Happy New Year Everyone!  Perhaps a little belated.

One of my goals for the new year is to learn new things.  That can apply to a variety of different subjects.  One is bread making.

I love bread, especially organic seeded bread, which we have been purchasing at Whole Foods – expensive – in more ways than one, considering we are 1 1/2 hours away from Whole Foods.  Sometimes I opt for the Trader Joe’s variety, but I try to go for as few ingredients and ones I can pronounce, therefore, Whole Foods won out in the bread category.

This is the year, though, that I decided to break down, bite the bullet, and learn to make my own bread from scratch.  It has been trial and error.  I’m learning about yeast, for one thing.  Maybe it’s the fact that I started this whole endeavor in the midst of one of the biggest cold fronts in history.  It has been below zero several times over the last few weeks.  I did discover a feature on my oven that has come in most helpful.  It is something called Standard Proof.  Yeah!

My ingredients thus far has been:  bread flour, spelt flour, yeast, olive oil, sea salt, sugar, sometimes butter in lieu of the oil, and various seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, and sesame, all organic.  On two loaves I omitted seeds and added raisins and cranberries.

I’ve been watching lots of youtube videos on bread making.  Any suggestions are most helpful.  One of the best things is nothing really goes to waste, as my husband will even eat what I consider my flops, and tell me how great they are.

One of the best things is thatPictured below are two of my attempts.


6 thoughts on “2014

  1. Well done. Thanks so much for sharing because I need this boost of inspiration to get back to bread baking. And your husband reminds me of mine! Gotta love our personal cheerleaders 😉

  2. I started making all of my breads a year ago. There’s nothing like the smell of bread in the oven! And then some homemade peach preserves to top it! 🙂 I’m going to have to broaden my bread recipes tho and try some like you have made. They look delicious!

  3. Welcome back :). I haven’t made bread since Brunhilda had her nap for 2013. Its WAY too hot here to even think about breadmaking let alone cooking indoors. We are cooking outside on the covered bbq. I managed to get a fully enclosed veggie garden this year and so the possums (after an initial invader breached the fort but we fixed that!) have to content themselves with laying on the netting over the top looking in at my wonderful green harvest and I can stand upright and garden…what a luxury! ;). Hope you are happy, healthy and enjoying life. That bread looks wonderful :). I did an experiment for a fellow blogger last year when she made bread with kefir. I told her that I made my own non-dairy kefir and she gave me her recipe and asked me to trial it for her using my non-dairy kefir to leaven the bread. We didn’t use any “yeast” at all aside from what was in the kefir mix and both loaves rose magnificently and turned out fantastically so it acts like a kind of sourdough starter/biga. Apparently you can use kombucha to the same effect. I love learning from the internet! 🙂

  4. I started baking my own bread a few years ago and have never looked back! Healthier than store-bought bread and so so delicious.

    I really like using the SAF instant yeast (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/saf-red-instant-yeast-16-oz) — it doesn’t need to be hydrated/proofed in water before use and has been really consistent for me.

    I also really like the King Arthur Flour website in general. Lots of great recipes and baking tips. Good luck!!

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