Sunday, May 2, 2010

Inspired to bake bread

This month, to get back in the blogging spirit, I want to write about those who inspire me. I've had this idea for a while in my head and I think just getting it down on paper will help.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="100" caption="Bread rising"]Bread rising[/caption]

My husband bought me  a Kitchen Aid mixer for my birthday with the goal to start baking our own bread and stop buying from the grocery store.  I have always wanted to do this but I was even more inspired by Lisa Smith, a fellow twitter/Ignite Bend friend.  She gave an inspiring presentation at an AdBite Presentation, so inspiring, I had to get a Kitchen Aid. She makes bread for her family which was my goal. That way, I know what's in the bread and there isn't any yucky stuff in it.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="180" caption="French Bread take 2"]French Bread take 2[/caption]

So far I've made four loaves of white bread, two loaves of wheat bread, 2 French loaves and two loaves of honey oat whole wheat.  What I learned from watching Lisa one morning at her house, is that I'm not kneading my bread enough in the mixer which may be why my first French Bread didn't "puff" up. On the second one, I kneaded twice as long and it turned out just about perfect but not as puffy as I had hoped for. I know that I could probably make the crust crustier by spraying with water  but I just need to buy a water bottle first. Her biggest tip, do a windowpane test, something I have skipped a few times ... guess what, I won't be skipping this test anymore.

My favorite recipe so far? Honey Oatmeal Bread! I did make some modifications to the recipe because we try to mostly eat whole wheat bread in our house. I ended up replacing half the flour with whole wheat flour and omg, delicious! It makes the best sandwiches and just plain ole toast. Now I just wish I had a bread slicer, a flour shield for my mixer and a scale.

If you haven't given making your own bread a try, buying a Kitchen Aid is the best investment you can make, plus it won't have any of that yucky stuff in it! Here is the recipe I use (with modifications).

Honey Oatmeal Bread for Your Kitchen Aid Mixer by

Makes 2 loaves of bread


5-6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (use half white/half wheat)

1 cup quick-cooking oat

2 teaspoons salt

2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 eggs

1 tablespoon water

1 egg white



Place 5 cups flour, oats, salt, and yeast in Bowl.

Attach bowl and dough hook.

Turn to speed 2 and mix for 30 seconds.

In saucepan, combine water, honey, and butter.

Heat to 120°F to 130°F.

On Speed 2, slowly add warm liquids to flour mixture, mixing for about 1 minute.

Add eggs; mix an additional 1 minute.

Still on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 3 minutes.

Knead on Speed 2 for 7-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.

Cover; let rise in warm place, until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down.

Divide dough in half.

Shape each half into a loaf.

Place each loaf into a greased 8 1/2x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch bread pan.

Cover; let rise in warm place till doubled, about an hour.

Combine 1 TBSP water and egg white. Brush tops of loaves with mixture.

Sprinkle with oatmeal.

Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes.

Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

Thank you, Lisa for being an inspiration to me!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Honey Oat Whole Wheat Bread"]Honey Oat Whole Wheat Bread[/caption]


keeneye said...

Whoa. Those look AMAZING! Nice job.

Shannon said...

I know. Think I could make a career tossing pizzas?