I’ve had a year long battle with making homemade bread. I used to make amazing bread.
I had several recipes, from white to sourdough, potato and artisan. I made it all. Then I got cocky, or something. Because suddenly none of my bread came out correctly. I started grinding my own flour. Every loaf I baked became increasingly more tasteless and dense. I had done every trick off of every bread baking forum.
Two weeks ago, I decided to give homemade bread another go. I made a starter, and waited days for it to be ready. Only it flopped. The second batch, with flour milled by hand in case my WonderMill had overheated the berries, turned rancid. Seems my berries had been my problem all along.
So with fresh store bought flour (ugh, those words don’t go together, but oh well), I tried making starter again.
Now, that batch did turn out the way it was supposed to, but silly me write down the recipe incorrectly. I was trying to write it down off a YouTube video and missed a couple important parts.
Still, crappy bread.
Frustrated, I pulled out my very tattered cookbook and looked for one of the first bread recipes I ever baked. It was a recipe from allrecipes.com and it didn’t require a starter.
Total success!!!! Woot!!
I do have a few tips:
- Watch some YouTube videos of people making bread. Just watch to see what the dough should look like and feel like before you start.
- Dough is strongly effected by temperatures and humidity. Only add five cups of flour. Add in the sixth cup slowly, checking the feel of your dough. You may not need it all, you may need more. Wing it.
- Home milled flour absorbs water differently. If you’re new to bread baking, I recommend using store bought flour first. Then read up on adjusting recipes for fresh milled.
- I have used bread flour and all-purpose. Both came out great.
- If it’s too sweet, you can reduce the sugar. You could probably even sub in honey.
- If you know your yeast is good, you can skip the proofing part.
- It is delicious HOT; however, if you want to slice it thin for sandwiches, you need to let it cool before you slice it.
Hopefully I can score some better wheat berries soon and give fresh milled flour a try again.