bread making

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

the most delicious bread I've ever made

Weekend bread making. I prepared the starter Saturday morning and then made the bread Sunday while talking to my sister on the phone - our regular Sunday morning chat. Multi-tasking and my cordless phone - this girl's best friends.

Wheat Bread with Yogurt Starter - makes 2 large loaves
Adapted from this great cookbook Bread for all Seasons p142

Yogurt Starter
1 tsp. active dry yeast
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups of tepid water
2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups all bran buds
1 cup oatmeal
2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup brown sugar, honey or molasses (I used molasses)
1'3 cup of olive oil or melted butter
1 tbsp salt or to taste
3-4 cups whole wheat flour
2-3 cups all purpose flour*

Fruit & Nut variation
1/2 cup sliced and toasted almonds
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
8-10 dried apricots diced
8-10 dried prunes diced
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup raisins
or any 2 cup combination of fruits & nuts.
Sunflower seeds, pecans, dried cranberries ...

Starter - mix ingredients in a large glass or plastic bowl or jar, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for up to 2 days. Starter is ready to use after 12 hours. The longer it stands the tangier (more sour) it becomes.

Dough - pour boiling water over bran and oatmeal and let sit until mushy and cooled to warm. Add, this mixture to starter in a very large mixing bowl, add oil or butter, molasses, salt and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon. Gradually begin beating in the flour beginning with the whole wheat. Continue adding flour until the dough is soft and still slightly sticky (try not to add too much flour) dump the dough out onto the counter and begin kneading. Knead for 10 mins or until dough is smooth but still remains a tad sticky. Melt 2 tbsps butter and generously grease a large bowl, plop dough in and generously grease dough as well. Cover loosely with a buttered piece of plastic wrap and a tea towel and let rise until doubled twice. Punching down dough in between risings.

Turn dough out onto work surface and divide in half. Shape one piece into a loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap and tea towel. Scatter fruit and nuts onto work surface and with the other piece of dough knead in gently all fruit and nut pieces making sure they seem evenly distributed. Shape dough into another loaf pan, cover. Let rise again approximately 45 mins. Bake in a 375 degree oven 35 -40 minutes or until loaves are browned on top and sound hollow when tapped.

* my all purpose flour amounts are approximate - you may need more - continue to add flour until the dough seems workable (kneadable). Wink.


  1. Susan, that bread sounds wonderful. I used to make my own bread but haven't done so for years. You have inspired me to go back to it.

  2. All dough ( $$$$$) is needable...hahha ....kneadable too....

    I love your Tuscan Bread... and actually began to put fruits and nuts into that...but.... I'll give this one a try too.....

    We are going back to winter in the next day or two with minus double digits temps...... so I'm off get a good supply of grub first thing today....then... hunker down for a few days... so I be baking.......thanks for the great recipe...

    I made a cranberry pumpkin loaf yesterday...I'll post that recipe soon too....

  3. Yum!! Now my stomach is growling, that's what I get for reading your blog before I've had breakfast.

  4. Oh, yummmers! This looks fabulous! Wonder if I could make it in my bread machine?

  5. Hey y'all !

    Judy you should try it. Honestly this is the most delicious bread ever and I'm a big fan of toast. Nothing more comforting than toast ... except maybe a soft calico cat or a big red lug of a dog.

    Vee I was thinkin' of you as I posted this. Let me know if you try it.

    Hey J did you read my Gee J comment from yesterday ?

    Willow I'm sure it would work - the best part of this recipe is having the two different loaves. One fruity & nutty and one not.

    Drawing, drawing, drawing. xo S.

  6. Hi Susan- I did indeed read your comment. :) I'm just saying that you have some tremendous skills, and while you might not be able to reproduce your visions perfectly, NO ONE but you knows that. The rest of us just ooo and ahhh in admiration.

  7. Susan it looks delicious. One of my fondest memories when I was staying with someone on holiday was their home-made bread/toast each morning. No butter! They were strict about that - it was dipped in heavy balsamic best-quality vinegar...enjoyed with a cup of tea on a balcony overlooking the Timor sea.

  8. Well, yum. I love to make bread and this recipe looks marvelous! Thank you, Susan!

  9. I love bread and this looks incredible. I think you should offer it as a some sort of giveaway if allowed to mail things like that?

  10. mmmm...i can smell the warm bread...your pictures are wonderful! have a piece for me!


  11. okay...I'm having trouble trying to figure out how to use my linking in comments expertise...which, I have done in the past with no problem. So...I'm trying it waaaay back here out of sight, so I don't just embarrass myself... and if it does is on the correct post ..hahahha................

    Cranberry Pumpkin Loaf

    In case the link doesn't show has been the problem with another blog where I tried to post this loaf... just use the addy below.. okay? thanks for not laughing out loud at my lack of computer skills..... oh..I do hear laughter after all...hmmmm..rather raucous laughter at that.... oh, well, consider me the comic relief today... that's what Greg does....

  12. oh..would ya look at that? it works perfectly over here...just for that... I'm blaming it on her Typepad blog@@!


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