Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Attempting homemade bread...key word - attempting...

So my plan was to cook spaghetti and green beans for dinner tonight (a very simple meal that needs no explanation) and surprise you (whoever you are) by showing you my success at making yummy homemade bread!

Except, I totally failed

But that doesn't mean I won't try again!  Next week we'll go for a second attempt = )

So I figured I must not be the only one who's failed at making bread and with that thought I'll share with you what I did, and hopefully soon I'll figure out which parts went wrong.

Here's my story:

If you google "Homemade Bread" there are a lot of choices out there.  And a lot of people that make it sounds REALLY easy to make bread...do not be fooled...

I even found a bazillion videos of people walking you step-by-step through how to make bread.  Funny thing is, everyone has a little different spin on how it's done.

Not helpful to the girl who just wants to make a loaf of bread for the first time!

Some recipes call for 10, 15 or even 20 minutes of kneeding the dough, others tell you not to kneed at all.  Some recipes require you to add water to "activate" the yeast and others do not, because it's a certain type that doesn't need activating (I'm still confused on this part).  And when it comes to letting the dough rest you wouldn't believe how many differing opinions there are for that...30 minutes, 6 hours in the oven with boiling pots of water around it (huh?!), 1 hour in a warm place, I even found one lady who suggested 26 hours...really?  That's never going to happen!

Sidenote: You must be thinking, I've got too much time on my hands to be thinking this long and hard about making a little loaf of bread.  Yes, that may be true, but I like to think that it's a fun little adventure for a new mom with only a babbling 8 1/2 month old to talk to all day... so humor me if you will =)

I settled in on a recipe I won't actually share with you because of how it turned out.  When I find one that works, I'll give you the full scoop.  But I will share with you my pictures:

My ingredients - first problem I think I made was using whole wheat flour for a recipe that didn't specifically call for that...

Yeast, water, sugar, salt and butter in the bowl....I did the "activate the yeast" bit, but don't know if I was supposed to

Next was the flour - added till it just stopped being sticky - maybe too dry?

I got interrupted by this cute little lady who decided she was done napping....no problem, Baby Einstein to the rescue (she LOVES this stuff!)

I think she's still waking up, what do you think?

Next was the kneeding process - my recipe called for 10 minutes.  Perfect!  That's the length of Baby Einstein

Dough kneeded (and maybe over done?), in the bowl and ready to rest for an hour

Done resting

Here's when I started to have an idea this wasn't going well...I don't think you should literally be able to see your hand prints when you punch the dough!

Into the loaf pan...yes another problem - this isn't a loaf pan at all.  Not until I began making the bread did I realize I don't OWN a bread pan...really Amanda?!

After resting for another hour - not looking so hot.  It resembles leathery old skin...not a fresh loaf of bread

And the final product - one dense brick

I couldn't help but try a piece (actually 3 because I was so hungry).  Not a good idea...the result was a very upset stomach!

So that's my silly story.  I spent a good amount of time working on my precious brick, hopefully I'll figure out a few things before I try again!


  1. This is so funny to me because in an attempt to be more frugal I tried making bread too. I used the recipe on the King Arthur Whole Wheat bag and all the ingredient expenses added up. The bread was dense but good. It reminded me of Great Harvest's honey whole wheat bread. Anyway, I've considered asking around to find someone who has a bread maker they don't use. I think that facilitates the questioning that goes into bread making.

  2. Aw... I hate it when my stuff doesn't turn out :(. Don't worry. After a few tries bread be a breeze :).


  3. I loved this post:) That probably had a lot to do with the cute little helper you had in your pictures! She is one blessed little girl!