Sunday 27 January 2013

First Try At Breadmaking

I'm still stuck in the house nursing my knee.  It's really not such a bad thing because I'm making real progress on straightening out cabinet drawers, sewing curtains and whittling away at my Pinterest pins.

You all assured me I could make bread.  You gave me tips and offered recipes.  You also told me to make cinnamon buns first. I'd have made a terrible Dorothy in Oz because I never want to "begin at the beginning".

Here is official loaf #1! ~

It's doesn't look quite like the one from The Italian Dish ~

I'll grant you that mine is considerably smaller and rather resembles a bowling ball.  Hey, she's had more practice than I have and writes an amazing, full scale cooking blog.  You really should check out her site!  It's  one of my favourite foodie blogs.  Everything is made from scratch, with natural ingredients and the directions are detailed and easy to understand.  She includes videos of methods that may be difficult to grasp by just reading them.  Trust me on The Italian Dish being worth the hop over there!  You have to go over there, anyway, for the recipe because it's wayyy too long for me to write out.

The ingredient list is simple enough.  I've bought fresh yeast, like Mel from Mellywood's Mansion told me to and took her advice on storing it in the freezer.  Other than that, I needed sea salt, flour and water.  Of course I deviated from the recipe and used organic whole wheat flour.  ~

Are we all still hating my kitchen counter?  Let's all just look at the Medalta bowl and the wooden spoon from Greece.  That's better.

The whole process got a little more difficult when I put the yeast in the warm water.  It appears yeast makes Maeve crazy!  This 3 pound cat's normal voice is only a whisper.  If she's very frightened OR you put yeast in water, you can hear her scream a mile away! ~

I keep pushing her away with my foot and mix the whole thing together with the wooden spoon because I don't have a fancy, shmancy mix master with a dough paddle.  I also don't have a special dough keeper box so I stretch some cling wrap over the bowl and poke a hole in the top to let the gasses out.  

It's kind of cold in this old house, with our double digit low temps this week, so I put the bowl on my warming element set on low and left the dough to rise for 2 hours. ~

Into the fridge it goes (the dough, not the cat) and sets overnight.

I had a little more trouble with the shaping part.  You have to stretch the top down and wrap it under the bottom until it forms a smooth 'gluten cloak'.  It's supposed to take 30 seconds for this operation.  Uh huh. I know I'm handling the dough too much, but I'm determined to get a 'gluten cloak'.

Six tries later, I gave up and decided my bread was a fuzzy lumberjack shirt wearer!~

Let 'er rise for another 30 mins. and pop it in the oven for 30 mins. ~

It sings, like she said it would, with little crackling sounds.  It's baked right through.  It sounds hollow when you tap it.  

Now, for the taste test. ~

Yummm!  This stuff is good for a few extra pounds!  Yes, I gave Maeve some and she heartily approved of home made bread.

There you have it.  I've made artisan (bowling ball shaped) bread for about 40 cents a loaf.  You guys were right - I can do it!  


  1. Wooooot! Hey that looks amazing! Nothing like trying to knead and shape dough to get the workout ou weren't expecting. Very nice job, well done! Now just make the buns for funnsies and well be prepared to put on that couple pound because it is moreish

    Or check your thrift shops for bread makers, lots of them don't bake a good loaf but on the dough setting they take all the hard work out then just chuck it in the oven easy peasy

  2. I am so impressed Maureen you have no idea - is there no end to your talents girl?
    That looks amazing - and I'm starving right now -so I'd give anything for a slice of that with a cup of tea.
    And it LOOKS beautiful too!
    Mel - leave Maureen alone - she enjoys doing everything the HARD way - and look at the end result!

  3. Oh, nothing is better than bread right out of the oven. Good for you! I make our own bread, but I cheat by using a breadmaker.
    Farmhouse hugs,

  4. Oh now that looks pretty wonderful to me Maureen! Doesn't baking bread make the whole house smell good?! Nice job! (Homemade bread makes the best toast and french toast too!)

