Sunday, October 16, 2011

{31 Days} Cooking from Scratch: Starting out with Bread

This week, we tackled simple breakfast recipes – like muffins, pancakes, & doughnuts.  Then, we tried making tortillas, as a way to get familiar with dough before adding the dreaded…. YEAST! 

Today, we’ll start with a simple bread recipe – one that  uses yeast, but does not require kneading… this will ease you into using yeast!

This recipe is for a wheat oatmeal quick bread.  Most of the time, quick breads are sweet breads – like banana bread, zucchini bread, apple cinnamon oatmeal bread, tea bread or our favorite dark chocolate pumpkin sweet potato bread

Quick breads rely on baking powder and/or baking soda to produce carbon dioxide to make the bread rise.  This one, uses yeast in combination with baking soda to help with the rise. 

If you’ve been looking to try making bread from scratch – try this one first. 

Wheat Oatmeal Quick Bread – From Taryn

Ingredients (makes 2 loaves)

  • 4 1/2 C flour (mix; whole wheat, white whole wheat, bread & all purpose)
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 1/2 tsp. yeast (or 2 pkgs yeast)
  • 2 C milk (or water), warmed to 120 degrees F
  • 1/2 C whole wheat flour (yes, this is in addition to above)
  • 1/2 C quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 C wheat germ (or more oats)


Begin by lightly greasing two bread loaf pans.  Bread loaf pans are typically around 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches in size.  If desired, lightly sprinkle the greased pan with cornmeal (I omitted this step). 

In a large bowl, combine 3 1/2 C of flour, 2 T sugar, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. baking soda and 4 1/2 (or 2 pkgs) yeast.  Stir well. 

Warm up your 2 C milk or water until it reaches 120 degrees F.  You don’t want it to go over 120 – or be too far under 120.  120 degrees is a temperature required for activating yeast – but not killing them! 

Add this warmed milk or water to the flour mixture & stir until moist. 

To this moist dough, add in the remaining 1 C of flour. 

Then, add the 1/2 C whole wheat flour, 1/2 C oats and 1/2 C wheat germ (or more oats). 

To combine this dough together, use your spatula & stir until incorporated.  If you are having trouble, wash those hands and use your hands to get all the flour & oats mixed in. 

Divide the dough in half, and place each half into a loaf pan.  You may wish to lightly shape the dough into a “loaf” during this process.  Think of it like play  dough/clay and just shape it so that it fits well into the pan.  I find that pressing down the edges towards the bottom on the pan helps shape the loaf. 

Cover with a tea towel or a piece of plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.   After 30 minutes, the dough should raise slightly in the middle – however, the rise will not be HUGE, so don’t be alarmed if your dough hasn’t doubled or anything at this point. 

See how the dough is slightly higher here in the center and the dough on the top looks more elastic/stretched than it did in the image above?  That’s what you’re looking for to know if the dough has started to lift. 

However, if your dough has not risen at all, try this trick:

Warm up 1 C water in your microwave until it boils.  Leave the cup in the microwave, and add your covered pan of bread to the microwave too.  Shut the door.  Allow your bread to rise in the warm & now humid microwave (thanks to the boiling water) for 20-30 minutes. 

Preheat your oven to 400, keeping your dough covered on top of the oven while your oven preheats. 

Uncover your bread and place it in your oven at 400 degrees F.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until your bread is lightly browned. 

Take the bread out of the oven, and after 1 minute, remove the bread from the pan and place it on a cooling wrack. 

If the pan was greased well, you should just be able to loosen up the sides of the bread, tip the pan over and your bread should pop right out. 

Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing to eat, wrapping to freeze, or storing it in an airtight container. 

This recipe makes 2 loaves -- you can easily freeze one of the loaves for later, or you can split the recipe in half and just make one loaf.

Have you tried making homemade bread?  Are you ready to try this week?!


  1. Wish we made homemade bread more often. It's always so good when we do!

  2. Okay I so want to try doing this but the step that throws me is knowing how to get the milk to the right temp. Do you use a candy thermometer?

  3. @ Laura --

    We use a meat thermometer. It may not be exact, but I've had better success with my meat thermometer than my candy one. Hope that helps!

  4. What a great bread! ha- glad that you enjoy it. We used to make it quite often- it was fast and easy. and great with some butter and jam. yum.

  5. I just made one bread and it was delicious, but it wasn't as storebought bread... I mean, the taste was different and the texture ws definitely different. I don't want to use bread flour or AP flour or any refined flour, because we are trying to eat unprocessed food and also because it is very expensive. I mean, 1lb of "organic" bread flour costs a little bit more than 10 dlls! Could you check my recipe and give me your comments on maybe what was I missing?

    1. Just from looking at your recipe, it seems like your bread needs more "lift" -- that is, it needs more gluten. I'd add 1/4 C vital wheat gluten to the bread dough and give that a go. Often when we use 100% whole wheat flour, the grains are more dense and don't allow the bread to rise as much as it should. Hope that helps!


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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