Bread Making

So many have written me that they’re wanting to make bread; some have ordered the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book; some will try recipes they’ve tried before.

I know that bread making isn’t for everyone so this is not a “My bread is better than your bread” type post . . just some encouraging words for those wanting to try.

My best advice is:  If you have a recipe from someone you trust (someone who has made the bread before and you know it works), keep trying til you get it right.  Don’t jump from one recipe to another.  Perfect one and then  move on to another.  Different flours, different waters, differences in altitude, differences in mixing/kneading and I’m sure other things too . . all make a difference in the outcome of your bread.

I love to hand knead my regular bread but I do not like sticky bread . . not at all.  I hate for anything to get under my fingernails.  Whole wheat dough is really sticky.  It needs to be sticky and I don’t like to touch it . . not one bit.  So, I let the mixer do all the kneading.  When I first got the Bosch, it mixed the dough so much quicker than did my old Kitchen Aid, that even though I was using the same recipe I’d used forever, the bread was crumbly and would fall apart in the toaster.  I learned that I needed to let the mixer continue kneading the dough for 7 – 10 minutes, even though the dough was mixed completely after just a minute or two.  This extra time is needed for the gluten to develop.  As soon as I let the mixer knead the dough longer, we had perfect bread again.  Who would have thought that just changing the mixer would have made such a difference?

There are a lot of variables and it may take you a few tries to get a perfect loaf but don’t give up . . keep trying.  If I can do it, you can do it too.

I mentioned yesterday that I use patent flour.  This is an excellent article about flour.  For years I made bread with plain old all purpose flour.  I don’t even remember bread flour being in the stores 12 or more years ago but I guess it was.  At some point I did switch to bread flour; then I began using King Arthur flour.  Their flour is excellent and many grocery stores now carry it.  Kroger/Dillons carries it (the closest one to me is 70 miles away).  I started using patent flour simply because I was in an Amish store not far from here and I asked what flour they use.  The lady explained to me why they use patent flour.  I began using the patent flour and love the results.  I get it in 50 pound bags from the Amish store but have not seen patent flour in the stores.  I haven’t really looked so I don’t know if it’s there or whether it might be called something else.

On the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day website, the book authors answer questions and here they talk about using more or less water, depending on the flour you’re using.  These authors are fantastic about answering questions left on the website.  Unlike the author of that Nine Patch Extravaganza book! 🙂

So, if you’re wanting to make bread . . get out your supplies . . today!  Stop procrastinating and do it.  Homemade bread is so good!

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    I have been baking my own bread for years and years. We can hardly eat store-bought bread now. I make multi-grain with whatever I have on hand including leftover cooked rice and mashed potatoes.

  2. 2

    says

    I mixed up my five-minute dough last night, and I will be baking something bread-y later today!!! The dough looks wonderful. Amazing for so little work. Thanks so much for sharing, Judy. And I know home-made bread will expedite the healing process of my injured wrist so I can catch up on the last two blocks of your Star BOM!!!

  3. 3

    Debbie Pinnock says

    I would really like to try the Onion Rolls. Was wondering if you had converted the ounce measurements into tsp, tblsp or cups? Love your blog site and read it almost daily. Thanks, Deb

  4. 5

    carol fun says

    again you have lured me into another dimension — all the talk about bread got me curious and hungry and I requested this book at my local library and it should be available tomorrow. I think I’ll have some fun playing with this over the weekend. I love good chewy crusty bread – thanks again for expanding my horizons —

  5. 6

    says

    Good morning Judy! I have you to thank for my house smelling so so good this morning. Yep, I baked two loaves, one wheat and one white! I finally did it, I made bread from scratch! I have you to thank for that. I don’t think I’ll ever buy “store” bread again. And I can’t wait to make a loaf for one of my favorite appetizers… sauteed mushrooms, onions & garlic on toasted bread smothered with goat cheese!!! Yummy!

  6. 7

    says

    Well, Judy, you have done it. I finally ordered a copy of the Artisan cookbook. In another life when there wasn’t bread flour or all of those “fancy” things I used to bake bread all the time and I loved it. My wrists gave out on me and it was just too difficult to knead the bread. Then my sweet husband bought me a kitchen aid and I baked bread again for several years. Finally quit about 15 years ago. We have made bread from scratch for the bread machine, but you have talked about this bread a lot, and what finally broke the straw was the sandwiches you made with the folded over bread. lol. I am now behind on my Stars, but will catch up by the first of the year I hope.

  7. 8

    says

    If I made bread I wouldn’t have any time left for cleaning….I think I’ll just keep walking down the street to Panera for mine although I agree homemade bread is delicious! I’m actually going to make some soup tonight which would be really good with homemade bread.

  8. 9

    says

    You know, I take a break from reading blogs and in no time I have 70 entries to read from you. Glad I started with this one cuz it’s funny! I’d take it and run. It’s summer in Australia, you might want to go there! lol Have fun!

  9. 11

    says

    The weather can make such a difference on how your bread turns out, too. And altitude. Mom’s bread raises sky high, where mine? Not so much.

    King Arthur has a blog with recipes to die for! Or, to gain weight for…

  10. 12

    Carmi says

    I don’t know how you do it all. You must be very organized. I’m going to our local Bob’s Red Mill to see if they have any patent flour. I love baking bread and would like to try this flour. Also am going to try the Onion Rolls. Love your blog.

  11. 13

    says

    Thank you so much Judy for your blog, especially the post on the no knead bread making. I make bread and rolls quite often but I’ve never made a crusty rustic bread. This was on par or better than any bread I’ve ever bought or had at a restaurant. I was amazed and my family and friends were very impressed! Your readers can see the results on my blog at http://colorfulquiltingworld.blogspot.com/

  12. 14

    says

    What a great tip to stick to the same recipe. When I first got my bread machine I hopped around from recipe to recipe. I may just start over so to speak and experiment to get one recipe down pat. Thanks!

  13. 15

    says

    Hi Judy, I’ve been enjoying your blog for a few months now. I recently started making my own bread. This week was my third attempt and they turned out quite nice. Thanks for all the great recipes you’ve pointed out for us!

  14. 16

    says

    Hi, Judy, I have been enjoying your blog for a couple of months now…even (especially?) when you forget it’s supposed to be about quilting *LOL*!
    I have been baking bread for over 30 years now. Hadn’t heard about the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes because I live overseas and things come here more slowly, but as soon as I saw it in your post, I couldn’t wait to try it. Started it on Friday, and on Sunday we made our first loaf. I was delirious with joy. I was totally blown away. Fantastic bread with about one minute of work. No sugar added, amazing crumb and crust–just like a fresh loaf from a French bakery! This has changed my life.
    Thank you so much!