  5. It looks great, Maureen- I haven't baked bread in a long time. It doesn't rise as much when you use whole wheat and the bread is denser...that's what I mostly used to use, too...and it harder to work with when you go to mold it. I'd say you did GOOD, girl-VERY VERY good! xo Diana

  6. It looks delish. Nothing better than home-made bread.

  7. Oh yummy, don't you just love the smell of home-baked bread!! We had to stop making our own bread a few years back due to an odd symptom of swelling on certain parts of our bodies!

  8. Congratulations! It took me about 5 years to learn how to make good bread. And there is nothing like warm bread fresh from your own oven.

  9. I can't believe this is the first time a domestic goddess like yourself has made bread. No stopping you now.


  10. brava! bet the house smelled great.

  11. There is nothing quite like homemade bread...I've been meaning to make a loaf of whole grain cinnamon raisin...hmm, maybe today! Don't eat it all in one sitting now! Cathy

  12. You done good girl, especially since you used whole wheat flour exclusively. It doesn't have as much gluten so it doesn't stretch the way all purpose flour does. Also, should mention you can't handle the dough too much. It loves being handled...develops the gluten. Exactly the opposite of pastry dough. Bet it tastes wonderful! Congrats!

  13. I think your version looks fabulous! Definitely pride-worthy. And Maeve? What the heck,...never heard of that one, lol.

  14. That looks wholesome, and delicious. Hope your knee gets better soon.

  15. I think it turned out looking very nice and nothing tastes better than fresh baked bread and butter!

  16. It looks really delicious. I think that is too much work for me. Too many steps. I like crock pot recipes anymore. Your counter isn't so bad! I do like the mustard bowl. :)

  17. Your bread is beautiful! So is your bowl!!! And of course your cat.
    well done dear Maureen! i am going to a bread making course on Saturday, very much looking forward to it

  18. this is so impressive, maureen! i can't cook, but, do like to bake--mostly brownies, cookies, and pies. i will put bread on my to do list:) hope your leg feels better soon!

  19. Wow Maureen! Your bread looks delicious. Homemade bread is the best and it smells so amazing! Great job!
    Tuula :)

  20. Maureen,
    I will admit that bread is not my strong suite yours looks delicious to me. What a sweet kitty...
    Keep warm!

  21. If I had to chose one thing to eat, it would be homemade bread. But, I've never made bread from scratch. Yours looks fantastic and yummy! I might just try it myself someday.


  22. Hi Maureen,

    I applaud your effort and enthusiasm and your bread looks very rustic and delicious! Your beautiful vignettes could be straight from a Tuscan kitchen, with all the earthy colours and textures.

    Thanks for sharing and inspiring!


  23. Hooray!

    It looks delicious!

    Hope it helps heel your knee faster!

    Homemade bread is pretty handy for everything that ails you!

  24. I am in shock...this looks amazing and I bet it tastes so great...mmm...with unsalted BUTTER!

  25. Wow! You did GREAT! I love homemade yeast bread! I could LIVE on it! Well...with some of that butter on top! lol I make a super easy loaf of bread that is out of this world. I shared the recipe here if you want to try it! Hugs!

  26. looks delicious, I have a kind of quick and easy recipe for a Farmers Bread (I live in Namibia, neighbor country to South Africa), but with dry yeast,
    I use 1 x 500 ml white bread flour
    2 x 500 ml brown bread flour
    1 x 500 ml whole wheat flour
    1 sachet dry yeast
    few pinches of salt
    handful of seeds (sunflower, poppy seeds, linseed)
    bit olive oil
    optional cumin, and a tea spoon ground coffee
    enough luke warm water to blend all ingredients to a sticky
    dough, more to the runny side,

    pour into tin or tins, you can also use empty coffee tins and
    have a round bread, 1/2 full. wait for 20 minutes and bake in
    a pre heated oven (180 -200degrees C)for about 1 hour.
    If you knock on it, it must sound hollow, then its done.

    But even if I have done this nearly 100 times same ingredients and all, it happens that the bread comes out to dry or it crumbles too much. Will remember to take photos next time I bake and post it to my blog in stages for you to see....
    Have a nice weekend out there

  27. Looks great. I'm going to try it today.

  28. Your bread looks yummy. Oh, the aroma of fresh baked bread!
    Thanks for the visit to Hyacinths. ;-)

  29. Your bread looks delicious! Well done! Hugs, Gayle.

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