You guise. I’m a regular Susie Homemaker.
I made bread.
And sure, maybe I searched the internet for bread recipes that included the words “easy” and “quick” and “minimal ingredients” but whatever, this is isn’t an ingredients and effort contest. It’s a bread contest. And I’m the winner. On account of how no one else knew we were playing. Suckaaaaaaa.
I’ve been thinking about making bread for quite some time now for a couple of reasons.
- My mom makes really good bread. But here’s the thing, she makes all day bread. Letting things rise for hours and multi-cook processes and she worked with my dad’s taste buds for basically forever to try to find the right rye read recipe. The bread is good but the process is daunting.
- I like the earth. Making my own food puts less stress on the environment. We’re working on living more sustainably and making as much of my own food as possible is one part of that. And once I can find a non-ziplock way to store the bread, I’ll be cutting down on plastic waste too.
- I like my body. By now we all know that one of the best things we can do is eat the food that lives in the circumference of the grocery store. Produce, meat, seafood, etc. Fresh foods that have one ingredient. How likely is it that David and I will one day eat only those foods? Super unlikely. But I like to make an effort to eat food that’s as close to natural as it can get whenever can. Or rather, whenever we can intersperse it with the frozen yogurt and tater tots.
So anyway, finally feeling inspired enough to make some bread, I sought out a recipe that looked feasible and only minimally frightening. Somewhere inside the depths of Pinterest I stumbled upon The Very Best Homemade Whole Wheat Bread recipe slash blog post on Five Heart Home. I read the blog post at least once a day for several days (no, I’m not kidding) to psyche myself up until earlier this week I finally jumped in…
The recipe makes enough for two loaves of bread but I decided to half it. I have this knack for finding recipes online that look and sound amazing and somehow creating disgusting mountains of food that require us to order pizza. I try really hard but that’s not always good enough. That in mind, I didn’t think making two loaves was a good choice. I didn’t want to end up with two horrible loaves of bread. One would be enough.
I had my fancy pants stand mixer and started mixing away. I thought about writing down the halved measurements of the ingredients ahead of time but decided that was clearly unnecessary. So I poured a couple dry ingredients into the bowl, strumming right along, conserving ingredients and such. When suddenly I thought “Hey, this looks really watery. Like… really watery.” It turns out, I could’ve used that additional step of writing things down. I forgot to half the water. Oops.
Two loaves it is!
It looked much more like dough after I updated the rest of the ingredients to two loaf making status.
Chewy thought so, too.
And so, I continued on with the recipe. There was some bowl covering for a while and some more mixing involved, then it was time to pop the dough lump into some pans and into the oven.
The blog post about the recipe mentions using parchment paper inside the pan because it works to keep it wrapped up nicely. When I tried to put the parchment paper in the pan, it ripped. And then I tried it again and it ripped again. So I said “eff this noise”, greased the pan and put the parchment paper away.
The recipe told me to “gently press” the dough into the corners of the pan. I didn’t catch the gently part until after I had spent several minutes trying to forcibly mush the bread into the corners. Frustratingly, it didn’t stay there. Why are you making me push this dough into the corners? Did you know it wouldn’t stay in the corners? Are you mocking me?!? Is this a test?!?
Once I realized I was being abusive to my dough lumps, I sent them to get cozy in the oven. The little snuggle bugs.
After the bread was done I let the loaves cool for a little bit before cutting off an end piece and enjoying it with butter. I was pleasantly surprised. I actually really liked the bread. Go figure.
I told my husband how amazing it was and forced him to eat a piece. I’m fairly certain he could not have cared less. He’s more of bread monster than I am but naked bread is useless to him so he just had a nibble and went on about his day. Rude. And since the bread wasn’t horrible, I took one loaf, wrapped it, and put that puppy in the freezer for later.
Also, yes, I now realize that I should’ve left the end of the bread on it and cut a slice from the middle so that I could mush the end back up against the bread later to keep it moist but WHATEVER, ROOKIE MISTAKE, GET OFF MY BACK.
Now that I’m a professional bread maker I’m going to need to do more research. If you look at the bread in her blog post it looks like store bought bread and is even shaped that way. Mine definitely doesn’t have that shape but moreover, doesn’t have that uniform look. The loaves are stretchy and holey and the innards are lumpier. How do I get that perfect looking bread? And look at those slices! Trying to slice this bread makes it bread into big pieces. What the heck am I missing here?
When we’re close to done with our current loaves I’m going to try to figure out what I did wrong with this bread and see if I can make it better next time. Any tips/hints/secret bread society knowledge would be appreciated.
This? This is a standard mid-baking adventure scene. And this is with a recipe with minimal ingredients. You don’t want to see my kitchen when I get fancy with a recipe. It gets ugly. It takes me a long time to clean up after I cook dinner or bake cookies.
And did you notice my cow print apron? It’s adorable, I know. I’m sure there are men around the world that imagine a woman cooking for them in a sexy apron with sexy clothes on. Meanwhile, on pancake Saturdays, David wakes up to me in sweatpants and a cow apron.
I’m straight pwning married life.