Baking Bread

For as long as I can remember {or at least as long as I've had babies}, I wanted to have baking bread become a part of my daily routine.  I have to admit, I'm not very good at it, and I get easily discouraged.  So it became easier to just not do it.  Not any more.  I'm on a mission to make bread baking a part of my morning.  Each day, I'm going to bake a loaf and learn from my mistakes.  I'm going to post about it here each Thrusday, but you can follow along for daily updates over on Instagram.  Join me won't you?  Maybe we can learn to bake together.

I'm going to use a basic bread recipe and make adjustments from there. {Thanks, Tonya, for sharing!}

Here's the recipe for one loaf of Basic White Bread:
1 cup warm water {think temp of baby bath water}
2 1/2 t. yeast
Wisk them together and let stand for 5 minutes
Add 2 1/2 - 3 cups flour {for me, 3 made the best loaf}
Add 1t salt
Add 1T olive oil

Mix everything together with a wooden spoon.

Knead for 10 minutes

Shape loaf and put in oiled pan {I'm using a stoneware pan}

Let rise until double {I was confused about this part.  Only let it rise once?  Would it work?  I was always told it HAD to rise twice.  Nope.  I'm sure it has better flavor and structure with a double rise, but it's beyond my attention span at this point.}

Bake @ 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until it sounds hollow when you knock on the top of loaf.

What I did wrong...  My biggest mistake with the white loaf was that it wouldn't rise.  It turned out that my water was too hot and it killed the yeast.   Once I got that right, it was the best loaf of bread I've ever made.  Nice rise, crust and texture.  Unfortunately, it was gone before I could get a picture of it.

The photo above is made with wheat bread.  I'd like to stay away from white flour and only use natural flours instead.  This has been a challenge for me.  I used the same basic recipe, but with 100% wheat flour from Wheat Montana instead.

What I did wrong...  Dough was too dry.  I since read that wheat flour needs more liquid so I'm going to increase the water and see what happens.  The finished bread turned out tasty, but a bit on the gummy side. It couldn't have been too bad, though, it was gone in about ten minutes.  Maybe a longer rise?  Cook in the oven longer? Let it rest longer when it comes out of the oven?

I'm going to work on getting the basic wheat bread right this week, so until Thursday...


  1. There's nothing nicer than homebaked bread. I make mine at night, I find the mixing and kneading very peaceful, and I leave it to rise overnight. In the morning it goes into the oven for warm, fresh breakfast bread. The house is filled with the wonderful smell and its a beautiful way to start the day.

    But yes, time consuming, and not always possible for a busy mother.

  2. Yes! One of the best gifts my girlfriend ever gave me was after I'd had my third, she invited me over for a big play date and walked me through her bread making process-I love Wheat Montana-I've found Prairie Gold to be wonderful for bread as its lighter wheat. I just love making bread, as it makes me remember childhood and coming in from the school bus to the smell of fresh bread: sitting on the back porch with a slice of fresh bread with butter and jam? Yum! I blogged about my process here:

  3. Also can't wait to follow because I've gotten out of the habit!

  4. this is great. I will follow along and try it too! My husband actually bakes all our bread. we never buy store bought. He makes it once or twice a week. instead of a loaf he makes these small buns. we like them better since we arent big bread eaters. I like that they are smaller servings and handy :) He makes good bread but I'd really like to know how to do it too. good luck with your next loaves!

  5. What a fun baking project. I've been baking all our bread products for a couple of years now and it is so satisfying. I look forward to reading about your journey and maybe even adding a recipe or two to my collection! Happy baking!

  6. Mmmm... ever since my oldest was born I've been baking our bread. I do two loaves at a time, twice a week/as needed. I use a similar recipe, although I put a spoonful of sugar in the warm water to feed the yeast, and I use honey (yeast food) and one egg in the dough, too. The egg seems to make the bread softer. Sometimes I do a loaf with cinnamon and raisins, for breakfast, and one plain for lunch. Another breakfast favorite: kneading in a handful of chocolate chips - pan au chocolat, sort of. Soulemama's WHO bread is another family favorite, requested by name:

  7. Honestly, Liz, I don't really measure anything and I do vary the ingredients from time to time, but that is my basic recipe. It is fun to see the bread come out slightly different each day. I love your pictures, just beautiful.

  8. Home baked bread...?? wow!!! really nice.

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