How to Make Homemade Bread



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How to Make Homemade Bread Recipe

How To Make Homemade Bread – Baking Basics

We get so many questions about how to make homemade bread, so I thought I would try to answer just a few of them today. Don’t let all this information make it seem too involved and scare you away from making bread. Once you get used to it, it really isn’t a whole lot harder to make homemade bread than it is to bake a cake. Just read the information and then follow the recipe step by step.

I once read a book by an older woman on how to bake a pie. She said bake one everyday for 2 weeks and at the end of that time you will know how to bake a pie. That rule applies for many things, including bread baking. Things may seem a little awkward or difficult at first, but after you have made it 14 times you will have learned what not to do and will get comfortable with it. There really was a lot of wisdom in what that older woman said.

We didn’t put my favorite recipe for homemade bread in Dining on a Dime because it isn’t quite as frugal as others, but I thought some of you might like it now. Also, I will give you my grandmother-in-law’s very frugal recipe.

 

Before I share the homemade bread recipe, here are some useful tips on baking bread:

  • Unless the homemade bread recipe states otherwise, heat about 1/4-1/2 cup of the water to 120-130° or until it is hot when you put your finger in it but not so hot to burn. It can’t be too hot or too cold. This is one of the most important parts of making the bread. With practice and time, you will start being able to tell when you have the correct temperature.

    When the water is hot enough, add part of the sugar (about 2 Tbsp.) to the water and then the yeast. You add sugar because yeast feeds on sugar. This process is called proofing. The yeast should start foaming, which tells you it’s good and also that you haven’t gotten the water too hot. If nothing happens, your yeast is dead for one reason or another so you need to get some new yeast or try it again with a different water temperature.

     It is also good to do this because proofing the yeast gives the bread a better start. So you don’t get confused, there are some recipes where you add the yeast with the flour and other ingredients and can’t proof. That’s OK because those recipes make up for it by calling for you to mix the ingredients with a mixer.

  • You don’t always have to use as much yeast as the recipe calls for. For example, my original homemade bread recipe called for 2 packages of yeast and it made 2 loaves. I have used just one package for years and it works fine. Grandma’s original recipe was doubled and made 4 loaves but still only used 1 package of yeast.

    If a bread recipe calls for 2 packages of yeast and it makes 2 loaves of regular bread, you can usually just use 1 package to save a little. If you plan on making bread on a regular basis, you might want to buy yeast in bulk or in the jars because it is much less expensive.

  • When you can, add 1/2-1 cup of mashed potatoes to your bread recipe or, in place of regular water, use water you have used to cook your potatoes. Yeast loves potatoes and the more it eats, the bigger it grows, making the bread lighter and fluffier.

  • Never add salt with your yeast and water because the salt will kill it.

  •  Have all ingredients for your homemade bread at room temperature. Don’t forget to take the eggs out and let them warm up.

  • If the recipe says to add enough flour to make a stiff dough, just add the flour until it is slightly sticky, taking that last 1/2 cup or so of flour and putting it on your kneading surface. Then knead the last of the flour into the bread. If you get to much flour in the recipe, it makes the bread tough. When making homemade bread, beginners sometimes put in all the flour that the recipe calls for and then add more flour on the board to knead, it causing the dough to get too stiff.

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  • You can’t knead bread too much. Knead until it is very smooth and elastic, usually about 10-15 minutes. I know that is a long time. That is why I don’t make bread as often since I have had CFS. I made my best bread on the days my husband would come into the kitchen, spy my dough and start pounding on it. He had more strength than I and always did a better job of kneading.

  • I always roll my homemade bread dough into a 14×9 rectangle then roll it jelly roll style and put it in the pan. This helps to get rid of any large air bubbles you might have in the dough that can leave large pockets and holes in your bread.

  • I have tried many methods to raise bread, from putting it in a covered bowl on the stove to putting it in the car on a warm day. What I found works best for me is to heat my oven on the lowest temperature while I am mixing my dough. After about 5 minutes of heating, I turn the oven off, turn my oven light on and place the dough in my oven (not covering). It works great every time. The heat from the light seems to give it the right amount of warmth.

