Monday, January 2, 2012


One of the things making me oh so happy at the moment is baking bread.

I am madly, passionately in love with baking bread.

I love the whole floury process.

Choosing or altering a recipe. Gathering the flours, oils, yeast, seeds and sometimes sugar or honey. The measuring spoons and cups and jugs and bowls.

And then the measuring the mixture together and stirring and mixing and then kneading and kneading and kneading.

I love the kneading part the best. The rhythmic pushing and stretching. How almost like magic the sticky mixture becomes smooth and elastic. It is so physical and therapeutic.

And then over the next few hours, I love looking over to the side board and seeing the tea towel covered mixing bowl. It makes me feel like a good house wife, like a good mother, like a good person.

I love the pressing down of the risen dough. Squooshing the air out of it and reshaping it into a loaf, or rolls, or something else.

I love that bread dough is moody and temperamental. It reacts differently on hotter or cooler days. It somehow senses it when I am grumpy. Sometimes it let's me experiment with the recipe and at other times  it reminds me that perhaps I need to read more about the make up of a dough and ratios and stuff before I go drastically changing them.

I love that most days a hot loaf, straight out of the oven, is sliced and spread with butter and oohed and ahhhed over. Whereas on other, not so cooperative days, it can be hidden under loads of toppings and no one is any the wiser as to your failure.

Apart from the fact that baking your own bread is cheap, healthy and a lovely feel good activity for you or for the whole family, it is deceptively easy. And I've read that homebaked bread is lower in gluten too.

It's as simple as googling some recipes, making certain you have the ingredients you need and having a go.

At the moment I am using recipes out of:
The River Cottage Family Cookbook
River Cottage Veg everyday
River Cottage Handbook No. 3 Bread
This white bread recipe
This challah recipe
This pita recipe

Every morning since we have been home I have made the bread dough mixture first thing, before I have even had breakfast or coffee. Some mornings I make it alone and knead the dough rhythmically almost like a meditation. And other mornings I have little helpers who like to measure in the ingredients and pull off bits of mixture to knead.

Every day in the late morning I punch down the dough and shape it and leave it to rest again.

Just before lunch every day I pop the loaf into the hot oven to cook and to fill the house with delicious bread cooking smells.

And then every lunch time and for the rest of the day, we slice up the loaf and enjoy it. YUM!!

Do you bake your own bread?
Do you have a favourite recipe?
Do you love fresh home baked bread as much as we do?

My crew are swimming in the house dam.
I'm off to join them.
Later dudes. xx


  1. YUMBO. Oh bread, glorious bread. The smell, the time it takes to knead it (i do it by hand, or cheat with the KitchenAid, both great results) & nibbling the dough, yay. Just love it. I used the Defiance mix, never fails. Enjoy that delicious feast. Love Posie

  2. YUM!
    I LOVE homemade bread. But I HAVE to eat it until it's gone, or until it gets cold!
    So therefore, I try not to make it too often, although it is an enjoyable process!

  3. Great post. I love my own bread - when I make it. Maybe this will be the year of more regular baking. You and Tammi are inspiring me...... I've bobookmarked your pita recipe. I need to find one that works.......

  4. Oh, no fair!I'm drooling. I have to have the gf variety, and its not quite the same! Although after 3 years of experimenting I have more success now with my homebaked gf bread,

  5. River Cottage bread book sooo great! Just bought the preserves one as I think this might become a new obsession in 2012. Happy baking! X

  6. I've been making our bread regularly last yr - my 2 favourite recipes for fast easy bread are artesian 5 min day bread, or for a grainy loaf Annabel Langbein's busy people's bread from "the free range cook". Both fantastic if you are short on time as no kneading - but like you, this is actually my favourite part so when I have time I usually pull out Annabel Langbein's book for one of her other recipes.

  7. Home made bread is the best and I use to make it all by hand. Now I use a bread machine but make my own bread mix adding seeds etc. I'm so glad you are finding breadmaking enjoyable, one of those things you probably couldn't do in the caravan. Enjoy the process and the eating.
    Anne xx

  8. There are smells that make me feel more alive, grateful for the abundance of the earth. I have often been caught stuffing my face into a bunch of basil at the farmers market, just to breathe in that gorgeous scent and a giddy smile on my face. Likewise, the yeasty wonder of rising bread, the waft of promise as it bakes in the oven, it has magical properties!
    Some days making bread is a meditation, other days it is a hapless adventure, but it is always a good thing.

  9. Oh yes! We are huge bread lovers here. The smell that waffles through the house as it bakes is so tantalising. I make up to two loaves most days but at the moment can't eat starchy's the homemade bread that I miss the most.


  10. You are inspiring me! Might just make some tomorrow! Thanks!

  11. Hey Kate, I am inspired to make my own bread after reading your mum used to make bread. I would come home from school for lunch and there would homemade bread rolls ready to fill and eat, yum!!

    She was a cracker at making bread I wonder if I have inherited her touch?......

    Claire :}

  12. thats the thing about baking, it does make you feel all virtuous and good. i love baking bread and pizza and roti, and it is so very easy. at the moment i am in love with making (and eating) chunky, spicy, dark, sticky tomato sauce. there is a pot bubbling on the stove right now. yummo

  13. thats the thing about baking, it does make you feel all virtuous and good. i love baking bread and pizza and roti, and it is so very easy. at the moment i am in love with making (and eating) chunky, spicy, dark, sticky tomato sauce. there is a pot bubbling on the stove right now. yummo

  14. Kate have you played with sourdough? It's an addictive little beast bread making. Last week away from home was a week of bought shop bread, that was hard.
    I love how versatile bread making is... plus it tastes awesome straight from your oven!

  15. I bake bread about every second day and just love the whole process. So does my son. We mainly make breads and rolls but I'm hoping to branch out a bit more this year.

