Making Bread

I love fresh bread. I could never do one of those diets where you can’t eat bread. I have been gradually changing my diet in recent years to be more healthy, including eating less meat and processed food, and transitioning to whole and multi grain bread.

When the kids were young we ate white bread. Occasionally I would buy wheat bread, but it always seemed dry and no one would eat it. Over the years I found some brands of multi grain and oat bread that I liked for sandwiches. These days I never buy grocery store white sandwich bread, although our local bakery has some amazing olive bread and french boule that are a regular treat.

During the stay at home order I have been experimenting with a bread maker that we have had for years. I had only used it a couple of times a year with mixed success. I never knew what went wrong with the flops, but probably one problem was old yeast because I did not use it very often. I wanted to give the bread maker away when we moved last summer, but my husband convinced me not to and I am glad about that.

Now that I have more time and fresh ingredients, I have been trying the bread maker again. So far I have made french bread, 100% whole wheat bread, and multi grain bread. I have also used the “dough only” option for egg bread and pizza dough, where the bread maker stops after mixing and rising so you can do the baking yourself in the oven. I separated off part of the egg bread dough for buns. They turned out quite good.

Whole wheat flour, oatmeal, 7 grain cereal, brown sugar, honey and salt ready to add to water, olive oil, white flour and yeast in the bread maker.

Today I made a loaf of multi grain bread with a recipe that I tweaked a bit from the one in the bread maker booklet. I have made this version successfully several times now.

Following is my version of multi grain bread: 1 cup plus 2 tbsp water, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 ⅓ cup white flour, 1 cup wheat flour, ¼ cup oatmeal, ½ cup 7 grain cereal, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp honey, 1 ¼ tsp salt, 2 ¼ tsp yeast

Ready to close the lid and press “start”

The multi grain bread takes 5 hours, so if we want to eat it fresh, it is going to be an afternoon snack or a side with dinner. Or I guess I could get up earlier.

One problem with the home made bread is that it is hard to cut evenly. I am particularly inept at it and usually end up with a slice that is thick on top and thin on the bottom. To solve this problem I ordered a bread slicer gadget that is really slick. It is a bamboo sort of frame with slots on each side to keep the knife slicing even. There are different widths of slots so you can have thin, medium or thick slices. It folds down for storage.

Bamboo foldable bread slicer
Completed and removed from the bread maker
Slicing a piece of bread
Fresh bread with dinner…yes that looks like a lot of butter

There is a recipe for croissants (using the dough only option) I would like to try when we have more people around. The recipe uses seven ounces of butter, so how could it not be good? Watch for a future post about that.

Published by Meg Hanson

Hello. I am a recently retired empty nester. My husband and I moved to Jewett Lake in Otter Tail County, Minnesota, after living most of our lives in the Minneapolis area. I have no trouble keeping busy with knitting and spinning of wool, selling yarn and handmade goods, reading, walking, watching movies, surfing on the internet, traveling, doing bookkeeping for our family cabin, and spending time with family.

10 thoughts on “Making Bread

  1. What fun! Bread is the bane of my existence. Jim has been baking sourdough bread for about 30 years. Our starter might have gone idle once or twice but there’s lots of family members to get more from. Every week or two he produces 2 beautiful loaves. I try to resist but usually don’t slathering butter (I bet we both got that from Grandpa), on the butt of the hot out of the oven loaf. Then I try to restrict my consumption from then on to one or two slices a week. It’s very difficult! I love it when I sometimes get the result of Jim’s sister’s efforts at rye, whole wheat etc. I am with you all the way about not buying store bought bread!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I attest Meg’s bread is amazing. Back at my house I am missing the fresh loaf that she conjured up every couple days. Especially the multigrain. I also gave up on whole-grain bread because I could not get my kids to eat it, but Meg’s multigrain loaf was so good I ate it every day, instead of the fresh homemade white bread, it was that good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are The Best, Meg! Love this bread-making journey. Thank you for the info about the bread-slicing gizmo! I am still looking for the perfect loaf; maybe it’s your multigrain recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesterday I tried a slightly different version of the multi grain recipe I listed in the post. I used 1/2 cup of oatmeal and 1/4 cup of 7 grain cereal. It turned out really well. Have fun experimenting!

      Like

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