    I also do this when I put the bread in the pans to rise. I place the dough in the oven to rise using the method I described above (reheating the oven and turning it off). Then, when it is almost double in size, I leave it where it is and turn the oven on to the temperature that the bread is supposed to bake and bake it.

  • Most recipes say to let bread double in size and, to see if it is ready, press your finger into it. If the dent stays, it is ready. After you have made several loaves, you can pretty much tell when it is ready. When I use the method for raising dough I describe above, I skip this test because my bread finishes rising the last little bit while the oven is preheating.

  • Most bread doughs can be frozen. Mix and knead. Shape into loaves, mini loaves or rolls, not letting it rise. Wrap very well and freeze. When you want to use it, thaw and let it rise. It will keep in the freezer about 4 weeks, but after that the yeast starts going bad.

    When you freeze or store homemade breads, be sure to wrap them well. Bread can lose its moisture. If you don’t think you will use it quickly, freeze part of the already baked bread, because it can dry out and get moldy faster than store bought bread. This is the reason our great-grandmothers came up with recipes like bread pudding and French toast.

  • If your homemade bread isn’t quite done but is getting too brown, you can tent with foil. To test whether or not it is done, thump it with your fingers and it should sound hollow.

Here’s my favorite homemade bread recipe. It is a cinnamon bread but when I want to make regular bread, I just make it into loaves without spreading the cinnamon and sugar on it. This makes 2 loaves of bread.

Jill’s Homemade Bread Recipe

6 1/2 – 7 cups unsifted flour or 1/2 wheat 1/2 white flour
6 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 pkg. yeast
1 cup milk
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup margarine
3 eggs (room temp.)

 Filling for cinnamon bread:

margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

 Mix 2 cups flour with sugar, salt and yeast. Put the milk, water and margarine in a large mixing cup and heat in the microwave to 120° or until it feels really hot when you put your finger in it. (The margarine doesn’t need to be melted.) Gradually add to the dry ingredients. Add the eggs and 1/2 cup more of flour. Stir in enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Turn on to a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic (or you can knead it in the bowl). Place in a greased bowl (It sounds strange, but I use bacon grease), turning to grease the top. Put in warm place (like I mentioned above) and let rise until double; about 35 minutes.

Punch down and divide into 2 halves. Roll into a 14×9 rectangle. If you are making regular bread then, beginning at the 9 inch end, roll as you would a jelly roll, gently making it into a loaf. Divide and place in 2 greased 9×5 bread pans. Let rise again for about 35 minutes until double. Bake for 45-50 minutes at 375 degrees. To see if it’s done, thump with your fingers. If it sounds hollow, it is done.

For Cinnamon Bread:

After you have rolled the dough out, spread it with a thick layer of margarine. Then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and roll as above. Be sure to tuck the ends under so the goodies won’t ooze out.

 

Grandma Suhler’s Inexpensive Homemade Bread Recipe

This is a great frugal homemade bread recipe and is a great one to use when you are short of ingredients because it doesn’t call for things like milk or eggs.

This recipe was written the way we did it years ago, with just the ingredients and minimal instructions, so I hope you can figure it out OK. As you will see this, recipe breaks most of the rules I explained above, but her bread was always great.

 You might also notice she did most of her kneading and working the bread in her bowl instead of dirtying a counter. Tawra does her bread this way and it works great every time.

1 pkg. yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. shortening or margarine
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups water, very warm
Flour (about 6-7 cups)

Shift flour into the above mixture, stirring until it is too thick to stir. Then work with hands, adding flour as needed until it becomes a very stiff dough and won’t stick to your hands. Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat top and set in a warm, draft free place about 1 1/2 hours. (This is why I like my oven method for rising.)

