Bread Making!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

(Psst. CD1 is finally here!)

Would it help if I said that my breadmaking post was late because I wanted to get/add pictures? Well it's finally here, with pictures for your viewing!

Don't know if you remember, but we recently got a grain mill, and we have picked up our 50lb. bag of wheat berries that we ordered from the local men.nonite's, and we now have two 3-qt containers of freshly-milled whole wheat flour! (Mr. A grinds more as I use up the flour.)


I had been trying recipe after recipe of wheat bread, and none had worked very well. The main problem is getting the dough to rise. Which, from my goo.gling, is a common issue with wheat flour.

From what I can conclude from my past recipes versus the one that worked beautifully is that:

1. I was not preparing the yeast well. The packets say to sprinkle the yeast into a bowl of warm water and let it sit. Well that is all fine and good, but I don't think all the yeast was really getting dunked into the bath, so I don't think it was developed enough by the time I mixed it into the receipe. What worked was that I put the yeast in the bowl and the dumped the water on top of it. Worked much better!!

2. I don't think I (i.e. my mixer) was kneading the dough long enough, before. What worked was that "I" (see previous clarification) kneaded the dough for 10 minutes after it formed into a ball.

3. For a warm space for the bread to rise, I had always turned the oven on for a minute and then cut it off. What worked was that I added a shallow bowl of warm water on the lower rack- rose much better!

4. Previously, after the second rising, I would take the bread pan(s) out of the oven while it preheated for the bake phase. I think this made the bread cold, and so it would fall prior to the baking. This time, I left them in there (while the oven preheated to baking temperature) and just baked them for a shorter time. Bread stayed risen and lovely!

AND, the recipe I used this time was the wheat bread recipe from The Family Homestead (bread recipe here, but it's fun to check out all the links on her homepage!). (Note, I didn't have gluten flour, so I just used 5.5 cups of wheat flour. It tastes awesome- I don't know how it tastes with gluten flour, but I think it tastes excellent without it!). I am going to try some of my previous recipes with some of the situational observations listed above to see if it's those recipe's faults or what I was doing during the mixing. If I were to make a guess, I'd guess it's the latter!!

Here are some pictures of the finished product! If you notice, I don't have two loaf pans, so I have to use one of my oval pyr.ex dishes in addition to my loaf pan!




Happy breadmaking everyone!! Let me know how these suggestions help you!!

21 comments:

Emily said...

Those look delightful! How awesome that you can grind your own wheat!!!

Katie said...

Those look amazing, A! You are making me hungry over here. :)

Lisa said...

yum! That looks so so good...I have been meaning to start sharing some of the recipes we use for Sugar Busters, which includes a ton of whole wheat flour baking...maybe later today I will actually begin sharing...we'll see. I have made whole wheat pitas, pizza crust, biscuits, muffins...but I haven't made bread yet!

Ann - Building a Nest said...

It looks yummy!

Also, if you add a tablespoon of sugar or honey to the yeast/water mixture.

Ann - Building a Nest said...

I didn't finish my thought . . . it helps the yeast to get all frothy. Good tip for when your yeast refuses to cooperate.

brigittemarie said...

Yum! Sure beats Jiffy mix :)

Rach said...

MMM looks yummy. I can smell fresh bread already!!

Leah said...

My mouth is watering! That bread looks wonderful! I bet it made your house smell really good as well. :-D

Basic Girl said...

First off, yay for CD1! I think mine will be Mondayish, so I may be about a week behind you.

And YUM, that break looks amazing!! So impressed you made that from scratch!

K said...

I highly recommend this book for recipes:

http://www.amazon.com/Kneadlessly-Simple-Fabulous-Fuss-Free-No-Knead/dp/0470399864

I haven't tried the whole wheat bread yet, but there's a great section at the beginning that explains a lot about the chemistry of breadmaking. I also love the "no knead" part!

Your loaves look fantastic! ;)

Dear Diary said...

Yummy!!! Great job!!

lowfatlady said...

Yum! Your bread looks great. We have a bread maker, but we don't use it that often. I would like to make more as my hubby loves bread, but it's so carby.

JC said...

Mmmm that looks yummy!!! You're awesome for making that yourself!

Shanny said...

OMG such yumminess!! So cool you can make it from scratch!

Leslie said...

YUMMY! The bread looks delicious. Bread is all I have wanted lately as not much has appealed to me. I wish I could reach through the picture / computer and grab a piece = )

Adam and Julia said...

I am so jealous that you made actual bread..lol. It looks awesome, and I am sure it tastes just as good.

Thankful said...

the oval pyrex pan makes such a lovely loaf - that is awfully creative! Congrats on bread success!

Hannah said...

Oh wow, my DH loves to make bread too! I have no idea how he does it though. Love your photos!

Thanks for your insightful comment on my blog! I really appreciate that. It was my DH who was the strongest on adoption over IVF, but I think you may very well be right in that while he is on board with the adoption idea, it may be too much for him right now. Thanks so much for giving me more to think about! I can't say how much it helps to have your perspective!
Hugs & prayers!

Ashley said...

Yummy!! :) my mom use to make wheat bread from scratch when my brother and I were younger. It was sooo good! :)

Noelle said...

Oh my...those look heavenly!!!

ventingvagina said...

omg, that bread looks so tasty! i could totally use a slice of that, lightly toasted with some honey drizzled on top. yum!