Sunday, April 24, 2011

Adventures in Bread Baking

You've seen the posts on Facebook. You've seen the picture of the final product. Here is the entire story and the recipe.

A while ago my sister sent me a very easy bread recipe. I held onto it and held onto it. Last week I decided it was time to try it.
When I tried it on Friday it was very gooey and runny. The dough was more like a thick brownie dough. The bread didn't rise in the oven at all and it was flat, dense and almost like it didn't cook all the way through. I'm pretty sure that I didn't use enough flour. The ingredient list calls for 4 cups of flour, however, the 'what to do' list says to add 2 cups and then knead in a half a cup more. I followed the steps and since I was a bread baking virgin I didn't know to add more. Now I know. I remember my friend, Leila, saying her grandmother never really had a recipe. She said that different weather needs different amounts of flour. Unfortunately, I didn't remember this until after I made the first batch of bread.

Now, without further ado, the recipe.

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tbsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp white sugar1tsp salt
2 tsp veg oil
4 cups bread flour

Dissolve yeast and sugar into water -- let set till creamy about 10 min. Add salt and veg oil and 2 cups flour (I mix all of this in my kitchen aid with the bread hook) Turn onto a floured surface and knead in more flour 1/2cup. Knead for about 10 minutes (again I use my KA) place in an oiled bowl cover with dampened dish towel let rise for 1 hour.

After an hour form into 16 rolls or two loaves and let rise another 30 min.

Bake at 400 for 20 min or until golden.

And now, all of the mistakes I made the first time.

The first batch I mixed with my stand mixer and the second I did totally by hand. I don't know if using the mixer was a mistake or not, I really did enjoy kneading it by hand.

The first time I added the water to the yeast and sugar and the yeast

became really clumpy. The second time I sprinkled the yeast and sugar onto the water.

When I mixed the oil and flour into the yeast the first time I used the prescribed 2 cups. The second time I added flour little-by-little until it looked more like bread dough.

The second time I made the bread I kneaded it by hand adding flour until the dough was no longer sticky. I did some research on kneading bread. Stretch the bread away from you and then fold it toward the center. Turn the bread a quarter turn clockwise and repeat. I would add flour when my hands were sticking to the bread. I would just sprinkle a little flour over the top and sometimes rub it on my hands.

I think that might be it. I don't remember anything else I did (I admit I'm really tired right now so I hope I didn't forget anything).

This is the good bread, it's so pretty.

This is the first bread I made (ignore the mess in the background). You can see that it didn't rise at all in the oven. I wish I had taken a picture of it cut.

I would LOVE to try more recipes, please send me some. I would also like to hear any tips or advice concerning bread baking you may have. Please leave them in the comments box because we are here to help each other out and encourage each other, just remember to be polite and respectful. =)

Happy Baking and God bless you and your family,

Then the older women can train the younger women to love their husbands and children,
to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:4-5


  1. That is cool that you are learning to make bread. We love homemade bread around our place and I try to make a batch once a week. You do eventually get to the point that a recipe isn't needed. I just know basically how much liqued and then I can feel how much flour to put in. It is fun to switch up the recipe a little every time.

  2. Abbi, thank you so much for your comment. I am trying new bread recipes but this french bread is my favorite. I made grilled cheese with the french bread and it was amazing, it toasts really nicely.