    My favourite bread recipe comes from Dough by Richard Bertinet (he's a brittany baker) and since using his method, my bread is always light and airy.

  16. Hi Kate, my 91 year old Dad still makes his own bread and I have very fond memories of my childhood and hot out-of-the-oven bread. I have been making conventional bread for a couple of years and went to a great sour dough bread course at Red Beard Bakery at Trentham not far from you last winter. I can highly recommend it. I still haven't mastered it but that is the joy of experimenting. The challenge is using the oven in this hot weather.... Cheers, K8

  17. I've made bread regularly since my sons were small around thirty years ago. I love kneading it by hand but nowadays I have very temperamental shoulders so use the Kitchenaid.

    That River Cottage book 3 is amazing. I thought I knew a lot about bread till I read that. I read every page of the theory part several times. I like the way it gives the proportions for the mix. I now live by myself so I slice and freeze. I couldn't possibly eat a loaf for lunch, well perhaps I could if it was hot with organic butter, but I'm not going to.

    I've been keeping the dough for up to two weeks and also keeping back a starter lump for the next batch. Good bread.

    Did you know that scientists now say that much GF intolerance may be caused by the modern, quick rise methods of bread, especially commercial stuff. The quick rising does not allow the gluten to be dealt with properly. Slow rising of18 hours or more, and many with gluten intolerance can eat it. DIL does this but one daughter, diagnosed true coeliac still can't have it. The others with intolerances are fine.

    Interesting though about modern methods when the history of bread making is considered.

  18. This is a skill I need to learn.
    I have made it once, with my mums help.
    Think its time I got my act together and gave it another go.

  19. You are a good woman! I need to get my sh#@ together and do more stuff like this.

    But you will be pleased to know over Christmas/New Year I have taught myself to crochet, via good old "Golden Hands" and I am hooked (so to speak). Am using the Panda Cotton "Crochet Modern Vintage" book and am making the scarf and the necklace, because I always must be doing more than one thing at a time.

    Off to look at those bread recipes. It can't be too much harder than making pizza bases? Surely?

  20. Fark I would love it to be me writing this post!!!! x

  21. I agree, there's nothing better! I love making bread, it's relaxing! I've been making one loaf a week but I think I might up the ante this year! I'm off to get a loaf ready now!

  22. Still trying to perfect my sourdough baking. It may take me years.

  23. Oh LORDY ! and here i am just lying on the kitchen floor wishing upon wish that the Melbourne heatwave would just nick off..and YOU ARE MAKING BREAD !!! Well done mother chicken !! Enjoy yr swim x

  24. You know I don't really enjoy cooking or baking, but I love making bread so I can really understand. Reading your post and seeing all your delicious loaves here and via Intagram has made me want to go back to it.
    I love all the exact same things as you about it, as well as it it sooooooooo much more delicious than bought bread. THe kneading part is my favourite too thats a rather why i also like making gnoochi. the rhythm you get into and how suddenly you know when to stop you can just feel it. My favourite bread book is James Beard on bread, but I'm keen to give these ones a good.

  25. Goodness! I am in awe of your kitchen goddess skills ... daily bread-making, how delicious!!

  26. If i wasn't gluten intolerant- something I try to ignore most of the time I would be much more into bread, but alas, bread is a few and far between delight. I love it and wish I could eat it every day.

  27. Holy shit balls, that looks delish...sounds divine,....I'm inspired xx

  28. HI Kate, I LOVE making bread, for all those reasons you said- I think it has a bit of an undeserved bad reputation for being tricky and labour intensive. I make ours...but mostly in winter because we have our wood stove going so it's easy to whack it in. Summer is often for gluten free bread (coeliac in the house) only- and that's out of neccessity- and it doesn't have the same 'becoming one with the dough' experience! I love the idea of the rythm, love that!

  29. Happy new year Kate!
    I have started making bread since everyone has been home because it's a great thing to be able to share together.
    I think that's what the whole bread process is all about, the making & the sharing.
    yum, enjoy your bread and may your new year be filled with lots of yumminess ♥

  30. how divine! that first photo looks just delicious!!

    x jody

  31. I go through phases of making my own bread, but I have to admit, I mostly use the breadmaker we were given as a wedding present may years ago (well, 12, anyway). I was going to start making it all the way by hand and borrowed an unused bread tin from my mum about two years ago, but earlier this year she borrowed it back, because I hadn't used it even once! And she'd decided to start again.

    I make breadrolls by hand fairly frequently - or I go through phases of doing so - and I've sometimes made hot cross buns (yum!). I do love messing with recipes and trying different mixtures of flours and grains.

    Mmm, Might be something to plan into tomorrow...

  32. Oh, I meant to say, I loved your comment about it making your feel like a good mother, a good person. Isn't it funny how baking - or for me any good, thoughtful, cooking from scratch - can do that?

  33. Home baked bread is my MOST favourite, my vice, my naughty tempting food that I cannot say no to, smothered in lashings of butter and homemade jam... which is why I haven't baked any for a while... my hips... y'know!
    But seeing your instagram photos lately has me all drooling over some... definitely on the to-do list over the weekend! xo

  34. I LOVE making bread, and it definitely makes me feel like a good housewife. I cheat and use my thermomix, but it still feels good. I bought some spelt flour the other day to make some, maybe I should go and do that now.

  35. It took ages for me to be brave enough to try something other than no-knead bread (it doesn't help that the NY Times recipe tastes so good), but I've gone nuts making bread lately. It's more of a night-time thing for me at the moment, because I have to hand over Mr Baby to my husband before I get started - otherwise it's too much like tempting fate and naps never turn out to be as long as they're meant to be! Thanks for recommending the River Cottage book. I reckon I'll have to check it out.


Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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