Anyone baking their own bread?

Since I love bread and love to cook I figured baking bread would be the next best thing.I was watching a show on Bravo called Chef Academy and he showed how easy it was to bake a basic bread.I tried it and was hooked.Now I do variations on the general recipe like adding Rosemary or dehydrated onions to the mix.Recently I started putting in a cup of yogurt and some curry powder(just a little),roll out flatbread and parbake,finish on the grill.I use Pendleton flour mills Morbread or Power flour mixed with a hand mixer by me,my wife uses her hands but they taste the same.I try to bake all my own bread but there are some good bakeries in Bellingham.Next I want to try some kind of bread in a dutch oven.I almost always finish my bread with a spritz or brush of olive oil and some seasalt a few minutes before its done.
Everyone go up and 'cut/paste/print' Ive's post just above; he's nailed it point for point. Made my own bread for years and was damned good at it (used the largest Kitchen Aid for the initial kneading, then finished off by hand) but "French Bread," one of the simplest you'd think you could make, always 'defeated' me. Never could make a proper loaf.

My/the Kiddo's fav. was a 'Dilly Bread' free form loaf. Do up the loaf in a 'mushroom cap' shape and slide (couple of pancake turners for this) on to a pre-heated baking stone, into the oven ..... a food group of the GODS was the end result.

hand made bread tastes so darn good. I make it all the time and freeze some too. I wouldnt knock the bread makers because it is a lot better then going to the store and buying bread that is packed full of preservatives and other additives that no one can pronounce.

It is a time thing. If you like fresh home made bread but dont have time and hate the store stuff...... buy a bread maker. If you have time one day a week and can stay home to make bread by hand..... that is an option too.

A good recipe I use:
Love baking bread, and when I have the time to knead the dough by hand that's what I do, almost as therapeutic as getting out fishing...

At other times though, I'll cheat and use the Kitchen Aid.

For the utimate cheat, I'll use the kitchen aid combined with a recipe from:

Results aren't the same, but they're really close and the bread is less effort. Although, really, when I'm using the kitchen aid, it isn't that much effort, but the 5 minutes a day book does give you a little more flexibility as to timing, since you keep the dough in the refrigerator until you're going to use it.

Still, I'm curious about the preferment technique/recipe Ive mentioned.


Active Member
A tiny but tasty upgrade to my French bread baking. Lately I have been baking the best French bread I have ever eaten and am just thrilled with it. It takes about 3 days from start to finish but 2 days of that is just waiting for the poolish to develop. And oh-how good it smells when it is ripe! On the third day I form and knead the dough and then let it rise twice before baking it on a pizza stone. Actual time taken is almost insignificant because most of the time involves just letting the yeast and dough do their magic.

But the ingredient that has improved my bread is the French gray sea salt sold in specialty spice houses. It has a flavor all it's own and contributes another tier of taste to something that was good to begin with. It is a little spendy at around $14 a pound but I don't use it for everday cooking-just the stuff that deserves the extra quality and flavor. A 4 oz bag is around $4, try it and see for yourself.

Forget the chips and dips-try a big slice of fresh French bread with creamery butter, a room temperature slice of your favorite cheese and a glass of wine. Snacking at it's finest.

I'm glad Ive did the time warp and dredged up this thread. I've got two things to contribute.

- The rustic bread style baked in a hot dutch oven is one worth looking up and making.
- The Kitchen Aide stand mixer is THE classic piece of American industrial design.


Author, Writer, Photographer
I bake bread in Dutch ovens, as well as conventional ovens.

When I cook for hunting camps in the back country, I bake 4 loaves each day, plus biscuits etc Transporting store bread on the backs of mules for 23 miles doesn't work very well, so we don't do that.
I don't own a bread maker, but I do have a kitchen aid but don't use it for bread.
I buy wheat berries and grind them with a Magic Mill. You cannot believe how much better your bread will be even if you just use the unsifted stone ground flour for 1/5th or 1/4th of your recipe.
I have a mature sour dough starter that I've carried with me, even in the backcountry.
Whenever I'm invited to someone's house for dinner and I ask what I can bring, what do you think they say? Bread.

A few things I've learned over the years:
1. Yeast does not like aluminum. If you are having problems with your sponge or dough, make certain it's not standing in an aluminum bowl. I use stainless, but plastic, glass, or cast will work just fine too.
2. If you store your yeast in the frig, measure out how much you will need in a small bowl and let it come up to near room temp before putting it in the warm water.
3. Don't put yeast into water, milk, etc that is warmer than 115 deg F. It will kill it. Putting yeast in 100-115 deg liquid will get it working fast, just don't exceed 115.
4. I keep my starter in a 1 gallon glass jar and cover it with a paper towel held down with a rubber band. This allows the spores to attract others in the air, but keeps out critters like fruit flies.
5. Don't neglect your starter. Use and feed it every 7 days even if you have to just dump a cup out and replenish it.
6. Humidity, change of flour, etc will change how much flour goes into your bread. The best way is just to knead it until the texture is right - not sticky, but not flakey.

