Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My very first loaf

Yes, you heard that right! I've been baking bread, for the first time in my life. I thought it's supposed to be difficult, but it was really easy, even without a bread machine. It all took no more than half an hour (not counting the time I waited for the dough to rise).

I used a plain, simple recipe:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1\2 cup warm water (I left the yeast - 2 tsp. - in the water for 10 minutes before adding it to the flour)
Some salt and 1 tbsp. butter (I didn't have butter so I used vegetable oil instead, it works just fine)
I also added some raisins. Next time I might add grains, or nuts, or berries! I definitely want to do this again.

After kneading the dough, I left it to rise, then punched it a bit, left to rise again, put into preheated oven for about 40 minutes... and voila! Fresh, delicious home-baked bread. According to my calculations, it's about twice cheaper than store-bought bread, and much more filling. Not to mention the wonderful aroma of fresh bread all around the house!


Mrs. Brigham said...

Your bread looks wonderful! Baking bread is my therapy. Nothing can help you de-stress quite like kneading a ball of dough. :o)

Laura Marie(Perennial Pioneer) said...

Really cool, Anna!
A good one for the first time. I was not too good, when I first started either, but all it takes is practice!
Great Job, keep it up!

AnneK said...

We have our own versions made from rice :) I am going to try this one today. How much time does it take to rise?

Alexandra said...

Looks great! I don't use a bread machine either. I don't have room to store extra gadgets, and it means extra clean-up. It's much faster by hand.

Vicky said...

Hooray for you! People tend to be very afraid of working with yeast or making loaves of bread, but I think they are over-reacting. ;) So glad you are joining the Bakers Club! Hee hee! I agree with Mrs. Brigham - great therapy, and (if you make lots of bread) a good workout for the arms. ;) My mom made tons of bread for us starving kiddos and she always had nice arms - isn't that funny that I remember her arms?! And nothing beats the smell of a loaf of bread baking in the oven - yummmy! If it wasn't so hot here, I'd make some tonight.
Keep up the good work! Your bread looks wonderful. :D

melian said...

Bravo! I think that baking bread (or at least the ability to do so) is a wonderful trait in a wife!

Anna S said...

Mrs. Brigham,

Absolutely right! Especially the later stage, when I "punch" the dough ;)


I think it depends on the weather. If it's warm, it should take about 30 minutes, up to an hour (both times! Remember you have to let it rise twice).


This is the first time my yeast actually breathed :P I just couldn't bring them to life when I tried doing other things with yeast before.

Anna Naomi said...

I've been baking bread for more than two years! I agree - it's the best. Everyone enjoys the fresh-baked loaves and delectable scent of baking bread!

lizzykristine said...

Mmmm! Your loaf makes me want to bake bread, too! (Though I usually wait til winter because I prefer not heating up the house by using the oven more than necessary in the summer.)

I always make my own thick pizza crust, and when I've craving fresh bread without the time to make it, baking-powder biscuits will do the trick. :)

Best wishes on your bread-making ventures! Keep us posted with your experiments.

Lydia said...

It looks delicious. I love baking bread, and more often than not I opt not to use our bread machine.

Glad you enjoyed it. :)

Beautifuly Created said...

I love making bread. I do not use a bread machine either but I did start using my mixer to kneed the dough. I can't wait for fall when I can make it again. I try to avoid baking in the summer because it makes the house so hot.

Jordin said...

Looks delicious! :)

PandaBean said...

I've been thinking about baking bread recently. I made one loaf almost 6 years ago now and I haven't made any since. I now have all the ingredients, I simply need the time and gunumption.

God Bless!

Tracy said...

I can imagine the smell from where I'm sitting! Mmmm...

Anonymous said...

Yum! This post made my mouth water... maybe I'll bake some bread this week, too!

Anonymous said...

Homemade bread is just the best, isn't it? It's fun to make (a good workout for the arms!), & such satisfaction when you take that first bite after it comes out of the oven.......oh, yeah! You're right about the cost , too. ALL, very good reasons for people to give bread-making a try.


Laura Marie(Perennial Pioneer) said...

Hey, it's me again!
I just wanted to say, that baking bread is a great therapy. I use a Bosch when I bake bread, and it makes 6 loaves at a time. I have been baking for nearly 5 years now, and wouldn't trade it for all the store bought bread in the world. My brother in law, is going to teach me to make sour dought bread! Yummy! He is a baker at a store, and makes beautiful whole wheat sour dough, from scratch.
I bake bread for two small country stores near us, and sell quite a few every week. Let me see, about 35 loaves, and 10-15 pizza crusts. It is fun, oh and in the winter holidays, I make dinner rolls, and such, for Christmas, and Thanksgiving. I enjoy it very much, and it keeps me busy! I enjoy baking bread. Especially for my family!:)
Laura Marie

Anna S said...

Wow, Laura! I think that if I wanted to make so much bread, it would probably be wise to invest in a bread machine! But since our family is small and I only want to make a loaf once in a couple of days (we don't eat much bread), doing everything by hand doesn't take much time.

Anonymous said...

i found this poem in an old cookbook of my grandmother's:
"Breathes there a wife with soul so dead; Who to her husband has never said" 'This is my own real, homemade bread.'"
Here's to bringing back homemade bread!

Dawn Marie said...

Finally a recipe for just one loaf of bread. Wooohoooo...thank you Anna!!! I will have to try this once it cools down. Actually the weather isn't too bad here, so maybe I will make it sooner.

Vicky...you got me...I am one of those who are afraid to try yeast because I didn't want to fail at it...LOL. But I am getting over that already. I do my muffins, breads, biscuits with baking powder and they turn out really good but I know a loaf of yeast bread will be like a slice of Heaven! :)


Anna S said...


The original recipe was for 3 loaves, I just altered the quantities accordingly, crossed my fingers and hoped it would work. :) I don't need to make more than one loaf at a time because our family isn't a large one and we don't eat a lot of bread.

Mrs.B said...

OK, I may give this a try! Especially since you altered the recipe to make only 1 loaf....Thank you!

With your background in nutrition it would be wonderful for you to do a cookbook with nutritious recipes for small families. Most recipes are just huge and I find it overwhelming to try and divide it down. (o:


Anna S said...

Mrs. B,

Maybe one day I'll print out and publish my own hand-written recipe book ;)

Jenny said...

I have a question for you or your readers. I tried the bread recipe from your blog and it was very tasty and easy to make. My only problem was (and I had this problem when using a bread machine too so I guess I can't blame the machine anymore) the crust is very thick and hard.

Am I doing something wrong? I looked in a cookbook for a temperature to set the oven to. It said to bake at 425. Is that too hot?

I didn't bake it in a pan, just free-formed on a baking stone.

Any advice would be most welcome!!