Friday, September 3, 2010


Earlier in the week, I decided to try my hand at bread-baking. I've made hand-kneaded yeast breads only once or twice before in my life, so I pulled up The Bread by Hand eBook by Kimberly Eddy (available at her website, Adventures in Mothering). It's a very readable instructional booklet on making homemade, hand-made breads. She recommends starting out basic, so I halved her white bread recipe and set to work. I started the sponge as soon as I got up on Monday and then tended to the bread throughout the morning in between a two-mile walk, an errand to the city, and lunchtime. The timer on the oven dinged just as we were finishing up lunch.

Bread loaves

Kimberly explains why breadmaking is not an exact science and warns against following any recipe to the letter without accounting for variables (such as the humidity of your kitchen). When you're baking on your own, a little trial and error is in order. I added a little less flour than called for and yet my dough seemed quite substantial. Douglas punched down the dough for me after the first rising, and his comment was that it didn't completely collapse like his mom's bread doughs did. What that means I'm not quite sure -- too much flour? Not enough yeast? The baked bread's taste and texture seem fine to me -- actually, more than fine. When slathered with butter and drizzled with honey, it's an absolute treat.

So, chalk up the first attempt as a success. Next time I'll try adding some nutrition to the bread. ;-)


  1. Mmm... I love fresh bread! We've been making whole wheat bread for several years now, and we have really learned to love it. My favorite time to eat it is when it's still warm from the oven. The butter simply melts into the bread, and it's so delicious!

  2. I just got my loaf pans in the mail this week, so homemade bread is on the agenda for next week! Yours looks delicious, and I'm glad to hear it was such a success!


  3. Home-made bread is incredible! Your loaves look great. I've taken over supplying bread to my family recently and am delighted with just how good it tastes. Of course it took me a couple of recipes to get the taste to my satisfaction.

    I am afraid to admit, however, that I use a breadmaker. I would love to be able to do my own from scratch (I love kneading and punching down) but I've never managed to get a decent sponge in the bread when I've done it myself. Part of me thinks it's my habitually cold hands - good for pastry but not at all for bread!

  4. Good for you - I've made bread only a few times, but it came out well.
    I've just been trying out a bread machine this week, and have had 2 failures! It's another thing entirely to get the hang of a bread machine, but I'm not giving up - I just bought a jar of yeast today.

  5. I love to make homemade bread. One thing I keep in mind is that I like the dough a little soft when kneading, not stiff. It makes for a lighter bread. Have fun with your bread making