Homemade Bread

Just over a year ago, I was blessed to receive a bread maker for Christmas. I was so excited to start making bread – I thought I was going to do so much baking with it that we wouldn’t need to buy store bread anymore. Well, if you’ve ever baked much bread before, then you probably know how ridiculous that thought was. Baking bread is sort of an art. It takes practice to really get it right. Different recipes require tweaking here and there to finally land on the one loaf that you realize you’d eat every day with joy.

Well, after a year of baking, I think I’ve found it!

Two days ago, I tried out an adapted form of this recipe and was astounded by how wonderful it was. The bread came out light enough for a sandwich and hearty enough to fill you up. It was moist and not at all crumbly, meaning slicing it was a piece of cake. It stores well for at least 3 days (although we pretty much ate all of it by then, so I wouldn’t really know past 3 days!), and it boasts the nicest crust I’ve ever tasted on completely homemade bread (not hard and crunchy like some loaves). I’ve already made a second loaf, and it too is almost gone, since we can’t seem to stop eating it!

If you’re interested in my adaptions for the recipe, here is what I did differently:

  • I skipped the soaking – I was making this bread for dinner, so I needed it quick, and not soaking the grains didn’t impart any significant taste drawback! (Although soaking is much better for you, so I think I will try soaking it next time.)
  • I opted to leave out the flax seed and wheat gluten. Pretty much because I didn’t have any!
  • Since I didn’t soak it, I left out the extra 1/4ts. of honey and the 2 tb. of water.
  • The first loaf, I used olive oil, and for the second loaf, I used coconut oil
  • I used 1 cup of bread flour instead of all WW flour. This is mainly because I was running low on WW flour. The second time, I used 1.5 cups of bread flour, because by then my WW flour had run out! The next time I bake it, I will be using all WW flour to see how it turns out.
  • The first time I baked this in bread machine, I needed it before it was “done,” so I took it out about 10 minutes early. It was fantastic. The second time, I let it continue baking throughout the cycle, and it was just as good, albeit a bit more dense and not as moist.

There ya have it! I guess that is quite a bit of adaption now that I think about it. I tend to do this a lot these days – just winging it in the kitchen throwing things together! I find I’m actually to the point where I can begin creating my own recipes based on the cookery knowledge I already have – such a great feeling.

Do you have a favorite from-scratch homemade bread?

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