Homemade bread - so far so good after 4 months

by Farmer Liz
Back in April I wrote that I wanted to stop buying bread, and so far we haven't bought any more bread.  We have suffered through my sourdough attempts, and Farmer Pete has made some white bread from a packet, but we haven't bought any bread!  And recently I have got into a routine and settled on a bread recipe that I'm very happy with.

eight acres: homemade bread

It is based on the recipe in the e-book "Is your flour wet", which is available free from Kitchen Stewardship.

12 to 24 hours before I'm going to cook the bread I set up my bread maker bowl with 330mL of water, 1 Tbs of olive oil, 2 Tbsp of kefir and one tsp of honey.  I mix into that 1 and a quarter cups of wholemeal wheat flour, 1 cup of white bakers flour and 1 cup of wholemeal spelt flour, and a bit scoop of chia seeds (I know that its usually really important to weight the flour accurately, but it doesn't seem to matter fro this recipe).  My ratios (other than flour and water) are a little different to those in the book, we prefer less honey and more salt.  These can be adjusted to taste.

I leave this to ferment/soak for 12-24 hours in the breadmaker.  Just before I'm ready to start mixing I add 1 Tbsp of sea salt and 1 and three quarters tsp of bakers yeast.  I start the breadmaker, but I've modified the cycle so that it stops before the final rise.  I have baked the loaf in the bread maker a couple of times and it comes out ok, but lately as we have the wood stove going anyway, I like to turn the dough out into a loaf tin and let it rise in front of the oven for 30-60 minutes and then put it in the oven for 60 minutes.  In summer I will either use the breadmaker to bake the loaf or give the webber BBQ a try (we use it for everything else in summer!).

eight acres: homemade bread
I usually start this on Friday or Saturday evening and then bake the loaf on Saturday or Sunday evening, depending on plans for the weekend.  We usually eat about one loaf a week, but I put any leftovers in the freezer, and some weeks if we eat more, we can use up the freezer bread.  I am finding that this does tie up a fair bit of our weekend, but I think its going to work from one weeknight to the next too.  The main limiting factor is having enough time to get the wood stove hot enough.

eight acres: homemade bread
ready for eating :)

So far so good!  Do you make homemade bread?  What's your routine like?

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