My First Loaf of Bread

April 27, 2010

French Country Loaf

I tried baking my first loaf of homemade bread this weekend.  While it was a fun experience, the jury is still out on whether it was a success or not.
My 14 year old said, “Hmmm…this is different Mom.”  From my carb-loving teenaged boy, that’s not exactly a rousing endorsement.

I used this recipe for country style French bread.  It’s not the worst bread I’ve ever eaten.  The inside was all right, but the outside could break a tooth.   It was semi-good toasted. 

Here’s a photo of my misshapen Franken-loaf. 

Franken Loaf

I really liked the process and can see myself baking regularly IF I could find some good recipes. I put this promising book on hold at the library:   The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread.  

Anyone out there have a good resource for a beginner who wants to make good bread?


  1. If you rub butter all over it as soon as it comes out of the oven it seems to soften up a bit.
    My hubby bragged about his Grandma's homemade bread. Well, one time I saw her empty bag of frozen bread dough loaves! To this day we tease about "Grandma's Secret Recipe!"

  2. Sounds like you need a good bread machine! I've been making our sandwich bread for a year but I cheat by letting my machine do all the hard work. I then bake in loaf pans in the oven...

  3. It looks yummy! I've never made bread from scratch but have been wanting to give it a try. I bought some yeast yesterday so that's a start! :)

    Stop by if you have a second, I have a giveaway for a $40 gift card to CSN Stores. :)

  4. There is a great recipe that I included in "My 5 links for the week" a while ago. I haven't tried it yet, but it LOOKS amazing!!

  5. Well, it looks good. :) has a fan-stinkin'-tastic recipe for Amish White Bread. I also love the King Arthur website and blog for recipes and ideas.

    I passed a Sunshine Award on to you on my blog:

    Have a great day and keep baking! :)

  6. I agree with PACountry about smearing the hot loaf with butter it helps the crust tremendously.

    I also agree with Momma S. I do the same thing...

  7. It looks lovely! To get a softer crust, dust the top of the loaf with flour before baking. Adding butter and sugar to the dough as well as wrapping it in a tea towel when it comes out of the oven all give a softer crust. A teaspoon of sugar also can help the taste.

    It was lovely to see you again on my blog the other day, thank you so much for stopping by. xx

  8. I have a wonderful bread recipe. I made some adaptations to The Money Saving Mom's recipe. I was planning on posting it soon so check back on my blog soon!

  9. I use this recipe for white bread, 1/2 c. white sugar;1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 Tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon yeast; 1 cup oil (i use safflower - just don't use olive) 4c very warm water (between 110 and 130) and 4 cups + flour.
    (if you use rapid rise yeast mix your dry ingredients then add you oil and water. also, using rapid rise eliminates the first rise, just skip to the second.)
    otherwise mix water with sugar and the yeast and let set until dissolved (approx 10 min.) add oil. combine 4 cups flour and salt then add to yeast mixture. this will be "soupy" keep adding flour (i usually do 1/2 c at a time) keep your hands well floured and gently roll, squeeze and work more flour into dough until its just a tad sticky to touch with clean hands, but not with floured. i think i usually end up adding another 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour. grease a large bowl (big enough to let dough double in size) lightly dust the bottom with flour add your dough and flour the top, cover with saran wrap or towel (you don't want the dough to get any draft from your A/C), let it double then punch down with floured hands(add a tad more flour if still too sticky) and let double again.
    i like to preheat oven to 170, then turn off, boil a small kettle of water and set in oven, turn on oven light (to keep it warm) set in dough covered with a towel - this keeps a nice warm moist undisturbed enviroment for the dough to rise.
    After the 2nd rise, punch down and divide in 5 or six equal parts. to make bread i roll on part out on a floured surface with a rolling pin, roll out the width of a bread pan and maybe 10" (i'm guessing) long, roll up and tuck ends under - this will give your loaf a nice uniform look.
    (if you want raisin bread sprinkle the rolled out dough with cinnamon and raisins then roll up and tuck ends under)
    place dough in bread pan, let rise to just above lip of pan, bake at 350 for at least 20 min, maybe more depending on the size of your loaf pan(a loaf is done when it sounds hollow when tapped with a knife)
    after baking let set on its side for 10 mins then remove from pan to a cooling rack. brush with water for a very crisp crust, butter for a semi firm, and milk for a very soft crust ~ Jan

  10. hello! my name is carolina from Argentina and I visit (I think it's their name) and made a bread recipe. It was delicious. Try it one like white bread.


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