It’s hard to believe, but my wife and I have been baking all our own bread for 9 years now. Both of us had baked a lot of bread before that time, but we had never tried to bake all of our bread. My wife got on a kick baking bread from the no-knead recipes in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day books. One of our favorite things was when she made grissini breadsticks using the cracked wheat dough. They are just the thing to go with salad or a bowl of soup. Some of my other favorites she made were the Olive Spelt buns, the Chocolate Espresso muffins, and the Honey Raisin English muffins.
One bread I baked back in 2010 was the Pain de Campagne. This rustic loaf in the photo below was a blend of whole wheat, rye and unbleached bread flours and had a wonderful tangy flavor. The recipe came from Rustic European Breads From Your Bread Machine. It was not actually baked in the bread machine, though it was used to knead and ferment the dough.
In the years since, I have baked a number of recipes from the King Arthur Flour website. They have a lot of bread recipes there, and I can rely on them to be well-tested so they perform as described. Their recipes are often a starting point for my own creations. My version of their recipe for Moomie’s Famous Burger Buns is something I still make quite often, and it is my go-to recipe for buns. I’ve baked these so many times in the last 9 years I could almost do it in my sleep!
My Dark Rye Potato Rolls and Buns recipe is adapted from the King Arthur Flour Potato-Onion Rye Rolls recipe. I skipped the onions and tweaked the other ingredients for my version, and I bake these buns all the time and put them in the freezer for later use.
I got the recipe for Dark & Soft Restaurant Dinner Rolls from the KA Whole Grain Baking book, which I liked so much I actually did a book review on it back in 2011. These rolls are much like the individual loaves of dark bread some restaurants serve with a meal, especially when you bake them into a mini loaf shape. They are soft and tender, mildly sweet, and you’d never know they contain 40% whole wheat flour.
Somewhere along the way I began developing my own recipes. One thing I wanted early on was a recipe that could be used with a variety of whole grains, both cooked and uncooked. It took almost two years, but I finally came up with a recipe that I really liked and shared it here on my blog. Whole Grain Bread works well with all kind of added grains, and my success with that recipe led me to create others.
My Multi-Grain Seeded Dinner Rolls recipe was adapted from that Whole Grain Bread recipe. I make these quite often, and they are a tasty companion to a bowl of soup. I also take them to carry-in dinners where they are always a hit with the bread lovers. They have a mix of millet, sunflower and sesame seeds both inside and out.
And then there are flatbreads! I’ve got several recipes for pita bread I make, and though it’s hard to pick a favorite, one I make quite often is the Whole Wheat Sourdough Pita Bread. These flatbreads are good for pocket bread, or turned into pita chips. They’re also just the right size for an individual pizza.
And speaking of sourdough, for the last few years I’ve been baking a lot of naturally leavened bread. To get started, I captured my own wild yeasts back in 2011, and I’ve managed to keep that culture going ever since. I followed instructions in the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book, and you can find similar information in this King Arthur blog article: How to make your own sourdough starter. I used a whole grain rye flour to get mine going, but I now feed my culture with a 50/50 blend of whole wheat and KA bread flour.
Since then, I’ve tried a number of different naturally leavened bread recipes from quite a few different sources, but lately my go-to sourdough bread is adapted from a recipe at Breadtopia: Artisan Sourdough No-Knead Bread. I scaled it up 50% from the original, and cut the hydration level a bit to make it easier to handle. I bake the loaf in their Breadtopia Clay Baker, and I have both the Batard and Oblong bakers which see quite a bit of use. They make for a crispy crust, and breads get a great oven spring.
I’m still creating bread recipes too. I haven’t shared my formula for Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread or Rye Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread, but they will be coming soon. I make these two a lot for sandwiches. I also have a Kamut Sandwich Bread that is my take on King Arthur Flour’s Golden Kamut Bread.
My latest bake is another recent recipe from Breadtopia, their Naturally Leavened Einkorn Bread. This one is made from 100% einkorn flour, which I ground fresh using our Nutrimill grinder. This made a dense but flavorful loaf, and should be good for toasting and other sandwich use.
I hope you have enjoyed this photo tour of a few of the breads we have baked here in the last 9 years. I can only imagine what baking fun we will have in the next 9 years! If you are interested, you can see most of my bread recipes on my recipe pages. I’ll be back soon with more happenings from Happy Acres.