21 April 2009

i bake bread.

i've started baking bread. and each week the loaves get better, look prettier and taste tastier. except for the fluke of a week when both loaves sunk. they had flat tops. like my brother's, when he turned nine. the loaves were still tasty, despite their non-curvaceous appearance. go figure.

i found a simple white bread recipe buried deep in my recipe binder. i wish i knew where the recipe came from. someone typed it up all pretty for me. i liked it right away because it has very specific directions and it calls for very normal ingredients like all-purpose flour. yay for all-purpose. the only tricky part for a newbie like me is the yeast. i've found if you just sprinkle it in with a half cup of warm water, a tablespoon of sugar (and a wink and a prayer), it usually works out.

if you're interested, email me with i bake bread in the subject and i'll send you a pdf. of the recipe. soon enough you'll bake bread too. for those of you who knead bread, bake bread, slice bread and eat bread with your eyes closed, i'd love to hear your tips on bread making.


reya said...

I just love baking bread, although I don't do it nearly enough. A simple spread of butter and thin slice of cheese is all I need.

Magdalena said...

we made a lovely springtime bread this weekend. it was glazed with a soft lemony icing and so moist on the inside. I just love to knead the bread. it is my blog today!!
Baking bread must be in the air

--r said...

i just had to leave you my most favoritest bread recipe of all time. i've been absolutely craving it for weeks, but haven't had the time to make it.

Marjorie's Whole Wheat Breadingredients:
3 shredded wheat biscuits
3 cups boiling water
1/2 cup molasses
2 tsp. salt
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 pkg. active dry yeast
6-7 cups flour (sometimes I use whole wheat flour in combination with the all purpose - 1 cup whole wheat flour for every 2 all purpose)

1) Pour boiling water over shredded wheat
2) Add molasses, salt and oil
3) Cool to lukewarm
4) Add yeast to lukewarm mixture
5) Add sufficient flour (to make a soft dough - it is S T I C K Y - I use my dough-hooks, which makes it TONS easier)
6) Cover, and let rise until double in a warm place
7) Put in 2 greased 5"x9" loaf pans; let rise
8) Bake at 350 degrees about 30 to 45 minutes or until done
9) Take out of pans, brush tops with butter (*buttering is optional), cool on racks
10) enjoy (my favorite part!)

Lauren said...

Was it raining outside when the bread fell flat? The barometric pressure is supposed to influence that type of thing.

Jill said...

baking bread is on my 'want to learn' list. i have never dared try the yeast... okay once... and it didn't turn out.

i need to be brave and try it again. i even have a wheat grinder so it would be amazing to make wheat bread from scratch.

your bread looks so tasty!

Kristy said...

This is going to sound fancy, but it's really not. Things that really help:

1. SAF instant yeast: you don't have to dissolve it, it makes the bread rise faster, it lasts forever in your freezer, it's awesome

2. vital wheat gluten and dough enhancer: give the bread better texture, make it last longer, keep it from falling

and if you really do want to get fancy,

3. freshly ground wheat, still warm: rises really well, tastes amazing, so good for you

It took me a LONG time to get bread right--really it's all about the ingredients. Flour from the store is so devoid of nutrients and sits on the shelves for so long that it was hard for me to make it work consistently. We get our SAF/gluten/enhancer at the Bosch store when we're in Utah and our flour comes from the cannery. One container of each lasts us a couple of years and we make bread every week and a half or so.

That being said, your bread is beautiful and really you don't need to do anything else to enjoy soft, hot deliciousness. :)

{natalie} said...

those pictures are making me wish i had some bread to enjoy for breakfast. yum. and i love your post below about dan's grandparents. i love seeing my children interact with my grandparents.

megan... said...

It was my new years resolution to bake bread. I wanted the whole wheat variety. I didn't have a tried and true recipe so I googled it and found http://wholewheatbreadrecipe.blogspot.com/
I then pleaded with friends and family via my blog to find their favorite recipes and so far have tried 4 of them, and the one I found on Google is still my favorite! (Though I watch the flour a lot and call it good when it is still pretty sticky, because then it turns out moist and airy!

rachellake said...

I just posted about my bread baking adventures, I've started doing my baking on Sunday afternoons after church and it is the most wonderful beginning to the week.
I turned my regular bread dough into cinnamon buns this past weekend and they were amazing.

Unknown said...

i bake [irish soda] bread!


it's not the same as regular bread, but i love it just as much.

.. possibly more.

Courtney said...