Punch down and let rise 1/2 hour more. Make into loaves or rolls. Makes 2 loaves. Bake at 325° for 1 hour for loaves and 35 minutes for rolls. (I found 375° for 25 minutes also works for the rolls.)

If you like these homemade bread recipes and tips and would like to learn to make other homemade foods, check out our Dining On A Dime Cookbook!

 

Comments

  1. Andrea Castille says

    I found an easy way to let bread dough rise. I knead it in my Kitchenaid mixer, which makes the motor warm. I then cover the mixer and the dough, still in the bowl, with a clean plastic garbage bag and let it rise there. The warmth of the motor is perfect for letting dough rise.

  2. Tawra Kellam says

    I got this from a reader.

    From: Deb
    Thank you so much for your article on “Bread-
    baking” in the recent Countryside mag. (Nov-Dec).
    I’m especially impressed with the method of
    raising the dough in a heated oven. I’ve tried it
    TWICE now and BOTH times the bread has come out
    just perfect. Thanks for that TIP!

  3. rose says

    i have a weird ??? .. and maybe its been asked b4 .. but i am not sure ..
    and this is for the one’s that make bread homemade ..
    can you bake bread in a toaster oven? .. just curious :D

  4. Chris says

    I’d like to share how I’ve been making bread for the past few years. I have a favorite recipe, which is pretty simple.

    I put all the ingredients in a bread machine. It does the mixing and kneading for me, as well as the first rise. Then I remove the dough from the bread machine, knead it a little on the counter, and place in a prepared loaf pan for the final rise, which is usually about 30-45 minuted.

    The bread finishes up in the regular oven. I put it in a cold oven, turn the heat to 350 and bake. I’ve found that 30 minutes total is all I need.

    If anyone’s interested I would be glad to post my recipe; it is for single loaf of white bread and uses 3 cups of flour.

      • says

        Susan all you need to do is to take the 2 loaf recipe and cut everything in half except the yeast and you need to use one package of it. Another thing I use to do is make half the dough into bread and the other half I roll out and make into cinnamon rolls. Trust me though homemade bread does seem to be eaten faster then regular bread. I found it cheaper to buy bread if for no other reason my family of 4 could polish off a loaf of homemade in one day where regular bread would last 2-3.

  5. says

    Grandma Suhler’s Inexpensive Homemade Bread

    this is the recipe my father taught me when I was 11 to make bread. He simply cut down the recipe he used as a baker in the local bakery shop.
    He said if I wanted to use milk to do so but it wasn’t necessary.
    It was one of many that he taught me.
    Hovis bread was my favourite but I can only get the flour by ordering from England. It was the bakers best selling bread I guess since we had a lot of war brides in the area from England.
    Used to make bread almost everyday and my son was in his jolly jumper jumping while I was thumping the bread. He had a great time and it was fun to watch him having so much fun and giggling.

  6. Sheri says

    From start to in the oven takes 15 minutes with my bread. I start with the hottest water I can get from my faucet. Then I put in the honey and salt, then sprinkle over the surface of this water my yeast.

    Next, I mill the grains and beans for my bread. The milling heats up the flour for a faster rise. I add flour and other goodies to the warm water. My goodies include oat bran, wheat bran, rolled oats and gluten to compensate for my goodies and bean flour. I mix until the dough cleans the sides of the mixer. I try not to add too much flour so I can get a lighter loaf.

    Next, I form the loaves in the pans and preheat the oven for 5 minutes. In that time, I can clean up my mess, then put the loaves in for 55 minutes. I make 4-6 loaves, depending on how much hot water I started with. My family will usually eat the two loaves right out of the oven. Well, almost… it has to cool before we slice, but we do eat two loaves!

    My cooking can be old fashioned in the way I measure. It’s by hand and eye. No cups or spoons. Sorry!

  7. Angie M. says

    Does anyone have a positive experience with a bread machine? My hubby has recently become addicted to homemade white Amish bread. At $2.50 for a loaf maybe 1/2 the size of a store bought loaf, it’s getting a little expensive. I have made homemade bread in the past but it’s not my favorite thing to do. I’m wondering about a bread machine.