There are lots of bread recipes out there on the web, but you'll likely find the ones you put together on your own turn into your favorites. Try getting used mash from your local micro brewery, other grains like oats, and substitute honey, molasses, etc for sugar.

This is a great bread making tool.

This type of pan is pretty handy if you want a crustier bread. It has holes in the bottom. This is the unrisen dough.

And it yields this Ciabatta bread.


Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
I need to make a new sourdough starter. That'll be my next thing when we get some nicer weather. Had a great start, unfortunately forgot to pull some aside last time I used it, so gotta start from scratch again. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know better. Sometimes you just don't think straight at 0 dark 30. ;) Especially after a long night at the campfire enjoying drinks. LOL


"Chasing Riseforms"
I haven't baked bread, but you guys will be to blame when I now start here next month. My mother used to quite often. Gees, it's too good. In the meantime, if you're like me and you buy store bread, I found "Daves Bread" the best "on the shelf" bread. Winco sells it for $3.88 a loaf. So, if you're not baking, give it a try!


Active Member
Larry, I'm glad to hear you are going to give it a try. It doesn't get much simpler than baking bread. Just remember the best breadmakers are on the end of your arms-don't go down that breadmaker road. I was surprised to hear that bread is selling for $3.88 a loaf. We haven't bought bread in over 10 years and it seems really good bread was about $2.50 back then.

A good bread flour like Bob's Red Mill unbleached or King Arthur bread flour is selling for about $3.78 right now and a 5# bag makes about 5 loaves. Yeast is bought in bulk from Costco or Winnco and with about a teaspoon and a half per loaf the cost is negligible. The only other ingrediants are salt and water, again at negligible cost. You can bake two loaves at a time so the total cost per loaf including electricity is probably well under a dollar per loaf. Look at the ingrediants on a commercial loaf of bread and you will probably need a degree in chemistry to figure out what the hell all is in there. Your bread will be better and all the ingrediants are recognizable and first rate.

Bread freezes just beautifully but cannot be refrigerated. So you can bake up several loaves at a time and keep them fresh until needed. Several of us are baking so if you have any questions about getting started drop us a line. We can shorten the learning curve considerably and insure that your initial efforts are a big success.

Knead on my man, Ive
good read on the bread .As an unwilling displaced sourdoug bus rat I set my sponge next morning mix and knead like crazy an put it straigt away into a pan to rise no double raising it makes a real heavy dense loaf 1piece equal to 3 store bought , if the starter gets a little slow I use a splash of unpasteurized vinegar to liven it up if the starter gets a bit too strong then a pinch of baking soa oes the trick an I use only unbleached flour now I'm hungry time to make a batch mmmmm smitty

Bradley Miller

Dances with fish
I'm fairly new to baking bread: but I wouldn't even bother to try if I didn't have a dutch oven. I make two or three loaves of no knead bread a week in my camp oven in my home kitchen. For some reason, I can't make enough...... :)


Go Outside
Just wondering if there are any other bakers out there. At our house we haven't eaten store bought bread for years and were shocked recently to find how much a loaf cost in the store. A fine sourdough that we used to often find on sale 2 loaves for $2.50 was selling for $3.62 a loaf! A convincing case can really be made for baking your own at those prices. A five pound bag of flour usually runs around $3.50. Move up to a 25# or 50# bag and the price drops significantly. A typical loaf will require around a pound of flour so it is obvious that for the price of a loaf in the store you can make 5 loaves at home. And they will be better bread. Read the label on the next loaf of bread you buy and try to determine what some of that stuff is and why it is needed.

Good bread needs just 4 ingredients-flour, water, yeast and salt. How you manage those 4 ingredients determines how the bread will taste and that is the joy of building your own. We start all of our breads the day before baking, a process that probably takes all of about two minutes. The biga, or pre ferment, is then left to work overnight and the next day flour is added to make the finished dough. It is dead simple, very enjoyable and maddenly delicious. During the summer when I am mostly outside I don't have time to work on artisan breads so I make a quick and simple No Knead Sourdough that I sometimes ferment for up to 2 days. By then the dough smells like beer and the resulting bread is rustic, crunchy on the outside and soft in the center. Guest love it and are amazed at how little work is actually involved.

Now that shorter days are keeping me inside longer I have time to work on my main interest which is french bread. It requires a little more attention but the loaves are beautiful with a crisp crust and a soft creamy crumb. Excellent with cheese and a decent red wine. I am just a beginner having only baked seriously for about 3 years now but I get some stunning successes at times and occasionally a complete flop.

When the long dark evenings start to get to you get out in that kitchen and shape up a few loaves of bread. The house will smell great and the family will think you are a hero. No machinery is needed, no "breadmaker", no mixer, just a good hot oven with an accurate thermometer and a timer are about the only tools required. Every human comes with two of the best breadmakers in the world attached to the end of his arms. Put 'em to use, you'll love the results.

Thanks for the inspiration. I will be starting today!