Marta, when you are proofing the yeast, add just a tablespoon or so of sugar. I usually use a 1 cup warm water (just below the stingy point) and a packet of yeast and a tablespoon of sugar. The difference in the yeast proofing is huge! It will get really foamy and big. Good luck!

mary s. said...

I love this set of shots and your words on each one...they really make me happy! :)

Deidra said...

I've found that putting some oatmeal in hot water and "softening" it(or use leftover oatmeal from breakfast), and then adding that to my bread improves the texture.

When you shape your loaves, either flatten out rectangles and roll them up, pinching the seam and placing that down in your pan. Or fold the edges under (two sides at a time on opposite sides of the rectangle, if that makes sense) repeatedly helps to make an even crumb.

Hannah said...

I second using sugar to proof the yeast. Sugar is like food to yeast, so it really helps it!

Simply Stork said...

I too have taken to making bread lately...I proof the yeast in 1/2 cup slightly warm water and 2tsp of sugar...(let it sit)then you can make sure it rises before adding it.

I also use all purpose flour...I am baking bread to save on cash...I don't want to "need to" purchase special flour :o)

This is what I found out about home made bread. One slice is never enough...and the two or three is much more filling and satisfying than reg bread :o)

enjoy your process :o)


Christie said...

Send me the recipe! I just made freezer jam last week and we can't get enough gooey carbs around here to slop that stuff on. YUM.

Caitlin said...

I make our bread, and would like to put in my vote for the Gluten flour as a dough enhancer as well. It does wonders!
Also, a Tb. of white vinegar will act as a preservative and keep your bread moister longer. (Although we eat it so fast that it is pretty pointless...)
I love your bread bag! Where did you get it?

caitlin said...

Um could that look any yummier? I don't think so.

Lisa said...

I also finally figured out the bread-making... it's the rolls that still have me befuddled...

Melissa Jade said...

So great- I have been trying my hand at bread as well. It's so tough for newbies =P I'd love your recipe. I'm emailing now!!!

erin said...

you should check out the book ARTISAN BREAD IN 5 MINUTES A DAY. the idea is that you make a big batch of dough that you keep in the fridge and use throughout the week to bake fresh loaves of bread, as well as all sorts of other baked goodies. the recipes are simple and fast, perfect for mamas with limited time...and the bread is deelish.

Angela Tolsma said...

I was once told this

'if it's a bread machine, don't let it touch the salt or it will ruin it...put the yeast in the middle and the salt in a corner. This way the yeast will touch the water first and become activated.'

maybe it will help. thought it was interesting.

Great picture story!!

Angelita Bonita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
My Own Heartsong said...

I've been making my own bread for only three months or so, so I'm not exactly an expert, but I have a few ideas to pass along:

-I replace the oil in the recipe with natural applesauce. It seems to have no effect on the bread-making process, and it makes me feel a tad healthier :-)

-Right before you put the bread in the oven, drizzle some honey over the top. It adds just the right amount of sweetness to the crust without overpowering the entire loaf. Honey can also be used as a sweetener in the recipe, but I think you still need ordinary sugar to proof the yeast.

This is also my first-ever comment, so I want to say that I absolutely love your blog and your baby is adorable :-)

summer said...

all this talk about bread baking just gets me so antsy!
there's nothing quite like it. so fulfilling, so rewarding.
can't wait to get my dough hook twirling again.
i'm so happy that you've found such a fab recipe- can't wait to try it out. if you're ever in the mood for a wheaty loaf that's not too much wheat, i really love smitten kitchen's light wheat bread. happy baking, marta!

Whatever Dee-Dee wants said...

I have been wanting to make my own bread for such a long time. I am going to email you for that recipe :)

Lorilee said...

it's funny, as soon as i moved to hawaii, i started baking my own bread too. maybe it's because a loaf here is about $6 or maybe it's because it makes our place feel (and smell) so much more like a home. anyway.. i would love your recipe.

ps. one of my loaves is always smaller and tougher than the other too.. we usually turn it into grilled cheese bread.. the best!

Desiree said...

looks just delicious!

Anonymous said...

I have the same oven as you!

wayfarer said...

I've been trying all kinds of bread recipes in the search for my favorite and would love this one. It looks very light. I can't get the email link to work though. Would you send it to me at rd_2003colo@yahoo.com ?

crissy // mama boss said...

I really love your blog. After I go a few days without internet yours is the blog I catch up on.
Anyway, I've been baking bread also, and I wanted to share one of my bread making efforts.

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