Thursday, October 09, 2014


We've been enjoying homely things of late -- "homely" in the English sense, that is. I've never understood the American usage as a description of plain features. Isn't home supposed to be beautiful, anyway? But that's neither here nor there. 

We finally found a fool-proof bread recipe that works for us -- with only a few ingredients, it's a keeper. There's something so validating about making bread. Perhaps because I've never been very successful in the past? At any rate, this bread is delicious and satisfying spread with some of the local wildflower honey we just bought.

Though nothing can satisfy like the Bread:

"Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; 
whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, 
and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst. 
All that the Father gives Me shall come to me, 
and whoever comes to Me I will never cast out."

John 6:35, 37

Edited to include the recipe, as requested!

The recipe we use is strongly based on Jamie Oliver's bread recipe (video here, slightly different written recipe here). But we've made a few alterations -- or just mixed the two recipes -- until we found what works for us.

I mix everything up in my KitchenAid with the dough hook. My food processor works, but if I do more than half a recipe it gets gummy dough all over everything! Plus, my mixer is easier to clean.


  • 1 kg flour -- I do half whole-wheat pastry flour, and half all purpose or bread flour (I put my mixer bowl on our digital scale, set it to 0.0, and then pour flour in until I reach a kilo)
  • 4 1/2 tsp yeast (2 packets)
  • 2 tsp salt 
  • ~3 cups of hot water (I use less and add a bit more if needed; I like the dough to not be too sticky, but it seems to turn out better if it's "moist")
  • 2 TBSP of olive oil (I think this is technically for pizza crust, but it works & I'm not changing it!)
  • Generous squirt of honey -- probably 2 -3 TBSP
  1. I mix everything in our KitchenAid with a dough hook until everything is combined. I toss in a bit of extra flour and give it a couple of good "kneads" in the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and put it on the stove under the light to rise. 
  2. After about an hour the dough has doubled in size. I knead it more thoroughly on a floured surface, probably 2 minutes or so. Then I divide it in half, shape it (roughly), and place it in two oiled bread pans. It goes back on the stove covered with a tea towel. My oven takes about 15 minutes to preheat to 375 degrees, so I usually just start the preheat now.
  3. In roughly 20 minutes the dough has risen in the pans. I make several diagonal cuts on the top of each loaf with a knife (optional) and stick it in the 375 degree oven for 35 minutes. 
  4. When the bread is done I put the pans on cooling racks, then remove the bread (a table knife will loosen the sides if needed) a few minues later. Leaving it in the pans too long will cause it to go soggy. Also, I've heard you should allow it to cool completely before cutting -- we don't always do that... *wink* But put it back on the cooling rack after cutting, to avoid sogginess. 
And that's that! I've seen and tried other recipes, but most either didn't work well for anything other than thick slices of toast (I wanted a good sandwich bread!) or had so many ingredients that bread making would be a chore (and sometimes an expensive one, if milk or copious amounts of honey were involved!). That's why I love this recipe -- it's so ridiculously simple, uses whole ingredients (why are they putting cellulose in bread products now?), and is very forgiving. Seriously, I forget about it sometimes when it's rising, and we've yet to have a failed loaf! Oh, and it's not frustratingly sticky like many of the recipes I've tried.  I did leave out the oil accidentally last time, and the bread is drier and not as delectable, so I'd recommend leaving it in. 


UPDATE 11/18/14: I've edited the recipe to shorten the baking time -- I reduced the time while making stromboli (which this dough is EXCELLENT for, by the way! I used half of the dough for stromboli and made a loaf of bread with the other half), and realized that the bread was softer and less crumbly while still fully cooked. 

Also, I just tried using this dough for rolls and a boule (both of which I placed on a baking tray covered with parchment paper), and they came out beautifully. Obviously, reduce the time for rolls -- 20 minutes at 375 was the magic number for us.


  1. Do you mind sharing the recipe? That loaf looks delicious. And I love how you paired it with the reminder of the Bread of Life!

    1. I've updated the post to include the recipe -- enjoy!


  2. Replies
    1. Post updated, recipe included :-)


  3. Do you ever read the SouleMama blog? She has a fantastic bread recipe on there for honey oat bread, and there is a version for making it by hand or bread machine, depending on what you do. I miss it from our gluten days!!

    1. I do sometimes visit the SouleMama blog -- that recipe looks delicious!


  4. Shannon, I don't have a food scale so do you know approximately how many cups of flour?

    Thanks, Traci

    1. Traci,

      A conversion chart I looked up says that 1 kilo is 8 cups of all purpose flour. Hope that helps!



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