Thursday, May 06, 2010


I've started baking our family's bread. Man, the smell of baking bread is something that they should market! Wow!
My first attempt wasn't so successful. I didn't proof my yeast (make sure it was alive and well) before starting to make my bread. Then I put in soften butter instead of melted butter. To fix this, I decided to nuke the wet ingrediants (including yeast) for 20 seconds. I knew I might nuke my yeast but did it anyway. First rise was okay, but not quite double. The secound rise was less okay, but it still rose a bit. The final product was a loaf about 1/2 risen and very crusty. Disappointing to say the least, but it was still edible. In fact, we ate it with dinner last night, buttered, and it tasted really good. Funny how an unsuccessful bread attempt still tastes better than a store bought loaf!

Refusing to be discouraged I started another batch of bread last night after dinner. I received the two Amish cookbooks I had ordered, so I am now the owner of MANY bread recipes! LOL! I went with basic white, a recipe that makes two loaves at a time. This time I let the yeast proof, and did not nuke my yeast. Big difference! First and second rises went very well, then into the oven it went. These loaves came out pretty picture perfect. Eric and I ate a piece while still warm before bed. To me it tasted very chewy (too much gluten action???). I haven't tasted it since it cooled but have hopes that it will be less chewy today. Anybody know what you do to make bread less chewy? Less kneading??

Feels good to provide such a simple staple for my family. I have a bread maker (and might start using it) but for now it feels very good to make it all myself.


Bingaling 11:44 AM  

I have to tell you that I love, love, LOVE the books "Artisan Breads in 5 Minutes a Day" and "Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day". For both of these, you mix up your bread dough in big batches, which you can keep in your fridge for up to a week, and each day you just take out what you want, shape it, let it rise, and bake it. Easy Peasy. And its yummy!

I LOVE making my own bread, too...but since I work outside the home, the hours available to do it just aren't always there. Which is why I love these books so much. And homemade bread, fresh out of the oven, with butter and honey? Not much around that tastes better than that!!

A. Gillispie 11:55 AM  

Chanda, was it you that posted a link recently to the video on Amazon about the Artisan Breads in 5 minutes a day?! I almost bought those booksk but fridge space is too limited for the big buckets! Looks like a GREAT alternative for those that don't have time to wait for rising and such! I'm so blessed that I can just take a few minutes here and there (between work and homeschool) to tend to the bread. Next step will be making HEALTHY breads, as white bread is not what I want the fam to eat every day!

Nadia 12:41 PM  

make the dough in the breadmaker, take it out and let it rise then bake it in the oven..SOO much easier :) and wayyyy better than baking it in the bread machine!

Bingaling 1:52 PM wasn't me who posted the link...But I do love them. The Healthy breads book has lots of whole grain and whole wheat recipes. But, you're right about the fridge space. In the winter when I don't have as much fresh produce taking up space, I can much more easily make space for a big bucket of bread dough. But...these days my fridge (and my schedule with kids' activities and my work) is just too full.

But, I second Nadia's suggestion. If you have a bread maker - have it make the dough for you, then shape it, let it rise, and bake. I've done that, too. And it works really well.

Renee 4:50 PM  

Great job Anita!!!

We make 5 loaves a day :o) The yummy smell never gets old.

We use the Bread Beckers recipes ( They have a little cookbook that we have literally used to pieces.. So GOOD!

whenpigsfly 7:35 PM  

That chewey thing could be too much liquid in your dough too. Humidy affects dough and sometimes you have to add less water/milk and sometimes a little more. If your dough is sticky and not smooth when you do your first kneading, add some flour, like a tablespoon at a time until when you are kneading till your dough is really smooth.
We love home baked bread. I use whole wheat flour often, honey for sweetener/to brown the crust. You need some "Bread flour" or all purpose withthe whole wheat though or your dough will be super heavy and your loaf very "tight" and small.
I usually have to make an extra loaf just for the pre-meal snackers and their "bread lust"!