My wife and I have been baking all our own bread for the last ten years or so, and along the way we’ve found quite a few of our favorite recipes. Since current events have given people all around the world reason to stay at home and try new things, perhaps it’s a good time to try your hand at bread baking. So with that in mind I thought I would share some of my favorite bread recipes here.
Many of these recipes feature a healthy portion of whole grain flour in them. I have been milling all our whole grains using a Nutrimill. I have nothing but good things to say about this appliance, and it has served our needs well. It does a great job of milling whole grains into flour suitable for breads and other baked goods. It isn’t the best choice for coarse grinds like cornmeal though, which I purchase instead of milling myself. The whole grains keep much better than the flours, so I wait until right before using to grind them up.
I have a couple of sandwich breads I make over and over again. I developed both these recipes myself, and since I prefer my sandwich bread to be sturdy they each have 2/3’s whole grain flour in them. A bit of olive oil helps soften the crumb. The Rye and Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf makes a good base for a reuben sandwich, and we make ours without meat and with homemade sauerkraut. I also recently used it to make a grilled cheese and sprouts sandwich. I add caraway seeds to mine, but you can omit them if you don’t like that flavor. Dill or fennel seed would also make a tasty addition in place of the caraway.
My other favorite sandwich bread is an offshoot of the Rye version. My Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread has honey to add a bit of sweetness and help keep the bread moist. I use either red or white whole wheat in this bread, or sometimes a mix of both. I have also successfully used a bit of emmer flour in place of the whole wheat flour, and I hope to have a recipe posted for that one soon. All breads freeze well, either in loaf form or after they’ve been sliced. The two of us rarely use a whole loaf quickly, so I generally slice it up and freeze.
I also like a good crusty sourdough bread, and my go-to recipe these days is one from Breadtopia. No-Knead Sourdough Bread is about as easy a recipe as one could ask for, and I find myself making it over and over again. I baked a loaf this week, and it turned out as tasty as always. I bake it in one of the Breadtopia clay bakers, though other brands would work too, as well as Dutch ovens. You would need to adjust the oven temperature and cooking times for other baking vessels. Because it is a fairly wet and slack dough, it tends to spread out if baked free-form on a baking stone or sheet pan.
Buns and rolls are also a staple here, and I try and always have some in the freezer whenever we need them. My version of the King Arthur Flour recipe for Moomie’s Famous Burger Buns is something I bake quite often, and it is my go-to recipe for buns. My other go-to recipe for buns is my Dark Rye Potato Rolls and Buns. The dark color comes from a bit of cocoa powder added to the dough, as well as a bit of molasses. I’ve been using my USA Pan Mini Cake and Hamburger Bun pans to get perfectly round buns every time.
For rolls, my wife and I both love my Multi-Grain Seeded Dinner Rolls. It’s an original recipe I developed several years ago, based on seeded baguettes we used to get at Panera Bread. I also make this into a baguette shape, but I make the rolls more often. These are sturdy whole grain rolls with a mix of millet, sunflower and sesame seeds both inside and out along with whole wheat flour and oats.
For a softer dinner roll, I love the Dark & Soft Dinner Restaurant Rolls from King Arthur Flour. These rolls remind me of 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. I use cocoa to give them the dark flavor.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of my favorite homemade breads, and perhaps it will inspire you to either try your hand at making bread, or perhaps revive and old skill. And I hope you can find flour for your baking since locally it is in short supply at the moment!
For more bread recipes: