Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Side By Side Comparison

Sometimes new recipes come together in a snap, like soups, they hardly ever give me trouble. Other recipes take a couple times to get them just right, like cookies, next time I will add less flour and they will be perfect. Then there are the recipes that just bomb over and over again, I am talking about bread here. Anyone else have a bread making handicap?

Of coarse there was the expected learning curve of a rookie bread maker, I can accept that. I then received bread baking training from Chef Brad and became a master…of one whole wheat recipe. Those were the “golden years”, my bread consistently turned out beautiful and delicious. It became therapeutic in nature and I taught many others Chef Brad’s method and recipe through “Chef Brad Events.” I stocked up on hard white wheat because I was going through it rather quickly. I bought from where ever I found a good sale.

All at once, my dreams shattered as my bread turned into a dense, crumbly failure over and over again. I was baffled, no clue. I tweaked the water, the oil, the sweetener, the yeast, the rise time, the oven heat, the kneading speed, I added gluten, to no avail!

Our bread consumption slowed and nearly halted before one day when it came out as tender and light as ever. Two buckets of wheat, that were ruining my life and I had no idea. One night I did a side by side bake off with three of my remaining buckets, using all the same ingredients and methods. One failed miserably and got the axe. You can get rid of anything on craigslist, even if you list it as “bad wheat.”

The euphoria began to diminish again when I learned about soaking. I love bread and always admiringly watched my husband eat a whole loaf while I nibbled my max of 2 slices. During the “golden years” it didn’t take long before I recognized the tummy aching effects of too much bread. Neutralizing phytic acid and pre-digesting struck a cord with me. Now I am on a new quest for finding a good recipe that will yield light, delicious results and a highly digestible product.

It has been about a year and I think I am making some headway. It has to be completely up to my “What good is a healthy dish if nobody eats it” standards before I will post it. Because let’s face it, who needs another sour, heavy, crumbly sour dough bread recipe out there?

This post is part of GNOWFGLINS Tuesday Twister.


  1. So, did you figure out a soaked bread recipe that works? What I tried ended up being fed to the chickens : (

  2. I am working on I have done my regular recipe with sourdough added in the fridge overnight, with decent results. I just don't know how well that does with breaking everything down properly.

    I have had some good feedback from passionate homemaking's soaked bread recipe, light but crumbly were the results.

  3. I'll be keeping an eye out for that recipe!

  4. I tried your pizza crust recipe...it was wonderful! Do you think it would work to bake it as a loaf of bread instead of dividing it into four pizza crusts?

  5. I have been experimenting with that as well, but using whole wheat. It is not rising as well. I would be interested to try it out and experiment with the threshold of whole grain to white flour for optimum rising. Please let me know if you try it, as I think it could work. I would recommend using a less flavorful oil though, maybe a light olive oil or expeller pressed coconut oil.

  6. you know what's funny? i haven't eaten much bread in the last month since my son had to go gluten free, simply because i don't want to tease him with the thought of bread and then have to say no.

    so, just today, i bought some whole grain bread and have had 3 or so pieces throughout the day.

    it didn't dawn on me until i read this that it totally affected me this evening, if you know what i mean. i was thinking...man what did i eat that made me feel this way? was it dairy? but, i always eat dairy and haven't had this problem.

    interesting that after basically a month with no bread that my body tells me so suddenly how hard it is to digest (that didn't really happen before, when i ate bread often). kinda crazy.

    i'm eager to see your perfected recipe. passionate homemaking's bread was crumbly, but other than that, i thought it turned out really well (although, definitely not perfect). glad you're willing to do the work for me ;)

  7. Have you tried sprouted soft wheat? That shouldnt need soaking, and I have heard that it is most like white flour.

    I also have been trying to get it right (so my picky husband will eat some bread) The Nourishing Traditions yeast bread is working good....with half the flour being white (not what it calls for) and I also doubled the salt and baking soda. Weired to add baking soda and yeast, but its good.

  8. Kami, I know that feeling too well.

    Makenna, soft white wheat doesn't have enough gluten on it's own. I use it a lot for quick breads that don't use yeast though, and it is wonderfully light.

    Thanks for pointing out the baking soda, I will play around with that.

  9. Okay Kara, I finally bought a mill and a bosh! I'm so happy, it's in the mail as we speak! So now I'm trying to get my gear in line. Any suggestions for what to invest in pan-wise? Is stoneware worth the price? I've heard stainless steel is healthy and cheap option, but so many kinds - what size is good and any brand suggestions? I also have a friend who uses glass. I'm so grateful for your generous and talented skills and this awesome blog you share them on! I read on the edge of my seat... :)

  10. Congrats on your big purchases! I like my pans, they are "waffled" which prevents sticking. I got them from pleasant hill grain company. I haven't used a lot of different kinds of pans, so I can't give you a good read. Thanks for reading and your feedback!

  11. Dang, wish I would have asked earlier - I would have gotten free shipping on my bread pans since I bought the bosch from pleasant hill too! So now my question is - you know how Bosch says you can make 8 2lb loaves of bread per batch? Would I want 8, 10, or 12 inch loaf pans to make eight loaves of 2 lbs each?

  12. I thought it was 6-2# loaves. Anyway, 8 inches will be 1.5# loaf, 10 inches your 2# and 12 inches 2.5#

  13. They say that the new bosch's have a larger capacity than the old. I read they have capacity for 15 lbs - so they're rounding up with the 8 loaves.

  14. I've read the posts and could someone define what "feeling" eating too much of the yeast bread gives you and if I start using sourdough or soaking, does it eliminate the problem for you? Also can you eat 3 or 4 slices without bad effects?

  15. Penfold's, for me it is a nauseous, tired, empty feeling. I could eat 2 pieces without too much problem. Yes, sourdough has mitigated the effects.


It's rude to eat and run. Humor me with conversation please!

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