    • Nancy Donaldson says

      I adore my bread maker. I started out with a used one for $5 from Goodwill. I ended up wearing out 3 used machines. By that time, my husband and I figured out that I would get good use out of it. Then he bought me a Zojurushi. It was expensive but by then I was making all of our bread. It makes a horizontal loaf up to 2 pounds and has 2 paddles instead of 1.

      I keep it out where I can quickly toss in my ingredients and then do something else while my bread is baking. I miss the hands on methods but my arthritis is too bad to knead dough now. This is the next best thing.

      You will use a small appliance more if you have it easily accessible.

  8. says

    I hate my machine. had one that made a loaf upright it never rose properly and texture was funny.
    Don bought me one that made the traditional style loaf and the same thing.
    I tried bread machine yeast, I tried bread flour, I even followed the recipe exactly and measured everything exactly. Nothing worked. So now I have one sitting in the basement and one sitting on my microwave stand. Just clutter.
    I have some easy bread recipes and they almost always turn out properly. A little to properly as when I make them Don eats a lot of it hot.
    but I would not recommend them.
    I was making bread to save money since Don takes sandwiches to work but the texture made it so the bread fell apart by lunch time.

    • says

      Tawra had trouble with her first bread machine she got for a wedding gift and could not get it to work at all but then she got one on Craig’s List and I think it worked better for her. I wonder if it really depends on the kind of machine.

  9. says

    I think it might do with where you live.
    I have made bread for a lot of years and when we first moved here I was still making it. some days it was wonderful others it would fall or be heavy or just not turn out.
    Finally figured out that if I could smell the pulp mill the bread wouldn’t rise.
    So I guess it had something to do with the barometer or the wind direction.
    I tried every trick I could think of to get the machine to work. I had 2 different models 2 different companies and the bread was never just right. We ate it but it was nothing to write home to mother about.
    I know some recipes give instructions for sea level or whatever level you are at so maybe bread machines should do the same.
    Or maybe I am just jinxed.

  10. Melissa says

    To make these bread recipes, do you proof your yeast first? I am confused because it is one of your tips (which I really like) but not listed as a step in the bread-making instructions. Thank you!

    • says

      Most of the time I do proof my yeast but there are some and getting to be more recipes like the one here (Jill’s homemade bread) where you don’t need to proof it because of the order you add the ingredients and the way you mix it etc.

      Usually the recipe will tell you to proof the yeast or to add the yeast to the water (which is the same) I also take and add some of the sugar the recipe calls for and add it to the water before I add the yeast just because yeast loves to feed on sugar and it will help it “work” better.

  11. rose says

    grandma .. it sounds like u and me had the same machine .. i had a bread machine too .. and well i didnt like the way the bread smelled or tasted either ..
    and to be quite honest, there is this one thrift store i go to all of the time that has lots (over 20) of bread machines .. the lady who runs the store said they stopped taking them as donations bc no one is buying htem.. not sure why she is holding on to them … or maybe she will have them on sale soon ..
    i found one i wanted but couldnt afford it .. it looked like a huge toaster oven (but clearly said on the machine and the instructions that it was a bread machine) and the pan that the bread baked in look like an ordinary bread pan and not one of those little round bucket type ones that are in the machines now ..
    whenever i want to have homemade bread i usually just buy the frozen bread dough, let it thaw and rise and then bake .. and the good thing is they now have the whole wheat bread too .. maybe not as frugally priced but our bread intake now is not a whole lot like when my daughter lived at home and my son was younger .. and we worked crazy hrs ..
    so this way is actually on the cheaper side for us …
    and sharon thanks for sharing that u use ur toaster oven .. i need to try that .. even in the summer that wouldnt be so bad .. at least the oven wont be on heating up the whole house ..
    i told hubby that this yr (bc there are outlets on the outside of the house) i am getting out my roaster and crockpot and cooking outside .. no more cooking inside .. too hot for the house .. (in fact our one neighbor kinda does this, he keeps his grill on for a bit of hte day and heats pots of water on there and makes one pot meals .. other than that, they eat sandwiches or anything that can be microwaved .. he says it helps keep his electric down …

