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Homemade bread - so far so good after 4 months

Back in April I wrote that I wanted to stop buying bread, and so far we haven't bought any more bread.  We have suffered through my sourdough attempts, and Farmer Pete has made some white bread from a packet, but we haven't bought any bread!  And recently I have got into a routine and settled on a bread recipe that I'm very happy with.

eight acres: homemade bread

It is based on the recipe in the e-book "Is your flour wet", which is available free from Kitchen Stewardship.

12 to 24 hours before I'm going to cook the bread I set up my bread maker bowl with 330mL of water, 1 Tbs of olive oil, 2 Tbsp of kefir and one tsp of honey.  I mix into that 1 and a quarter cups of wholemeal wheat flour, 1 cup of white bakers flour and 1 cup of wholemeal spelt flour, and a bit scoop of chia seeds (I know that its usually really important to weight the flour accurately, but it doesn't seem to matter fro this recipe).  My ratios (other than flour and water) are a little different to those in the book, we prefer less honey and more salt.  These can be adjusted to taste.

I leave this to ferment/soak for 12-24 hours in the breadmaker.  Just before I'm ready to start mixing I add 1 Tbsp of sea salt and 1 and three quarters tsp of bakers yeast.  I start the breadmaker, but I've modified the cycle so that it stops before the final rise.  I have baked the loaf in the bread maker a couple of times and it comes out ok, but lately as we have the wood stove going anyway, I like to turn the dough out into a loaf tin and let it rise in front of the oven for 30-60 minutes and then put it in the oven for 60 minutes.  In summer I will either use the breadmaker to bake the loaf or give the webber BBQ a try (we use it for everything else in summer!).

eight acres: homemade bread
I usually start this on Friday or Saturday evening and then bake the loaf on Saturday or Sunday evening, depending on plans for the weekend.  We usually eat about one loaf a week, but I put any leftovers in the freezer, and some weeks if we eat more, we can use up the freezer bread.  I am finding that this does tie up a fair bit of our weekend, but I think its going to work from one weeknight to the next too.  The main limiting factor is having enough time to get the wood stove hot enough.

eight acres: homemade bread
ready for eating :)

So far so good!  Do you make homemade bread?  What's your routine like?


  1. Oooh your bread looks yummy - I made some bread a while ago that had lots of oatmeal and also required soaking. I must get that recipe out again :) thanks for the inspiration!

  2. yes I do make bread, every second day or so...I use a recipe to mix the night before, and then it cooks with lid on in a cast iron dutch oven...takes about 3 minutes to mix the night before, and then 45 minutes to get a crusty similar to sour dough textured loaf...amazing stuff...I also make a honey and oat loaf that the kids use as a breakfast bread...instead of cereal....home made bread is the best....

  3. I have just started making bread again. I was very diligent about making homemade bread a few years and then got out of the habit. My first few attempts were not good but now I've settled on a recipe and it's working. Yea! It depends on how much bread we eat, but usually once a week. We're a family of four and my recipes makes two loaves. When I read you were using your wood stove I thought WHAT? Then realized you're opposite of the US, it's winter for you now. I'm looking forward to cooler weather and using our fireplace.

  4. We bake as often as we can. No routine coz it fits around whatever else is happening. We bake more than we buy these days and I'm pretty happy with that. Good on you for going four months without buying bread! That's great!

  5. Good to hear from some more bakers! It is totally worth the effort. Now its warming up here I need to work out how to bake my bread not in the wood stove, this will be interesting!

  6. I was reading your latest blog and saw an old post about bread where you invited people to share their routine so here goes:

    Before going to bed I get out 2 bowls. In the bigger one I put 3 cups of white all-purpose flour, 2 tsp instant dried yeast and 3 cups of water. I stir this up into a batter, cover it with a lid or plastic and put it in a warm place to rise OVERNIGHT. In the 2nd bowl I put 3 cups of whole meal flour (own ground), I tsp salt and any other ingredients such as ½ cup ground flax, or ½ cup sunflower seeds, or ½ cup millet etc or combinations. (note - no sugar or oil - we have too many calories in our diets already and don't need fat IN the bread as well as butter ON it!). I must admit, adding a little oil (olive oil ) makes the dough more silky. The cup measure is the US cup of 225 ml, though any cup would keep things in proportion.

    In the morning the first thing to do is butter the bread tins before handling the dough.

    Then, to the overnight batter I add the rest of the ingredients from the second bowl, stir until I can't stir any more, then I get my hands in it. A little more flour is usually necessary to make a decent dough and when it is about right I tip it onto my kitchen counter and knead for a few minutes. When it feels right I cut it in two, shape it and put it in the pans to rise. This recipe makes 2 loaves about 2.25 lbs each. I bake at 415 F (215 C) for 15 mins and then turn the oven down to 375 F (190 C) for another 30 mins.

    The beauty is that only one rising is necessary, though of course the batter rises in the overnight stage while you are in dreamland. Make sure to use a big bowl so it doesn't over flow. In the morning this overnight stage is like glue sitting on a puddle of water. The yeast has developed the gluten such that hardly any more kneading is necessary.

    I can get up at 9am and have fresh bread, sufficiently cooled, for lunch at 12 o'clock.

    I have not bought any bread for at least 15 years and have never had a failure with this method. Sourdough is a lot more difficult though.


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