Bread: The Semi-New-Fashioned Way

Believe it or not, people actually made bread before bread machines came into existence. And tonight taught myself how. I had some buttermilk left over from the red velvet cake, and I did not want to make anything like muffins or scones or other baked goods which Ben and I could really do without, as we already had our share of splurges for the week. So, I decided to make a loaf of bread. We actually don’t eat much bread either, but I figured I could slice it and freeze and it save for the weekends, when we will occasionally make some toast or something.

Bread is one of those things that sounds a little intimidating – when you first look at a recipe, the kneading might seem like somewhat of a pain and getting the rising times right could be a little daunting. And if you’ve never worked with yeast before, that might also sound a little strange. Well, fortunately, food processors or stand mixers take out a lot of the work, as do kitchen timers. This is why I am calling it “semi-new-fashioned”. The yeast, well, you will just have to get over that. It’s really nothing to stress over!

I started with this recipe for Honey Buttermilk Bread, but made a couple changes – I made prepped it in my food processor, and used half whole wheat and half AP flour. As you can see, I also sprinkled the top with oatmeal.

I’ll tell you a secret. I actually messed up the recipe. If you read it, you’ll see that an egg is listed under the ingredients. This is meant to be beaten and brushed over the top. I accidentally mixed it into my dough. No wonder it was so wet! I stresses a little bit. But then I remembered that some breads, such as challah and brioche, do call for eggs. So I figured that it couldn’t be totally ruined. I was right! It came out just fine. Nice and tall, great texture, wonderful fresh taste. Who could ask for more? We tried a little taste tonight, and I’m looking forward to having some tomorrow for breakfast too.

Here is my version of Whole Wheat Honey Buttermilk Bread:

1/4 cup water, (warmed, 110F)
1 pinch sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, warmed
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
2 cups AP flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4-1/2 cup oats
1 egg

Combine water, sugar and yeast. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 10 minutes. A large measuring cup or anything with a spout will work well, since you will be pouring later on.

Combine flours and salt in food processor with dough blade; pulse to combine.

Add warm buttermilk and honey to yeast mixture. With food processor running on dough speed, pour in liquid at a steady, gentle pace. It should take about 45-60 seconds. Leave processor running for another couple minutes, until all ingredients are incorporated and a large ball of dough forms . It should be firm, but still sticky.

Place in a greased bowl, covered, in a warm place, to rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour). (I turned on my oven to about 200 degrees and left the bowl on the stove.
Punch dough down and then put into greased loaf pan, pressing gently into place. Beat egg slightly and brush to of bread.

Preheat oven to 375F while bread rises.

Cover loaf and let rise until almost doubled, 40 minutes. Bake 45 minutes, until loaf is browned and sounds hollow when tapped. Cover loaf with aluminum foil if top appears to be browning too quickly.

Cool on wire wrack before slicing.
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4 Responses to “Bread: The Semi-New-Fashioned Way”

  1. 1

    Emilie — July 7, 2007 @ 10:44 am Reply

    It’s a beautiful loaf of bread. I would be very proud! As for your egg situation-that sounds like something I would do. You just have to go with the flow.

  2. 2

    DeborahSW — July 7, 2007 @ 5:54 pm Reply

    I’m too chicken to try bread, maybe someday! It looks beautiful! :)

  3. 3

    annie — July 8, 2007 @ 3:17 pm Reply

    Your bread looks great! I make bread for us every week, using my stand mixer to “knead” it – everyone loves it, and no one said we have to cook like pioneer women….

  4. 4

    Kayte — July 25, 2007 @ 12:16 pm Reply

    your bread looks beautiful cara! i haven’t made bread in a while. i think i’ll try this recipe out tomorrow. do you think i should add the egg into the dough like you did?

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