Homemade bread and I have never really been friends. It’s like we always wanted to become pals, but we just couldn’t click. I’ve been trying to make great whole wheat homemade bread for almost seven years, with only a little success. My breads weren’t all disasters - some even tasted pretty good - but there was never a recipe that stuck with me.
I tried bread machines, sourdough, lots of yeast (before I knew it’s not so great), lots of gluten (I didn’t know that wasn’t so good either), kneading once, kneading twice... Then I read Nourishing Traditions and tried soaking the flour first and did their yeasted bread. I have to admit that was a step up from my previous experiments. But... I don’t know... it just wasn’t clicking enough for me to make homemade bread regularly.
Then I found a recipe for whole wheat quick bread and adapted it Weston A. Price style:
3 cups whole wheat flour (or whole grains of your choice)
1 1/2 cups raw milk or buttermilk
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum-free)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (or other unrefined sweetener)
Soak flour in milk and/or buttermilk (I used a mixture of the two) for 12-24 hours. Gently stir in remaining ingredients until moistened. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until loaf tests done.
No, it's not fluffy, rise-over-the-top-of-the-pan bread, but it's good. The loaf is dense but not tough, easy to slice because the crust isn’t brick-hard, and has a surprisingly sweet sourdough kinda flavor that makes it quite addictive. And, of course, it tastes perfectly lovely with butter.
I was very surprised how much we all liked the bread, considering the ingredients and preparation are so darn simple. I think that’s why I like it so much. So, finally, bread and I are kindling up a little friendship.
What’s been your experience with homemade bread? Have you found any recipes that you love?