutes to 8-10 if using whole wheat.

As a last side note:
This recipe is supposed to be a good 'go-to' recipe for all of your bread making needs.
Pantry Secrets sells a video on how to make everything using the same recipe - bread, rolls, soup bowls, pizza crusts, breadsticks, cinnamon rolls, french bread, focaccia bread, etc, etc.

In my personal experience, I prefer this recipe ONLY for bread, rolls, breadsticks, and an occasional pizza dough. 

The rest of the recipes like focaccia and french bread, as well as cinnamon rolls, don't posses the qualities I like in the original recipe - like the crispy crust and airy center of a french bread, or the taste and texture of focaccia.  However, if this was the only type of bread dough you could make (in an emergency), it would work just fine to make those other things.

The video they sell covers the basics of how to make the bread, but is mostly about shaping and forming different types of rolls, etc., which may be helpful to some of you.  Their video can be purchased on their stie.

For me, this recipe is my absolute favorite for making bread, breadsticks, rolls and occasionally piza dough - nothing more.
(Rolls and breadsticks need to be baked at 350 for 15 minutes.)

I found that making pizza dough with this recipe is a little more tricky, but it is delicious.  If you want better directions for making Pantry Secrets Pizza Dough, you can click here.

I hope this information was helpful.  Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions!


  1. Thank you! I've heard of this recipe before, but it definitely has a different method and ingredients than most bread recipes. Thanks for the insight!

  2. Your post was a life saver. I was planning on making rolls for a family gathering. But I had lost the original recipe. So like most people I went surfing the net and I found your post. Thank you for saving my day . I also made sure I copied the recipe for future loaves.