Baking Your Own Bread (A Guest Post)

One of the beauties of a pantry challenge is that it compels you to try things that you might not normally try as well as make the most of what you have. I love this tutorial from Amanda which will help you produce a beautiful home baked loaf in no time.



I’m really into baking bread and bread products. Look at the list of ingredients on a package of store bought bread. There are about 50 bazillion things in it.  When you bake bread at home, you control what goes in it, and it’s way way way more delicious than the bread you can buy in a plastic bag.

Here’s the recipe:


So that’s that, right? Well, basically. But it still took me a million tries to get a fluffy, light, entirely whole grain loaf.

Here are some tips I’ve picked up as I’ve baked:

-Use White Whole Wheat Flour. This isn’t a refined flour. It’s simply an albino form of the wheat plant. The whole grain, essential oils, fiber, everything, is included, it’s just a lighter flour that bakes up lighter than regular whole wheat or spelt.

– Go ahead and use a little extra yeast if you find that your dough isn’t rising to spectacular heights. I read the instructions on the yeast container and then put an extra 1/2 t when I use whole grain flours, which is always.

– The absolute key to a fluffy, not dense loaf of whole grain bread is the knead! Knead that sucker for a full ten minutes, or even a little longer. Make sure the dough is compact and very elastic. Dough that hasn’t been kneaded properly will result in a heavy, dense bread, which everybody hates.

-Allow your whole grain dough to favor wetness, rather than dryness. Keep it a little more on the sticky side, rather than the dry side. Not like… sticky enough that it’s gross and runny and getting stuck to everything… but make it so that it sticks to your fingers a little bit after the knead. The water will turn into steam inside of the dough and help the yeast make little air pockets that fluff up the bread.

-When allowing your dough to rise, place it in a bowl next to a boiled tea kettle with its lid removed and cover both with a towel. (I’m talking about a previously boiled kettle. There’s no heating involved at this point!) That way your dough will have a warm, super moist place to rise.

That’s how I bake a totally whole grain loaf that’s yummy and fluffy and perfect every time!  Give baking your own bread a try.  I bet you’ll find that a freshbaked, totally natural loaf of whole grain bread will convert your entire family, and you can say goodbye to the long list of unpronounceable ingredients that are found in store bought breads!

— Amanda is a Pittsburgh mommy of two amazing girls.  She is married to the world’s sexiest accountant and they’re all sure to live happily ever after.  She can be found baking or biking, depending on the weather.  Visit Amanda at Last Mom On Earth.

Are you intimidated to bake your own bread? How come?

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Comments

  1. Martha in Georgia says:

    I often bake my own bread and was just thinking of baking some this morning. That being said, I generally treat home baked bread as a treat, not a staple. The quality of my bread varies wildly and it’s often easier to simply pick up a loaf of soft wheat sandwich bread from the grocery store. Amanda’s tips should prove helpful. For example, I often end up with a heavy, dense loaf. Amanda’s tip list suggests that I’m not kneading it long enough. I’ll go for a longer knead today!

    I also add a couple of tablespoons of vital wheat gluten when creating a whole wheat loaf. This suggestion comes from the “Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” book.

    Thanks for posting this recipe!

  2. What a great poast and recipe, Amanda!
    With few exceptions, I make all of our own bread, and your tips for getting the whole wheat to become light and fluffy are spot on.
    I was recently given a mixer that has a dough hook, and I’ve fallen in love with it. Because it can knead so much longer and thoroughly than I usually did, our bread turns out better than ever.

  3. After I’ve made my dough, I let it rise til doubled in a bowl. Then I punch it down, form it into a loaf, put it in the bread tin and let it rise til doubled again. I use red wheat and I find that the extra rising makes the loaf lighter once it’s cooked. If I’m in a hurry to get the dough to rise once it’s in the tin, I turn on my oven to its lowest setting (170 degrees in my case). Once the oven is preheated I turn it off and then set the loaf of bread in it covered with a towel. It will double in about 20 minutes and be ready to bake.

  4. Tate Peterson says:

    I bake bread for staple. I even have a pair of starters I made my self. My question would be, Why so much yeast?

  5. Melinda P says:

    I use a bread machine to do all my kneading. Then I remove the dough and bake it in the oven. I also use 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten for each cup of whole wheat flour I use. And I use instant yeast and just use a little bit more than the recipe calls for active dry yeast. My bread comes out great every time. :)

  6. Thank you for this!

  7. I LOVE homemade bread. I usually buy my bread, but I did make some in the bread machine, once. You’re right. It’s the best…homemade tastes so much better than store bought. Loved all the bread photos, especially that huge loaf in the red pan :) :) Have a great weekend. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  8. Hi there, is “T” teaspoons or tablespoons? Thanks!

    • Jessica says:

      Great question. I didn’t proof the post well enough. Sorry! I’ve edited it to reflect clearer directions.

  9. Yes, I’m intimidated about making my own bread! I must be the only one! My mom never made anything but quick breads, so I didn’t learn how growing up. I have three girls, so I’ve got to get around to trying this so they don’t grow up so inept!

  10. It looks delicious. I will have to try it. I just learned to make bread, this will be a good variation.

  11. I love-love-LOVE this recipe! It looks so easy and quick…Thanks!

  12. Kristan says:

    Thank you for this! Since you’re my go-to source for freezer info, how would you suggest I freeze the unbaked dough? I made some great sandwich bread previously, but I used all the dough for one loaf and it was way too big! I realized I should have divided it, but I would like to freeze what I don’t need right away as we can barely get through a whole loaf of bread in a week as it is. Thanks again!

    • Jessica says:

      I don’t think I would freeze the loaf unbaked. I would go for baking several smaller loaves. Then cool, wrap and freeze. You might even want to slice it first to make thawing and serving easier.

  13. Hi! i just made this bread and its great. I was wondering, how would you suggest forming this into rolls and baking this dough? Thanks for your help!

  14. Do you think this recipe could be converted to a bread machine recipe for those of us that don’t have the 10 minutes to knead the dough, or the skill or are just plain LAZY?

    • Since it’s a guest post, I can’t vouch for this particular recipe. But, I convert every dough recipe to the bread machine for all of the above reasons, particularly the latter. :)

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