real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

beginning second week of artisan bread baking and I am hooked!!!

mom's rye bread

So, a week into artisan bread baking and I am totally hooked! I have tried to allow the dough to chill overnight before I bake a loaf, as it is much easier to shape and it almost takes on a slight sourdough quality. I never could have imagined having fresh bread every single day with such little effort! I have been mixing up the 13 cup of flour batch, which yields 6 one pound loaves and intend to get my fridge organized enough that I can have several different types of doughs stored so I can bake different ones on different days.

I have also discovered that my oven doesn’t hold the steam as well as I would like so I have been spritzing the loaves with a water bottle every few minutes during the first 10 minutes of baking. Other than that, it truly takes less than 5 minutes to shape a loaf and then take it out to cool after it bakes. 5 minutes of hands-on time a day!

The website has so many great ideas, too, and more recipes. AND, they are coming out with their second book in October which looks like it includes some gluten free recipes. Tonight I plan to try the crusty hard dinner rolls. And I must buy a pizza peel when I get a chance.

I baked the rye recipe yesterday and it was fantastic. We had BLT’s last night with garden fresh tomatoes and this bread…it was awesome. Here is the recipe exactly as I baked it:

Pumpernickel Bread

2 cups lukewarm coffee
1 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 TBS granulated yeast
1 1/2 TBS coarse salt
2 TBS molasses
1 1/2 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup rye flour
5 1/2 cups white flour
whole caraway seeds
cornstarch wash (1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in about 1/2 cup water)

Mix together first 8 ingredients in container and cover. Allow to sit on counter for 2 hours. At this point can be stored in fridge. Pull off grapefruit sized piece of dough and shape by hand. (instead of flouring hands, rinse with water so dough doesn’t stick to them.) Place on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal. Allow to rest uncovered for 1 hour. Preheat oven at 400 degrees with baking stone on top shelf and a pan in the bottom for water. Slash tops of loaves with knives and brush with cornstarch wash. Sprinkle with seeds. (Next time I will place a TBS or so in the dough itself, too.) Put loaves in oven. Pour 1 cup water into pan on lower shelf. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting.



  Robyn wrote @

I’ve also been baking my way through this book, and combining some of the techniques with the No-Knead Bread recipe (which uses a little less yeast and lets the dough sit at room temp overnight). One thing that No-Knead Bread does is bake the bread in a large covered pot, to trap in the steam that naturally arises from the wet dough … works a little better in my oven than the water-in-a-pan method. 🙂

  kim anderson wrote @

Yay for gluten free recipes! I’ll be looking for it. Bette Hagman also has a bread book that is gluten free.

Glad you are having fun baking, Karen!

  KellyH wrote @

I just got this book via interlibrary loan. I can’t wait to try it out. As you probably do, we eat loaves of bread a week, and this would be great.


  thatmom wrote @

Kelly, let me know what you try and what turns out. The pumpernickel was incredible and I have kept the basic recipe in the fridge and baked from it most days.

  TulipGirl wrote @

I used a not-yet-finished batch of dough, added wheat flour and warm water and a little sugar (no extra yeast) to expand the batch. Mixed in cinnamon and raisins. Made a big, beautiful loaf of raisin bread this morning. Yumm! Making raisin bread for tomorrow morning, too. I like the English muffinish consistency and taste.

Next batch — going to try a whole wheat, instead of half wheat/half white.

This is very, very doable for me. Making regular bread isn’t too hard, but requires more mental energy. This week I haven’t baked every day (had looooooong days out of the home), but I’ve made several loaves and the kids love it. I’m still buying sandwich bread, but much less.

  KellyH wrote @

I did the basic recipe, and it turned out ok. It was way too wet, I couldn’t hardly get it off my hands. And I don’t have a pizza peel, I’ll need to look into that. The flavor was good though!! I’m going to try again and maybe add a little more flour.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: