DAILY BREAD

 Fresh out of the oven – no knead bread

Against the grain  (via Guardian UK)

Bread expert Andrew Whitley explains why we need to get back to baking our own.

Thousands have abandoned bread altogether, troubled by bloating, irritable bowels or some apparent intolerance for wheat. Coeliac disease – for which the only cure is complete avoidance of the gluten in wheat, rye, barley and oats – now affects at least one person in 100, but sensitivity to wheat is detectable in as many as one in five.

Bread has changed. One disturbing possibility is that modern farming and industrial baking produce bread that more and more people cannot and should not eat. The “green revolution” spawned new high-yielding varieties of wheat designed to work with the artificial fertilisers and pesticides used in intensive farming. But recent research suggests that these new wheats have fewer minerals and vitamins than traditional varieties and more of the proteins that cause “leaky gut” type conditions.

In the 1990s a new breed of enzyme-based “improvers” displaced the suspect chemical additives. You won’t know they are there because the law says that as “processing aids” they don’t need to be declared on the label. But we would do well to ponder what bread engineered to stay soft for weeks may be doing to our insides.

Bread is life. Literally, in the sense that, properly made, it has what organic pioneer George Stapledon called “the ability to enliven”. We need to reclaim the staff of life from those who sell it to us without admitting what’s in it. Some are already doing this, by making bread slowly, with their own hands. Were the baking industry to ask itself what this signifies, I’d be tempted to say: it’s about time.

Read full article

How many of you bake your own bread?  Raise your floured hands!

:: References ::

No Knead Bread (NY Times) – this is one of our favorite recipes here on the urban homestead. 
The Secret of Great Bread: Let Time Do the Work
Make Your Own Sourdough Starter
Bread Making

Comments(52)

  1. mary says:

    We bake every week! We grind the hard red winter wheat too. I have always loved to bake bread and have done so since I was a teen. Now I am teaching my husband and children this skill as well. As much as they love to eat that whole wheat bread – I thought they should know how to bake it also. We’ve been baking weekly for about four years – since I got my mill. We don’t think we could ever go back to anything less than fresh ground wheat. There is something so wonderful about bread that has not spent time in a plastic bag on a grocery shelf.
    I appreciate your comment on IBS and celiac as well. We have wondered why the increase in known cases of these diseases over the last 15-20 years. I have read that people with a wheat sensitivity often don’t have the same trouble with ‘real bread’ baked from scratch. I guess I need to research and understand this a little more.
    Your bread is beautiful – thanks for sharing the recipe!

  2. Ginny says:

    I do! I do! I have been grinding my own wheat (we like hard white) and making my own bread for almost 15 years. I started out with a kitchenaide grainmill attachment for my mixer. I now have a family grain mill hand mill and a whisper mill. I make the no-knead bread and regular bread. Here are a couple of links to my bread on my blog:
    http://randvfarmstead.blogspot.com/2007/05/no-knead-artisan-bread.html
    http://randvfarmstead.blogspot.com/2007/06/kitchen-tip-tuesday_20.html
    I agree with Mary. I can’t imagine going back to store-bought bread. My husband threatens me with buying bread if I don’t have any made. LOL! That gets me riled and I get bread made quickly. 😀

    In Christ,

    Ginny
    http://randvfarmstead.blogspot.com

  3. Ken Kunst says:

    Thank you for the pictures of that great bread. We haven’t bought bread in the store since I read the article in Mother Earth News about how to make the no knead bread, and I gave it a try and we can’t go back! Now I’m expected to have bread for my Family at all times!! I don’t mind, because now I have a rythmn for it, and its gets worked into our busy Lives, no matter what. My kids see it fermenting, or coming out of the oven and thier eyes light up and smiles are shared all around. This is what Life is supposed to be like. This is what creates memories for my kids that later in their lives, they will look back and think fondly with Love in their hearts about living the way we do. Like my memories when my Father grew a bunch of corn and we all shucked it together, while my mom screamed about earwigs, and we ate outdoors on the patio and listened to a baseball game, ate watermelon and apples for dessert. Thank you for being there for all of us devoted to this good life.

  4. Kristi says:

    I’m more of a newbie. I haven’t bought sandwich bread for a year, making my own, which my boys prefer. I’m now looking into making sourdough and pita. With gas prices on the rise, the transportation costs for something that’s mostly air is going to go up more than for, say, a sack of flour….

    Really want to get into the grain grinding thing, though….

  5. Amy says:

    I bake bread as often as I can, but I have to use special organic gluten-free mixes and a special bread machine because I am a Celiac and can’t have gluten!

    And I would like to point out a mistake in your quote! there is NO CURE for Celiac disease, the only TREATMENT is a life-long adherance to a strict gluten-free diet! 🙂

    (without the machine, you come out with more of a brick than a loaf of bread!- one of the few “plugged” appliances I use!)

  6. Devin Quince says:

    We bake between 2-4 loaves a week depending on what our meals are. Store bread is so disgusting.

  7. Harmony says:

    I do, although not so frequently. We grind our own grain, and we sweeten with raw honey or blackstrap molasses. More frequently, I make homemade biscuits.

    The grain mill is my friend.

  8. P~ says:

    I do bake bread, primarily the no-knead bread, but my wonderful wife is really the floured one in our family of 5. She usually bakes loaves a couple of days a week, sometimes it comes in traditional loaves, sometimes they’re buns and rolls for our sandwiches/burgers and other times who knows…cheese rolls anyone?
    Oh yeah, we’re totally hooked! We have started grinding our own flour from hard white wheat too and are really loving the fresh wheat bread. My 10 yr old, when presented with some store bought bread a few weeks ago, flat out refused to eat it (and this is a kid who lives off pb&j). I think it it really one of the best first steps a family can do to begin taking control of a important part of our diets.

    Bake on!
    P~

  9. Robert says:

    Are there some no-electric grinders out there?

  10. Anais says:

    Wow, it’s wonderful to see how many of you bake your own breads. I see there are also some hard core bread makers out there. Those that even take it a step backward and grind their own grain.

    Is the food price increase having an affect on the price of wheat/flour in your area? How are you dealing with the rising cost of wheat?

    Thanks Ginny for the posting your site’s links – always a pleasure reading your posts and insights.

    BTW: just to clairfy that the “quote” is from an article posted on the GUARDIAN (not mine) Perhaps you may want to email them your corrections.

  11. Anais says:

    Hello Robert

    Yes, there are quite a few hand cranked grinders out there. One of those is the COUNTRY LIVING GRAIN MILL which happens to be sold on PeddlersWagon.com

    http://www.peddlerswagon.com/p-43-country-living-grain-mill.aspx

    • Ailen says:

      Banana Bread1/2 cup unsalted beuttr (room temp)1 cup sugar1 egg3/4 cup pureed banana (2-3)3/4 cup chopped dates1/3 cup chopped walnuts1-1/2 cup all purpose flour2 tsp baking powder1/2 cup milkPre-heat oven to 350F. prep loaf panCream together beuttr sugar, add egg banana, beat for 1 minute.Add dates, walnuts, (optional) mix with wooden spoon.In sm. bowl mix the flour baking powder together.Add dry ingredients to mix, alternating with milk.DO NOT OVER-MIX.Pour into greased loaf pan cook in centre of oven 45 minutes.Test toothpick in centre comes out clean, cool remove from pan.Google

  12. Jan says:

    Wow I have not gone that extra step at making my own bread yet. But with the bread at over 2 dollars a loaf here I am looking into the making my own bread.
    Where do oyu find your own grains? We have feed stores around here but I don’t think they carry that!

  13. Gerry Medland says:

    Hi Anais!
    Yes,I am a home baker!I bake my own bread and rolls and oven doughnuts!I am working towards grinding my own wheat!
    atb
    blessings from across the pond
    gerry mx

  14. mary says:

    To the commenter that was looking for a source of grains:
    We are in Oklahoma and have ordered bulk wheat through Walton Feed out of ID and also bought 60# bags of wheat through a local franchise location of Great Harvest Bread.
    hope that helps!

  15. Leah S says:

    What a timely post! I made a loaf of bread yesterday and some rolls. It was a smashing hit with the pot of bean soup and my husband praised me several times. 🙂 (I’ve had some trouble with over cooking the beans before.) The recipe I used is one that’s been in my husband’s family for at least 4 generations.

    My mom blessed me with her wheat grinder 1.5 years ago (she still has a hand crank one for herself) and I’ll oftentimes make hard red wheat bread. I enjoy the workout kneading dough gives. The freshly ground wheat is a pleasure in muffins and tortillas also. 🙂

  16. Charlene Long says:

    Yes! I’ve been baking my own bread for several years and in the last 3-4 years have started grinding my own grains. The price of wheat has more than doubled in the last six months but it is still cheaper and better to bake your own.

    I also have a whole wheat sourdough starter that I have been playing with for several months and it’s making some great bread.

    Did you know that over 75% of the vitamins and minerals in whole wheat are lost within 72 hours of the grinding process? That means that the flour you buy in the store – while better than the processed bread – is still lacking in nutrients. Grinding fresh grains is great! Well worth the effort.

    I’ve recently started selling some of my breads at a local farmer’s market so it’s helping us all around!

  17. Risa says:

    We have been making all our own breads, tortillas, etc. for about ten years. We have also been grinding the wheat that long with the country living mill. One of the few pieces of equipment I would not live without. We even grow some of our wheat! We had a nice wet (for a desert) year and we should (fingers crossed) get a nice harvest at the end of June.

    I haven’t used commercial yeast for about four years. I found the best sourdough you can get is “native”. In other words, don’t buy grapes from California to start your yeast if you live in Colorado. My favorite yeast source is cedar berries. You can usually find cedar trees within a few blocks of anywhere. And your yeast will be adapted to your climate perfectly. And you should never have to add “conditioners” to your dough. The only thing a natural healthy yeast needs is flour (but a little salt and sugar make it taste better).

    Sorry, homemade bread and cheese are my favorite subjects, if you let me I could go on forever.

  18. Susan says:

    I do occasionally. I’d like to bake bread more often. Kneading is fun and a good way to work out your anger if you’re mad at someone! (But the last time it hurt my hands to do so – maybe I’ll have to look for that no-knead recipe.) It’s so neat to see that the dough is “alive” as you knead it. And the little miracle of putting a small lump in a bowl, covering it up, coming back in a couple hours and now you have a big lump! The smell as the bread bakes is just wonderful.

    Yes, it’s a bit more work than just grabbing a loaf wrapped in plastic and tossing it in your shopping basket but it is so worth it. It’s not even really “work” but a joyful task!

  19. Danielle says:

    Me too! Or should I say….Me 18!
    I grind my own wheat and practice bread making in the style of Sally Fallon’s “Nourishing Traditions”. I refuse to make tortillas with whole wheat flour and baking powder biscuits just aren’t the same unless I use at least half unbleached flour. I was in a hurry yesterday and didn’t have any wheat ground so made pancakes with white flour for breakfast. My ten year old was not impressed LOL…he actually asked if I would please make whole wheat next time. I start my batter the night before and my whole wheat pancakes are so light and fluffy.
    Yeast bread isn’t the only bread that benefits from letting Time do all of the work.
    Oh…not to mislead anyone, I do buy bread regularly as well. I’d say I’m about 1/2 and 1/2. My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak- I’m a work in progress LOL.

    Thanks for the recipes people are passing along.

    Danielle

  20. mary says:

    Danielle – just a little FYI – it is possible to make very pliable whole wheat tortillas that are also very yummy. I have adapted a standard white flour recipe and use whole wheat flour instead. I also use grapeseed oil instead of the lard or shortening. My family loves these served with black beans, lettuce and a little grated cheddar cheese. [If you grind soft (pastry) wheat it is light and white looking like store flour – but keeps all the benefits of being whole wheat. You might like the results of this flour in tortillas more than the hard wheat.]

  21. Anny says:

    I’m making my own break RIGHT NOW!

    I just starting making my own bread a few months ago, cus I was fed up with the price of organic bread and the fact it’s so hard to find good vegan bread.

    I love my home made bread! I even freeze some of it to keep it from going moldy and so I only have to make it every other week.

  22. Sue says:

    Another plug for grinding your own wheat and making your own bread. http://www.beprepared.com is a great place to buy buckets of wheat. I know there are cheaper places (ask one of your Mormon friends, they know where and how to buy grains in bulk), but this company sure makes it easy.

    I can’t brag enough about that no-knead bread recipe I first saw in Mother Earth News. I’ve tried it on all sort of combinations of home-ground wheat and it always turns out great. Even 100% winter red wheat makes a great loaf. My old way of making bread I had to add at least half white flour to get a decent loaf from home-ground red wheat, but with the no-knead recipe it turns out wonderful even if I use 100% red wheat.

    As someone who actually buys a lot of wheat berries– YES the price has gone up, but it is still much cheaper (and better for you) than buying store bread, duh.

  23. Janice K says:

    I do! But we make Gluten free bread. Still trying to perfect the recipe… always turns out really dense and tough. My son and I react with rashes to Wheat products unfortunately… Most likely because of the “green revolution” wheat. Eventually, we’d like to build a Cob Oven too!

  24. Simply.Belinda says:

    Hands up here.

    Still can’t get DH to actually eat it most of the time as he is under the impression that bread is supposed to bend into a U shape without breaking.

    Oh well
    Kind Regards
    Belinda

  25. LaVonne says:

    I made flatbread last week, my first attempt at bread–I wanted to start with something that didn’t sound so intimidating. It was so good that I bought more flour and plan to start some no-knead bread tonight–thanks for the recipe!

  26. Yvette Davis says:

    I do too!!
    I love making focaccia with olives and rosemary!
    Post your favorite bread recipes!

    🙂
    Yvette

  27. David says:

    Thanks much for info. My mum is on gluten free diet & will forward info to her. I myself will try the no nead store bought bread as I make w/w cinnamon rolls & pancakes from time to time already. Just curious, is your bread baked in cobb oven or solar sun oven as well?

  28. Anne says:

    I make all our bread, tortillas, biscuits, muffins, etc., although not nearly as much as I used to. The rising cost of wheat/flour has definitely taken its toll! Now flour is usually only used for pancakes and a dessert on Sabbath. I have and use both a hand powered family grain mill and a champion juicer with a grain attachment. The family grain mill is preferred as it makes a finer flour (not to mention that it is nonelectric and doesn’t heat up the four) but sometimes time is a factor, so I use the electric grinder and settle for a coarser grind. I moved to using sourdough a few months ago, but haven’t gotten any more starter going since the Days of Unleavened Bread.

  29. Beany says:

    We bake our own bread too. I believe I first about the no knead bread from you. So thanks! I know we’ve not only saved money but also cut down on our plastic consumption

  30. Ariella says:

    Great question, and I look forward to seeing if anyone has a good recipe for everyday bread that my “white flour only” kids will be willing to eat.

    I have been making challah every Friday (for Shabbat) for about 10 years. Many of the kosher bakeries don’t use preservatives, but I like to use organic flour and good oils, so I bake my own.

    I love the idea of baking ALL of our own bread, but my kids are super picky about what they’ll take to school. They will literally starve than eat my whole wheat bread.

    Any ideas/recipes out there?

  31. Ariella says:

    MARY–can we get your tortilla recipe…I would love to get it, since they’ll tortillas are pretty lame here in Montreal!

  32. mary says:

    I have a family of six – so when I make this recipe I double it and use my large bosch kitchen mixer. It calls for 2 kinds of flour – but I always just use fresh milled wheat since that is what I keep on hand. I use grapeseed oil added VERY slowly into the flour instead of shortening.[I also have an electric tortilla maker that presses and bakes them in one step. My kitchen is NOT yet an unplugged kitchen…sigh] Now that you know my adaptations – here is the recipe as it is in my book.
    TORTILLA RECIPE:
    2 cups fresh milled wheat flour[or store bought whole wheat flour]
    2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
    1 1/4 cups warm water
    1 1/2 tsp salt [I use sea salt]
    2 tsp baking powder [I use an aluminum free brand]
    1/2 cup vegetable shortening

    Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in the mixer bowl. Blend in shortening [or oil] with the wire whips. change to dough hook and add in water then knead for 5 minutes on spead 1 or 2. Divide into golf ball sized balls. Let balls rest for 15 minutes. Roll out balls into circles with a heavy rolling pin or pastry roller. Bake on an ungreased hot griddle. Turn when lightly speckled with brown spots.
    [recipe adapted from Martha’s Family Cookery Book by Martha Greene]

  33. Stephanie Griffith says:

    I bake my own bread about half the time. I haven’t tried the no-knead recipe yet. I’ll have to give that a try. I’d love to grind my own flour someday too.

