Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More About My Bread Baking

Well, after ten years of homeschooling, I have finally arrived! I am grinding my own wheat!
Just called me Ma Ingalls! Except that Ma did not have electricity, so I am not sure how she ground her wheat.

Since I have become a serious bread baker (meaning that I am trying to bake bread twice a week so that I don't have to buy bread at the grocery store), I consulted with all of my bread-making friends, and it seems that I was the only one who was kneading the dough by hand for 30 minutes. Also, I was almost the only one who was not grinding my own wheat! What do all of these ladies do?

Mix and knead their dough in a Bosch mixer and grind their wheat berries with a Nutrimill.

I mentioned to Jimmy (ok, I sent him an email with links to where you could purchase these products) that for our upcoming twentieth year wedding anniversary (June 22), or for Mother's Day/my birthday/Christmas, I would love to have these two machines to make my bread making so much easier.

My early presents arrived a couple of weeks ago!

mixer and grinder

the mixer

It was like Christmas morning when I opened those boxes! I was so excited! For my first batch of bread using my new Bosch, I tried my friend Heather's bread recipe. It is absolutely delicious! I asked her if I could publish her recipe here on my blog, and she agreed.

Heather's Delicious Bread

4 cups hot water
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup honey
2 eggs
4 cups flour

Combine the above ingredients in the Bosch on speed 1. (Or mix by hand in a large bowl.)

2 Tbs. + 1 tsp. yeast
1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. salt

Set your kitchen timer for 10 minutes and turn the mixer on speed 1. Begin adding flour (about 6-8 more cups, I have ended up adding 9 more cups every time), and keep adding until the dough has pulled away from the edges of the mixing bowl and is forming a lump in the middle. (By hand, just mix in as much of the remaining flour as you can, reserving 1-2 cups to be used to work in while kneading by hand--you have to knead it for 30 minutes if kneading by hand).
Once the flour is all mixed in, and the dough is pulled away from the sides, let the mixer continue until the 10 minutes is up.

Remove dough hook and cover with towel. (If kneading by hand, put dough in a greased bowl). Cover, and set in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes.

This is what my dough looks like after rising for 45 minutes.

This is where I put my dough to rise on cool, cloudy days--in front of my gas fireplace. On cold days, when the heat is on, I close the door to my small schoolroom bathroom and put the dough in there. On hot, sunny days, I put the dough in front of my sunny bedroom window.

This is what Sam did during my first baking session using the Bosch.

After the dough as risen for 45 minutes, punch it down and divide it into 4 pieces. Each piece can be shaped into a loaf, 8 mini loaves, 12 rolls, 8 hamburger buns, 1 pizza crust, or 1 pan of cinnamon rolls.
Put dough into desired greased pans, cover, and let rise again for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake bread for 30 minutes for loaves, I bake my set of 8 mini loaves for 20 minutes. A pizza crust will take less time also.

Let cool on wire racks. Slice and enjoy!

cooling bread

a sliced mini loaf, ready to be eaten with butter!

About the Nutrimill--I haven't actually used it yet. I still had two bags of whole wheat flour that I needed to use, and I had to purchase some wheat berries to grind. Jimmy bought me a 45 pound pail of hard white wheat at a local agriculture store, and I am waiting for my gamma lid (the lid to put on the bucket of wheat berries after you open it) to arrive--so we can open the bucket of wheat! I have enough ground wheat flour left to make one more recipe of bread, so we will be opening the wheat berries this weekend. I can't wait to grind it!

Using the Bosch is so much easier than doing it all by hand, and it makes so much less of a mess! I love this new mixer!


  1. This looks delicious. How do you store the bread so that it stays fresh (honestly, whenever I make homemade bread it doesn't the kids eat as soon as it comes out of the oven...okay, it's really me that eats it then) but if I should have any leftover...the question remains of storage.
    Thank you.

  2. Roan,
    I recently moved to Corinth from Atlanta. In Atlanta I bought my grain from a local store. I have been unable to find a distributor around here. Where are you and your friends buying/ordering from? Thanks so much!

    On a side note: I am friends with your sister-in-law, Megan, and Renee McGill in your homeschool group. I would love the chance to meet you and your beautiful family one day. I also homeschool my children ages 9, 4, and almost 2. I have enjoyed following your blog for over 2 years now from Megan's blog.

    Ashley Lee

  3. I have my Kitchen Aid with a dough hook. Do you think I can use that and get the same result? I want so bad to begin making our bread. We were in KY for Easter and they buy homemade bread from a local lady there. I also have a bread machine. I've never been successful with that. What are your ideas one?

  4. so excited for you! I love my Bosch and NutriMill! My recipe makes 4 regular loaves or 2 reg and 1 Pan de Mie Pan (love that pan!) I bake and then freeze so I don't have to bake quite so often :) Here is the link to our favorite recipe for bread and our favorite hamburger bun recipe.

    The sq loaf is from the Pan de Mie

    These buns are my hubsnads favorite!

  5. A lady in our church bakes and freezes her loaves as well...they are delicious!!!

  6. Kneading dough for 30 minutes? Who needs Insanity when you've got arms like that? I guess I'm pretty clueless when it comes to baking bread. I used the dough cycle fo my bread machine until I lost the paddle. Now I knead it by hand, but not for 30 minutes. Hmmm. Maybe that's what I've been doing wrong!


  7. Looks yummy! What a kind and thoughtful gift. My friends also grind their own wheat, it does make such a difference.

  8. Lori---I don't have to store the bread any special way. I just put it in zip lock bags when it is completely cooled. I slice it as we need it (that keeps it from drying out), and I store the bags of bread in the pantry. We eat a good bit of it when it first comes out of the oven, and the rest is eaten in 3 days. So, I don't have a long term storage plan. I have not refrigerated or frozen it. If the recipe I shared makes too many loaves for you to eat in 2-3 days, you could easily half the recipe.

    Ashley--I will definitely be contacting you! Have you met my sister-in law Jenny, or my cousin-in-law Leanna? They both homeschool there in Corinth. We bought the bucket of wheat berries in Verona, at the Agri Store. It is right off of the Brewer exit on Hwy. 45.

    Sally Belle--I have not used the Kitchen Aid to mix the dough. It may work, but I would half the recipe.

    Annika--I cannot wait to try your recipes. Thanks for sharing!

    Celee--you really have to knead this particular recipe for 30 minutes. It makes all the difference. In my other bread recipe, I kneaded it for 25 minutes. It really takes that long!

  9. I love my Bosch and can't wait to save up for a NutriMill!