  12. says

    Rose the machine you described sounds like a counter top oven. not a bread machine. My friend bought one for her daughter at Christmas because her oven died and she had no way to cook a turkey. It has bread pans as well for bread or meatloaf meals.
    The daughter loves it for cooking now and hasn’t fixed her oven.
    I think she paid $150 Cdn new. Check it out again and see if this is what it is. Apparently they are great.
    We keep our bbq on the porch all year round and when we want a treat or a memory of summer and nicer weather we will have bbq’ed hamburgers or steaks. Might do that this weekend even though we still have 6′ snowbanks all along the road. It is raining and above 0 for the past 2 days so it seems like a good time. At -28 the food gets too cold even going the 4′ to get it inside the house.
    check with your hydro provider to find out if the outside wiring will save you money. Up here in the colder places the outside don’t save much because they have to be wired for temp. changes so it actually costs more. But I think you are in Florida so that probably isn’t a problem.

  13. Angie M. says

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with bread machines. I’m still torn. I guess if I could find one very cheap, I might try it.

  14. says

    Regarding your tip about adding 1/2-1 cup mashed potatoes to bread recipe.
    First, can you use instant mashed potatoes?
    Say I use 1/2 cup mashed potatoes, is it just an addition to the original recipe or is it a substitution for another ingredient? (i.e. do i decrease amt of water, milk, marg. or flour?)

    • says

      Jackie you don’t need to increase or decrease anything when you add mashed potatoes especially if you don’t add all of the flour at once and knead in the last 1/2-1 cup of it as you knead until you get the right texture in the dough.

  15. Grandma says

    I think I am going to have to start making my own bread again.
    1 lb loaf this week was $3.50. Bought 2 of a kind I don’t particularly like got it home and it is more like 3 day old stuff. Couldn’t use it for Don’s lunch but it was ok for toast. For his lunch he got rye bread.
    I am making tea biscuits for stews at supper because of the price of bread.
    Used to sell bread years ago when I was making it almost every 2 days. Don’t know when to bake now since the mill is closed so I have no warning when it won’t turn out.
    Never in a million years did I ever think I would miss the stink of a pulp mill.

  16. Debbie says

    I love your web site and all of the great advice!! Thank you so much! What I was wondering is the ninety minute roll recipe in your cook book, can that be made in a bread machine?

    • says

      I’m not sure Debbie because I have never tried it in a bread machine. The recipe is so simple and easy that a bread machine might be over kill for it. You just beat all the ingredients together and then knead it 10 times so it isn’t like normal recipes which you need (no pun intended : ) to knead it a lot or it takes a lot of time to do it.

  17. Debbie says

    Ok, thank you! I just got my bread machine out of the garage today. Started looking through your cook book wondering if i could use your recipes for the machine. I havent made the ninety minute rolls yet, i did find–after searching the internet for an hour!–recipe for cinnamon rolls in bread machine just pulled them out of the oven, YUM!! i HAD to try two!! used your measurements for the brownsugar and cinnamon then i put chopped pecans on it. then frosted with the buttercream frosting! I have always been afraid to use yeast in recipes, not anymore!!!

    • says

      It really isn’t as frightening as most people think and boy is is sooooo good. Like so many things the more you work with it and do it gets easier and easier. I use to be afraid of things which you had to cook in a hot water bath. I laugh now at how silly I was. I just throw my little wire rack (like you use to cool cookies) in the bottom of my 9×13 pan, set my dish on the little rack pour in a little water and bake. All that time I didn’t do some really good recipes because I thought there was some really secret way of doing things.

  18. Chris says

    We’ve been making bread at home for a few years. Our favorite is white bread, often with a half cup or so of wheat or oat flour.

