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Basic Honey Wheat Recipe


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Go to Professor Bread visits a French Bakery

The "golden rule of homemade bread: it will always be a hit no matter how it turns out." From The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart, a master teacher of professional bakers.

10 Good Reasons to Learn How to Make Bread

  • Fresh warm bread is delicious and healthy.
  • Breadmaking is enjoyable and reduces stress.
  • Making bread leads to a feeling of accomplishment.
  • Serving homemade bread to guests is a wonderful treat that everyone appreciates.
  • Breadmaking is a great family activity.
  • Breadmaking connects us with something real and essential.
  • Making bread develops an appreciation for process.
  • Breadmaking develops patience and creativity.
  • Learning about bread leads to an appreciation of different cultures.
  • Breaking bread together builds community.

Breadmaking Made Simple

   For all the reasons listed above, we encourage you to try to make bread at home.  While some breads require extensive preparation and pose difficulties for the occasional home baker, there are many kinds of bread that are relatively easy to prepare at home.  For those who have never baked bread before we suggest that you start with something basic like the whole wheat loaf recipe contained on this web site.  We've used this recipe quite successfully in hundreds of workshops in the schools.  Once you've had success with this basic recipe you will have more confidence to explore the vast and varied world of breadmaking!

An Outline of the Basic Steps for Raised Bread

    Most of the breads we eat in the United States are raised or leavened breads that use the fascinating ingredient called yeast to make the dough rise (see The Staff of Life).  The following outline of the steps involved in making these breads can serve as an aid in understanding the breadmaking process:

  1. Mixing of ingredients: This includes a special kind of mixing called kneading in which the dough is worked in a way which helps to make it more elastic.
  2. Fermenting the dough: During this step the dough rises as the action of yeast causes fermentation which releases carbon dioxide (as enzymes break down the sugar in the flour). Fermentation also releases from the flour the wonderful flavors contained in raised breads.
  3. Shaping of loaves: The large mass of dough is divided and shaped into the type of loaves desired.
  4. Rising of the loaves: The shaped loaves rise as the dough continues to ferment.
  5. Baking and cooling: The loaves are baked and then allowed to cool down before they are eaten.

     As you can see, the process is fairly simple.    Most of the work is done in step #1 with a little more done at step #3.   Breadmaking does take time, however.   While the most time-consuming steps - 2, 4, and 5 - don't involve any work, they do require some patience and vigilance on the part of the baker.  Go ahead, give it a try!

© 2005 Gary M. Gomer