Friday, January 8, 2010

Our Daily Bread

If anyone had told me three years ago that I would be baking my own bread every other day, I would have rolled my eyes…why take all that time and effort to bake bread? They sell perfectly good bread in the store. That attitude about bread all went out the window when I tasted some homemade whole wheat sourdough bread from a good friend of mine. It was the most delicious bread, and I was totally hooked. So, I took home some of the sourdough starter and a recipe card, and tried my hand at bread-making. I am sad to say that my bread career started and ended within 24 hours. The kneading part was what made me give up…I kneaded the required 10 minutes and wanted to cry about four minutes into it. The combination of being pathetically out of shape (my arms got so tired!) and having to stop every minute (with sticky, flour-covered hands, by the way) to pull my just-crawling baby out of whatever trouble she had gotten into was way to much to deal with. And to top it off, I didn’t knead it well enough and the finished bread was practically not edible.

I hated to give up, because I really wanted to have this bread, but I did. When I was pregnant with my second daughter, my friend was generous enough to send a loaf of bread each week for the entire summer. This was when I became truly addicted. This bread was like no other; bread in my past was a delivery method for peanut butter and jelly, or butter…used basically for the occasional sandwich. THIS bread was eaten daily; toasted and buttered for breakfast, buttered or spread with something tasty at other meals, and other times just plain as a snack. We were devouring our loaf every week, waiting (im)patiently for the next week’s loaf. I realized I was totally mooching bread now for too long…something had to be done…so I got this:

Thank you, KitchenAid! This changed everything. God bless that dough hook. So, now I bake this incredible bread all the time, it’s super easy, and healthy, and I will try to share the recipe. The thing is, I really know nothing about bread baking other than this exact recipe. I can’t troubleshoot. I can’t adjust crust crispiness, or bread fluffiness. If you have trouble, I suggest google. Here’s what to do.

Put all of the following in your mixer bowl:

1 c. starter (I did not make mine, but here’s how)

2 c. whole wheat bread flour*

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour*

1 c. water

1 tsp. Active dry yeast

2 tsp. Salt

*any combination of whole wheat and white flour can be used to total 3 1/2 cups

From what I have read online, it looks like the order of mixing ingredients is important, but I just throw it all in there. Turn on the mixer and let it go for 10 minutes. Gently form/pat dough into a flat ball shape, put in a springform pan, cover with a wet towel, and let it sit overnight.

In the morning, bake at 380 for 35 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack.



  1. Great start to your blog Leslie. Jennifer and I can't wait to hear about your adventures. Even if the bread isn't perfect, it's still worth the way the kitchen smells when it's baking. Happy cooking.

  2. Baking the bread in a bit, thanks so much for the starter!