    We’d like to try making pumpernickel bread. Does anyone have a tried ‘n true recipe for this that they’d like to share?

  19. Jeanne T. says

    I grew up with homemade bread; my mother made bread every weekend. The window seat in the dining room was the perfect place for the bread to rise; it was lined with bread rising in the pans. The window seat actually housed a radiator, which in the winter made it very suitable for this purpose. My mother made white bread, the most fabulous rye bread, dinner rolls made from sweet roll dough with cardamom (yummy), julekaka (Norwegian Christmas bread), hamburger rolls (yummy on a Sunday evening with a fresh roasted turkey!).

    I do make bread now occasionally for my husband and me. I have a KitchenAid mixer which helps greatly and cuts down on kneading time. I’m still perfecting my “technique”, but the end result is worth it!!

  20. Chris says

    Please accept my apology for taking sooooo long to respond to folk’s requests for the easy bread recipe that I use.

    The recipe is Home-style White Bread from the Taste of Home web page: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/Home-Style-White-Bread

    I’ve modified the recipe to include 1 egg, and I omit the powdered dry milk because I don’t always have it on hand.

    I use a bread machine on the dough cycle ONLY – which means you take the dough out, knead it for just a minute on the counter, place it in a prepared pan(greased and sprinkled with corn meal) and let it rise until about doubled; about 30-45 minutes.

    The bread goes into a COLD oven. Set the temp at 350 degrees and bake for 35 minutes. I pop the finished loaf out of the pan and onto a wire rack to cool, before placing it in a storage bag.

    Here’s to good bread baking!

  21. Gayla T says

    Instead of spending money on a bread machine buy a Kitchenaid mixer. I used to bake a lot of bread but then the fibromyalgia got so bad I couldn’t knead it properly so I bought a bread machine. It was the bucket type and about a third of the loaf had a hole in the middle from the paddle things. So I bought one that you could take the paddles out and it was pure hell to get them out so that my hands and wrists hurt for a day after fighting with it. Then I was diagnosed with a kind of celiac, an alergic type reaction to the gluten in flour. When I saw the price and quality of a loaf of gluten free bread I decided to buy a big mixer. I got the professional model that has extra horse power. LOL It does all the mixing and kneading for you. It also is great to let your dough raise from the heat it generates. As you age things happen to your body and this machine can take up the slack. It was a big expense but it has been so helpful with my health limitations. My children questioned me spending that much money but now that my daughter, who also had fibro, has been getting older and sicker, her husband boutht her one. I did a lot of research and ended up buying mine on eBay and have not regretted the purchase at all.

  22. rose says

    thats a good idea gayla .. i like those kitchenaide mixers .. but cant afford one .. for xmas my daughter got a mixer with a bowl but it wasnt the kitchenaide brand .. i cant remember what brand it was .. it was on sale on black friday 2011 .. (at walmart) ..
    i will have to see if could use hers to make the bread .. we are all supposed to go over her house on superbowl sunday ..
    also, my sister bakes the pre-made dough/bread on her pizza stone .. i have been looking for one of those things bc i like the boxed/frozen pizza and she says when she uses her pizza stone to bake her pizza on, it tastes just like delivery pizza ..

  23. Maggie says

    I use the frozen bread dough, too. I have arthritis is my hands and the kneading is hard. My niece gave me her Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough paddle so am eager to try Jill’s bread recipe.
    I put my dough to rise on my stove. I heat the oven for a few minutes, then turn it off but the vent for the heat of the oven is on the back of the stove facing the burners, so I just put the pans on top of the stove and they rise quickly and look wonderful. At Christmas, with the pies and turkey in the oven, the dough was almost misshapen because it rose so fast and came over the top of the pan. We were all laughing but it tasted wonderful, anyway.

