Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Joy of Fresh Bread

You won't catch me eating supermarket white bread (yuck!) but I love good fresh bread, especially whole wheat.

Back when we quit our jobs and started working full time (~ 1985) for my company (Axon) we used to work out of my apartment and I would regularly bake bread for all of us. Nothing like working at the computer with the smell of fresh bread baking!

It's been a long time since I baked bread. Shelley and I buy most of our bread from Earth Bound Bakery (usually walnut current and 100% whole wheat red fife). We used to buy from them when they were at the farmers market. It was handy for us when they opened their store next door to Dad's Organic Market where we also shop. I like their bread and I like supporting them.

I was also buying bagels to use for my lunches. When we got back from Peru I decided to start baking some of my own bread instead of buying bagels. I'm not much of a cook, in fact I almost never cook anything more complicated that boiling pasta. But baking bread is kinda fun and I like the results.

There are a ton of bread recipes on the internet. I wasn't looking for anything fancy, the simpler the better. I started with the recipe for One-Load Whole Bread. But you can simplify even this simple recipe.
  • The vegetable oil, dry milk, and wheat bran are optional. Throw them in if you have them, otherwise, don't worry about it.
  • I use all whole wheat flour (organic from Dad's). I'm sure using some white flour makes a difference, but I'm just as happy without it.
  • You can skip turning the dough out onto a floured board and just knead it in the original bowl.
  • You can skip transferring the dough into a greased bowl and just let it rise in the original bowl.
Quantities and times aren't critical. I find their quantities too small for the bread pans we have (5" x 9" and 3" deep) so I increase the quantities by about 50% (i.e. 3 cups of flour instead of 2).You can throw in extra ingredients like sunflower seeds or oatmeal for variety.

Simplified like this, it only takes me about 15 minutes to make a loaf of bread. Cleanup is easy because you just have one dirty bowl :-) Of course, you have to be around for 2 or 3 hours but that's not a problem on the days I'm working at home.

Note: I'm no expert, I'm just reporting what works for me i.e. that produces results that I'm happy to eat. Your mileage may differ.


  1. And Shelley has enjoyed coming home from work to the smell of bread fresh out of the oven!! :-)

  2. And yet, no sign of any fresh bread at work. What's the deal with that?