Mastering Bread–So this is how it’s going to be, huh?

My goal is to make bread out of the basic ingredients–flour, yeast, water, salt–to make my efforts financially worth it.

This week, I decided again to deviate from the 4 basic ingredients. 

My great sister-friend*, Andrea, makes AWESOME bread in her bread maker. 
Wait.
Scratch that.
Let’s be more specific. 
She let’s her breadmaker do all the fun stuff, i.e. mixing, kneading, rising. 
While I can’t do the rising, I want to do the rest of it.
Anyway, after that process is complete, she separates the bread dough into 2 loaf pans and proofs* it in the pans and then bakes it in her oven.
Her bread is amazing.
So last week, I decided to try her recipe. But I actually tried it this week.
Are you still following me?

Her recipe is for Honey Oat Bread.
Guess what we have to add to make it honey oat.
Brilliant!  You are absolutely brilliant!

It calls for 6 Tablespoons of Honey and a 3/4 of a cup of oatmeal.
And a little oil.
Oh, which reminds me!  I gotta add that to my grocery list.

This is where we started to run into problems.

Problem #1:  I don’t like honey.  Raw honey is NASTY! 
I cannot tell you why, but yuck!
So why would you bake honey oat bread, you ask?
Good question.
Because baked honey in things (besides baklava) is quite tasty.

But because I don’t like raw honey, I let jars and jars of honey crystallize into honey sugar.  My poor husband who actually likes honey has quite a task ahead of him when he wants to use it!

To get at the honey in the jar, Chris had to cut out the hard lump of honey that had adhered to the top of the container so that I could get to the liquid “gold” (but remember it’s not gold in my book) in order to add it to the rest of the dough.

Problem #2:  This dough turned out to be quite soft.  Before I kneaded it, I pulled out my pastry cloth and put a couple of tablespoons of flour in a pile on it. 

Except that when I dug my hands into it,  I realized that I would need more!
Only NOW my hands were completely covered in dough goo and the lid to the flour container was on.  I forearmed the tupperware, found one finger that had a spot of skin showing, and pried open the lid.  Then, I knocked the container down so that flour would spill on the cloth.

And it did.  But not much. 
Plus, now I had the problem of figuring out how to pick up the jar. 

So in the end, I grabbed it with my dough covered hands.
What else could I do?

Problem #3:  My house is so cold, it literally took all day to rise.  I started this at 10:30 am.  By 8:00 pm I was pulling my bread out of the oven.

However, I want to point out that this journey of making bread is even furthering Chris.  Since I was nursing a baby when the timer went off, Chris had to pull the loaves out of the oven.  When I came out of JackJack’s room, I asked him about them, and he replied, “They don’t sound hollow yet.”

This is huge as even if he hasn’t intended to learn anything about bread making the fact of the matter is that he HAS!

This bread was delicious though a bit chewy.  It didn’t rise enough to make me happy, but it was MUCH lighter than last week’s loaf.  And while I can’t fault the bread for not rising enough, I will not take the blame on that one.

I must say that I am a big disappointed that this bread was so delicious.  I want to make good bread inexpensively, and if I have to keep adding things like honey or oatmeal or dried milk, it’s kind of going against the whole purpose I started this journey in the first place!  But alas, this is only week 4.  I have at least 100 more to go!

*sister-friend:  a friend who is just like a sister.  You can go to her house and help her fold laundry or just watch her fold laundry without any worries.  You don’t have to say anything or think about anything.  You love just being together.

*proofing:  the fancy way of saying the 2nd rise.  It usually occurs when you put the bread in the loaf pan or on the baking stone.

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About giannarae

I am a child of God who has been given the humbling job of being a wife and a mother to 4. Those whom He has given to me are my Sweet Peas and Buddies and one Honey.
This entry was posted in baking bread. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Mastering Bread–So this is how it’s going to be, huh?

  1. I have a problem.
    Every time I read your posts, you grow on me more and I just want to hug you.
    But you're too far away!
    Either you need to move closer, or stop being so darn charming in your posts. *wink*

    Love you!

  2. you're the only person I know who doesn't like honey…also I have the easiest best bread recipe that only takes a few minutes to make and I use it all the time…ask Khaiti, it is the best

  3. Well, well, well… Sounds like I'm not the only one who has a time in the kitchen… the big difference?? you're actually trying and accomplishing the art of making bread.. I can't even begin to wrap my brain around it.. kudos!!

  4. Dana says:

    Good for you! There was a time when I was trying to duplicate the wonderful bread from Great Harvest. They make this great wheat bread that actually sticks together (often the wheat bread of amateurs is really crumbly) … with only wheat flour, water, honey, yeast, and salt. And, if I remember correctly, I think you do need to use honey or sugar or molasses or something similar to get the yeast to do its job …

    Good luck to you!

    I'd like to see Khaiti's recipe too … if you get it. Thanks 🙂

  5. librariane says:

    Tips for faster rising:
    *preheat your oven a little and use the warmed oven (not while it's ON, of course)
    *put a towel over the bowl and put a heating pad (set on low) underneath
    *warm something up in the microwave and pop the bowl in there (unless your bowl is too big)

  6. Amy says:

    Thanks, Gianna…now I'm all in the mood to make bread. But my kitchen is freezing cold, too!

  7. I have found by putting aluminum foil and then a towel over the bowl, my bread rises faster.

    I admire your perseverance and enjoy your humor!

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