I had a rare burst of energy yesterday (Sunday) that included some much-dreaded but much-neede housekeeping and some lightbulb changing, topped off with a little domestic goddess-ness. Godliness? In other words, I baked homemade bread. For the first time ever. And you know what? It was easy. I’ve always assumed it was somewhat of a chore, with the yeast rising and the kneading, but it was a cinch. Forget those fancy bread-making machines. All you need is a big bowl, an oven and a pair of (clean) hands.
I pulled out a 1972 edition of Sandra and Bruce Sandler’s The Home Bakebook of Natural Breads And Goodies and followed the basic whole wheat bread recipe. All that it required was whole wheat flour, dry yeast, a little salt and a little sugar. First I dissolved the yeast in warm water for 10 minutes. After that, I poured in all the dry ingredients and mixed well. Kneading the bread was a lot of fun, and very satisfying. I felt like a professional baker! Now the fun begins.
Shape the dough and place into loaf pans.
Cover with clean dishtowels and let the bread rise to double its original height.
The dough has risen. Make decorative cuts if desired.
Voila! Fresh, warm, toasty bread!
The best part: It’s eatin’ time!
According to the Sandlers, the bread should have lots of tiny holes, if kneaded and prepared correctly. Otherwise it’s full of large holes. Looks like small holes to me! The whole house smelled like fresh bread, it was incredible. I’ve never eaten warm, just-baked bread before. It was fantastic with a little margarine on it. There’s no white flour in this,only whole wheat, so the bread is incredibly dense. I’m happy because now I’m all set for sandwich bread for several days.
The recipe made two loaves. I made the full recipe so I could freeze one loaf. But I posted pictures on Facebook and a co-worker Liked the photo last night, then complained to me today that he had expected a fresh loaf of bread and some jam by the kitchen area this morning. I felt bad. 😦 I don’t know how well this would go over with morning coffee for my co-workers. I’d like to bake some molasses-sweetened anadama bread next. Autumn will be here before we know it, and pumpkin puree will be more readily available. I’m dying to try the pumpkin bread. Maybe I’ll bring that into work one of these days. If my co-workers are nice to me… 😉