Sunday, May 23, 2010

Making Bread

I love making and decorating cookies, but second to that is making bread. When I first starting experimenting with bread, I bought a bread maker. After a while I decided to try it the old fashioned way. What a difference! For me, the kneading by hand is almost primal.The mixing of those simple ingredients together to form a loaf of bread, is theraputic. Watching it rise ( well , I don't actually sit there watching it- at least for the whole time!), shaping it, and baking in the oven as the house fills with an unrivaled smell, is an amazing feeling. ( Little things excite me!)
I love to experiment with new kinds of bread. One thing I still haven't attempted is a sour dough starter. Another two weeks and school is out so that is on my to do list for the summer vacation. This time I made two kinds of bread- a "health " bread with spelt flour and flax seeds. Delicious- those are the rounds loaves above.

The whole grain bread recipe made 4 loaves(!) so I stuck them in the freezer. Took one out yesterday , warmed it in the oven for a bit, and it was just like fresh baked.

Whole Grain Bread ( for 4 loaves- you could halve it if you don't want so much bread)
* note: If you choose to include the cracked wheat in the recipe, it needs to soak in water overnight. I didn't happen to have any at the time, so did not use it, but have done so in the past and it adds a great crunch to the bread.

650 grams bread flour
200 grams whole wheat flour
220 grams spelt flour
20 grams gluten
35 grams dry yeast
40 grams sugar
750 ml. water
70 ml. olive oil
20 grams salt
3 grams fresh ground pepper
100 grams flax seeds
100 grams roasted sunflower seeds
100 grams cracked wheat, soaked in water overnight

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add all the dry ingredients.
  2. Slowly add the wet ingredients and knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough separates from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Transfer to a work surface and knead the dough by hand until smooth.
  4. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size.
  5. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and form each one into an oval shape. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover and let rise again until doubled in size.
  6. Preheat oven to 230 C, lightly flour the top of the loaves and, using a sharp knife or razor, make diagonal slashes across the top.
  7. Bake 30 minutes, until the loaves brown and when the bottom is tapped, it sounds hollow.
  8. Cool on a rack. Be sure it is completely cool before slicing. (I can never wait that long!)

Flax Seed and Spelt Flour Bread( makes 2 round loaves)

250 grams sifted bread flour
180 grams spelt flour
100 grams whole wheat flour
10 grams gluten
15 grams dry yeast
30 grams sugar
10 grams salt
350 ml. warmish water
30 grams of wheat bran
50 grams flax seeds

  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, add all ingredients except for the water
  2. Mix thoroughly and slowly add the water while the mixer is running. Knead about 10 minutes until you get a soft and very flexible dough.
  3. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size.
  4. Divide the dough in two and form each one into a round loaf. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and let rise again until doubled in size.
  5. Preheat oven to 230 C, lightly flour the tops of the loaves and makes slashes with a scissors or sharp knife.
  6. Bake 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 200C for another 20 minutes until the bread browns.
  7. Cool on a cooling rack before slicing.
P.S. Gave my bread machine away to someone who wanted a more "instant" bread method. At least it went to good use!

An added note (5/28/10) this post is participating in "I'm Lovin It " party at TidyMom- jump over and take a look at everyone's entries.


  1. I clicked on your link when you left a comment on my baking blog. So glad that I did.

    #1 ~ you are beautiful!
    #2 ~ your bread is beautiful!
    #3 ~ your cookies are beautiful!

    Really enjoyed your post. Like you, I love to bake and decorate cookies and next to that, make bread! Love the way my home smells when I bake bread. Such a comfort food. You have a new follower. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment on my blog by the way. I very much appreciate it.

  2. Ooops, forgot to mention. You should link up this post (or another if your prefer) to Tidymom's *I'm Lovin It Friday* linky event. It is a wonderful way to meet many other interesting and talented bloggers. Hope to see you there!

  3. I hopped over from Tidymom. Your bread looks absolutely delicious. I haven't ever baked with spelt, though I have seen it in the stores. I will confess I use my Kitchen Aid mixer to knead my bread, but I agree that there is great satisfaction in baking bread.

  4. Wonderful job!! It looks just amazing!

  5. looks like some great bread!! it look so good!
    I have been teaching my girls to make bread , we started with the no knead method, it comes out surprisingly well!

  6. I feel the SAME way about bread! I LOVE kneading by's comforting to me. Your bread looks beautiful!

  7. Dear Yael,
    Those are beautiful loaves pictured in your post. I know exactly how you feel about working with bread dough by hand. Describing it as "primal" is so apt! Have you read Peter Reinhart's books? I love how he dwells on the more "spiritual" aspects of bread making. After all, it's such an ancient, basic, everyday practice. It definitely has almost meditative aspects, don't you think? I love it, too, as you do.
    --Jane :)

  8. I love your breads. I agree about making it by hand. I still have my bread maker, but I much prefer to making it by hand there is something so comforting in doing it that way.

  9. Your cookies are very cute! You sound a lot like me. I also have a unique fondness for making bread too. I guess dough is dough whether it's sweet of yeast :)
    Nicely done!


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