  24. Maggie says

    When I lived in Maine – many years ago – a friend made a bread dough in a blender and as I remember it, it was almost liquid and no kneading was required. He just poured it into a loaf pan and cooked it for about 30 minutes. It came out firm and sliced easily. It was terrific. I have looked everywhere for a recipe that was similar and cannot find one anywhere. If anyone knows of such a recipe, I’d be delighted to have it. I don’t know where my old friend is now so cannot ask him for the recipe.

  25. Michelle says

    I know I am probably over looking something but at what temperature do I bake Mrs. Jill’s bread recipe. I am at the place in oven point. LOL! I should have read before I got this far.

  26. Michelle says

    I am so glad this recipe is on your website. I recently downloaded your book onto my kindle. I got up this morning and was going to make bread and your book is gone off my kindle! I LOVE your recipes! The cinammon roll recipe was outstanding!!! I am sad about losing the other recipes, but at least I still can make the bread. Thanks so much.

    • Judy says

      If you had a book on your Kindle you should be able to go to your Amazon account and have it sent to you again. It is probable in your ‘cloud’. Good luck with this.

  27. ann says

    First time visiting this site, I just read an article on another frugal site by Jill Cooper, and wanted to see if the article I’d read was outdated.
    It said not to add salt with yeast because salt “kills” yeast. That isn’t true. Pouring a lot of salt on it would, but salt is used with yeast to balance the fermentation process, I’ve added it with the yeast for years, as many recipes call for, and it only slows down the proofing for a more developed flavor.
    Will scope out the website :)

  28. Judy says

    Speaking as a chemical engineer, your directions and recipes are very inspiring. It’s a lot like baking, just with different ingredients :-)

  29. Myra says

    When my girls were growing up I always made home made bread. They could not understand what some people put on the table that they called bread. It was a labor of love for me. Tried a bread machine when they came out but was never satisfied with the end product.
    You can’t really experience the pleasure of home made bread until you start from scratch and get you hand in there and do it. I always felt such an accomplishment when I pulled that good bread from the oven. Always cut one loaf when it was hot eating that crust with lots of butter. YUM!! Think I will start to make bread again. Thanks for bringing that subject up again!!!

  30. Brenda says

    When I retired I started baking home made bread. We eat a lot of bread, bought or home made, and I like the idea that I know what I’m putting in it and eliminating a lot of chemicals and preservatives from our diet. Instead of lard or shortening I often use melted butter or olive oil for the fat in my bread recipes. Instead of sugar I might use honey. I still get holes, big and little, in my bread though, no matter how hard I try to squeeze out all the air bubbles when I am shaping the loaf. I get less bubbles on top of the loaves when I don’t let them raise too high. :) No matter how many holes there are, home made bread is yummy and more healthy. I like kneading it by hand, too—makes me feel like I am getting back to my “roots”. That’s another great thing about retirement; I don’t have to rush these important (to me!) endeavors! :)

    • says

      Brenda many years ago I took a bread baking class. At it they showed me how to take the bread dough and instead of just forming it into a loaf with my hands, to roll it out with a rolling pin into a rectangle (about 9 in. by 12 ins. doesn’t have to be exact mostly the width should be the length of your pan and most are about 9 inches I think) then at the 9 in end roll it up jelly roll fashion and gently mold into a loaf to fit the pan.

      What this does is the rolling pin removes all of the air bubbles from it and what ever ones it misses you can pop. I know this seems like an extra step and all but once you get use to doing it doesn’t take but a couple of minutes extra time and I have had no air bubbles since I have been doing this method. You might try it once to see it that helps a little.

  31. Maxine says

    Although you can’t bake a whole loaf this way, I’ve baked bread in a toaster oven but what I did was divide it into balls and placed into cup cake tins and baked it that way. There is also smaller pans that you can bake it in.

  32. Anita Dean says

    I have used active Dry Yeast for as long as I have made bread. I have never proofed it since one of it’s selling points is that you don’t have to. Were you referring to regular yeast when you talked of proofing? I’m not even sure they sell regular yeast anymore…but then I’ve been buying the Active Dry in bulk for years.

    I also keep my Active Dry yeast in the freezer, so it lasts for years.