    Anais, I use the tortilla recipe you gave me a while back quite often. The girls and I have a lot of fun making them and they are soooooooo much better than store bought tortillas. It’s a different animal, really.

  34. Danielle says:

    Mary, thank you for taking the time to post that tortilla recipe. I will have to get some soft wheat and give it one last effort. It isn’t only the lack of pliability that bothers me with whole wheat tortillas but also that they just feel funny in our mouths. This will sound really wierd, but it’s like there’s too much friction and our mouths get hot LOL. The flavor is good though.
    Also, can anyone explain to me why it’s not good for wheat to get hot while it’s being ground when we are just going to cook it in a hot oven soon anyhow. What’s the big deal?
    Here’s the spoon roll recipe I made to go with dinner last night. It can be adapted to suit anybody’s preferences as long as there’s liquid, yeast and flour:
    For 24 rolls:

    Combine five cups flour
    1 to 2 TBLSP yeast
    1/4 cup sugar, honey, or molasses
    1/4 cup butter, oil, lard or shortening
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    2 cups really warm water

    mix all ingredients thoroughly at least 2 hours before serving time. You will have a gooey, sticky dough. Cover loosely and forget about it until about an hour before serving time. If your bowl is small enough that this sticky batter will reach the top, you should use a saran wrap or a plate to cover instead of a cloth towel- It’s too hard to get clean.
    Grease twenty-four muffin cups. Stir down batter and get all of the air bubbles out. Using two soup spoons (one for scooping the dough and one to scrape the dough off into the muffin cup) fill each cup equally.
    Heat oven to 400*
    Let muffins rise until fifteen minutes before serving or until dough rises to just over the top of the cups- whichever comes first.
    Bake for 13 to 15 minutes.
    Watch them disappear

  35. mary says:

    Anais-
    I decided to try out the no knead recipe. I was wondering if you used a 6-8 qt baking dish like the recipe calls for. It’s hard to get a sense of scale from your pictures of the finished loaves. The only thing I have near that size is a 12 qt cast iron dutch oven. I’m going to try it in that – but I would rather use one of my smaller pyrex dishes – I may just decide to split one recipe between two dishes instead.

  36. anita says:

    There is nothing so basic, and therapeutic to me as getting up first thing in the morning and kneading bread!

    Living in southwest Kansas, I’ve found good sources for wheat, and am currently researching small grain mills… anyone have any recommendations?

  37. Ginny says:

    Mary,

    If you use too large a pan, it will not rise. You will get a pretty flat loaf which will be mostly crust. That may be a good thing at times, but that is not what you are looking for in this particular case. I use a small crockpot insert and it makes a nice, high round loaf. I’m not sure, but I think it is four quart, maybe six. The heat of the crock and the lid, and the size and shape of the crock are vital to the bread. You can find lots of crockpot inserts and other crock-like things, plus boxes of lids, at thrift stores. I hope you make it and it comes out superb! 😀

    In Christ,

    Ginny
    http://randvfarmstead.blogspot.com

  38. mary says:

    Ginny – thanks for the advice. I tried the recipe – twice – before I saw your comment about the results from a too large pan. The bread was delicious – but like you said – mostly crust. I am going to try again tomorrow with a smaller pan.
    I just love having this online community!! There is no one in my circle of friends who gets what we are doing as urban homesteaders. Thanks for your time in replying.