    • says

      They do sell regular yeast still and as far as I can tell most people by the regular yeast because that is what they are use to seeing or seeing their moms and grandma’s use and aren’t really sure of maybe how to use the Active yeast. I personally use both and yes it does last for a long long time but it is best for beginners to proof it especially if they don’t know what kind it is and they often can get the liquid way to hot which can kill it so this helps them to know that they didn’t get the liquid too hot. Once they get use to the feel of the temperature they are suppose to use they don’t need to as much. Proofing isn’t that big of a deal anyway. I just heat up what ever liquid I am using and sprinkle the yeast on top of it. By the time I add a few of the dry ingredients to the bowl it is ready to go.

      • Anita Dean says

        Good point for beginners. I know I killed the yeast the first time I tried to make bread. I didn’t have my mother’s example to follow. While she was a gourmet cook, she didn’t do basic things like making bread or even gravy. I’ve been more interested in the basic cooking from scratch and not just opening a lot of cans and throwing something together. Lately I have been trying to include more beans in our diet as a healthy protein source. Do you have tips on cooking with beans, starting with the dried ones?

  33. Carol says

    Thank you for yur recipes. By any chance do you have any recipes for a bread machine? I cannot find the mixes in my area so I have to make my mix, but I don’t have any recipes.

    Thank you for all your books and newsletter,

    Carol Gabriel

  34. Veronica Tidd says

    I have used a bread machine for many years but don’t like the shape of the loaf. now I put everything in on the “dough” cycle and let the machine do it’s thing. When it has finished I start another regular cycle to re knead the dough and let that run a couple of minutes. After that I take the dough out and shape into loaves and set to rise in pans for the second time.
    This is a good way to impress overnight guests. Put all the ingredients into the machine with the yeast on top and set the timer for the time you get up. You can then form into rolls and your guests wake up to the smell of freshly baked bread. Makes a cheap breakfast too because they won’t want anything else except juice and coffee

  35. Mary Dean says

    I’ve been baking bread for over 50 years. When my kids/grandkids were young (also had an in-home daycare business), I would give the kids their own little dough and it was their most fun thing, to roll, shape, rise, then I’d bake their little creations, then they’d eat! Rules: no eating raw dough, and if it dropped on the floor, we’d throw it away or bake for the dog to eat, and they’d start over with a clean piece. Kept them busy for an hour or more, and they were learning that not all bread comes from a store!

    I have a wheat grinder and make whole wheat breads, adding molasses as part of the sugar (makes a nice dark loaf), and sometimes cook raisins in a bit of water, then grind in a blender, and add to the bread dough before mixing in all the flour. My favorite recipe is “French Peasant Bread.” In a large bowl, mix 1 cup warm water, 1 tbsp. yeast (or 1 pkg), 1 tbsp. dry instant milk, 1 cup whole wheat flour. Cover top of bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Day 2, stir in 2 cups warm water, 3 cups white flour, wrap again and let sit until the 3rd day. Day 3, add 1 tbsp. salt, and enough flour to knead well. Put in a greased bowl, cover an let rise on the counter an hour or two. Punch down again, put into greased bowl again and let rise another hour or so until doubled in size. GENTLY turn bowl upside down onto a lightly greased cookie sheet (add a bit of corn meal to the cookie sheet before placing the dough on it). Gently make criss-cross cuts in the top, then place in a 425 degree pre-heated oven. Place a broiler pan on bottom shelf, with about 2 cups of water in it. Bake in the hot oven about 35-40 minutes, let cool on a rack to retain hard outer crust. Best recipe in the world–tastes old world, sourdough type.

    • says

      Not really. You usually can’t substitute flour straight across one for another without it changing quite a bit of the texture, taste and other things in the bread. You can’t even really change whole wheat flour for all purpose flour without changing the taste and texture a bunch let alone rice flour. In bread baking and in candy making (the kind of candy you have to cook) I usually say stick to the recipe or you will have a mess.

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