  39. lavella says:

    I read with interest your daily bread segment.
    I have made homemade bread for years,
    the family recipe has been handed down through several generations.
    There is a Bigger reason then ever to return to home ground home made bread.
    in 1998 the government in an attempt to banish the neural tube births of spina bifda babies mandated that all bread products sold in the US be enriched,, cookies noodles anything with flour.
    they deemed the added folic acid that lacking in mothers at the tubal stage of pregnecy was the cause. SO the FDA made a law that required everyone to have the folic acid.
    Folic acid is balanced in the body with vitamen B-12,,a water wash vitamen.. that wasnt part of the law/
    a recent article in Orpra magizine Decemebr 2007 issue ,,called a “Cocktail for the Brain”,
    mentioned on one line,, that the FDA knew it might cause 10 to 20% of the aging population to experince confusion and dementia problems because of the imbalance.
    But they have a choice to take Vitamen B-12. no one bothered to tell them, or even explain the significance
    After reading that article and doing a lot of reasearch on the web, we started making fresh bread from scratch,,every week again, for my father who was in decline. confused and almost labeled alzhimers.
    hes back, eyes bright, walking better, joking again, with the help of a understanding Doctor that did a blood draw and discovered he had almost no B-12 in his system
    Buying Flour or mixes wont help, the flours are enriched.
    I cant tell you how mad I was when i didcovered this dirty little secret.
    Please pass the word to every primary caregiver you know,
    And make your own flour.
    For homemade noodles, breads , muffins, cookies anything you do for your body now affects your future.
    thanks for listening

  40. Laurie says:

    Sorry to bear the bad news… the No Knead Bread recipie isn’t working for my family. The problem? It is still too chilly in our house for the yeast to happily do it’s job. Our average indoor temperature is still only in the upper 50’s here. I will try again when it’s warmer, and if my family likes the bread, I’ll try to create some kind of incubator for it with hot water bottles (maybe a haybox cooker?) Silly, in a way, that when the house is warm enough for the bread, it’s too warm for the oven (and vice versa)! Take care all…

  41. lavella says:

    during the winter months…i will take a cale pan and paritally fill it with water and turn the oven on,,,low 255 max..and heat the water…turn the oven off and theres your proofing box for bread.
    Good luck:)

  42. mary says:

    Laurie- thanks for your comment about the proofing temp. I couldn’t figure out why my batches were not rising better. Our evening temps have been btween 45 and 60 over the past couple of weeks – very unseasonable temps for NE Oklahoma! So I’ll either try the suggestion from Lavella or wait until we warm up here.

  43. Laurie says:

    Thank you lavella, that’s a great idea! I could probably even do that with my wonderful solar oven (thanks Peddler’s Wagon!)

    I have just been letting this batch of dough continue to work slowly. Maybe I’ll get home tonight (48 hours after mixing) and it will have risen? That would make it almost sourdough!

    Thanks also for your earlier comments regarding folic acid, home grinding wheat, and your success reversing signs of dementia. Now I have yet another reason to get a nice grain mill for home.

    Take care,
    Laurie

  44. LaVonne says:

    lavella, regarding the requirement to enrich flour, does that apply to organic flour as well? there is no way i can afford a grain mill.

  45. Carolyn says:

    Definitely bake our bread! And grind the grain for it, too. I don’t make too many variations but I like making sandwich bread with a pullman pan and Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread from the NYTimes site is excellent, too.

    Next step is making a sourdough starter with our grapes late this summer.

    LaVonne, (post #44 above) you might want to check out Sue Gregg’s blender recipes using whole grains. The oatmeal pancakes are one of our absolute favorites.

  46. lavonne says:

    Carolyn, thank you!

  47. Melissa says:

    I have made bread for years too but I really want to try this no knead bread now that I have heard so many great comments about it. I made sweet rolls for the first time yesterday and they came out great!

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  50. 1916home says:

    You can get a much richer, complex flavor (like sourdough) if you add just a bit of vinegar and some beer in place of just straight water.

    -3c flour
    -1.5 t salt
    -1/4 t yeast
    -7oz water
    -3 oz pilsner beer
    -1 tbl vinegar

    …and use the original NYT instructions…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html?_r=1

    You’ll notice theres just a tiny bit more salt, the added vinegar and a little less liquid. I learned this from America’s Test Kitchen! Comes out AWESOME!

  51. Sean & Michael says:

    We are in the last steps of our 1st loaf. Amazing bread! Let me know how to join so we can post pics. Great site, Sean

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