The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

raqk8's blog

raqk8's picture

Back again! Here's the third installment of my Breadmaking how-to series. In this post I go through the first 3 steps of breadmaking - Prep, Mixing, and Kneading. As always, I appreciate any comments or advice you have to give. Here's the intro - please see my website for the whole post. Thanks for reading!

Welcome back! You’re almost ready to bake some bread. You now understand what bread is (not a stupid question!) and you have all the things you need to start making bread. The last thing we need to do is understand a bit about the process. Bread isn’t one of those spur-of-the-moment type things you can do just on a whim. For the first couple of times, making bread will require a decent chunk of time. While you can go out and do things during the rising or proofing, many novice breadmakers like to sit in the kitchen and watch the bread rise. Let me tell you – it’s not very exciting. But, anticipation can make anything exciting, so watch away!

There are 12 accepted steps to the process of breadmaking. Peter Reinhart goes through them very thoroughly in his book The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, which I highly recommend. Here I’ve written a quick overview of the first few steps:

Step 1: Preparation

This step is actually extremely important. If you just jump into things without preparing first, you will often find yourself in a bit of a bind – missing ingredients, out of time, or out of (oven) space! It is very important to read the recipe twice before starting – the first time to get familiar with the process, and the second to really think about the timing. Make sure you don’t have to run off somewhere when it’s time to put your bread in the oven.

The next thing you want to do is check your ingredients and make sure you have enough on hand. Half of the amount just sin’t going to do, unless you scale the whole recipe back by 50%.

Lastly, make sure you have all your tools on hand.

Step 2: Mixing...

See my blog at to keep reading! Have a great day!

raqk8's picture

Hi again! I'm back for the second installment of my breadmaking tutorial series. This post goes through the things that you will need to get started. Again, I know most of you don't need this kind of information, but I'd love any feedback on the post! If I have forgotten anything, please let me know. Here's the intro to the post. Please see my website here for the whole thing.

Breadmaking 102: Here we go!

I’m sure you’ve searched the internet for how to get started breadmaking.

I’m sure you’ve been blown away by the amount of stuff you seem to need to buy to get it done.

Don’t worry! You can make bread at home using just the stuff you have at home. It is a little more difficult and it does take a bit more time, but is a heck of a lot better than spending all your life savings buying a new KitchenAid just to do the kneading.

Well, maybe not. You know you wanted a KitchenAid anyway.

I’ve compiled a list of things that you need to have just to get the job done, as well as a list of things youmightwill want to buy in a couple months. I told you this bread thing is addicting!

The Basics

You’ll need a large bowl. Not because the ingredients take up all that room, but it is sometimes very helpful to mix all the ingredients with your hands. A whisk will be too wimpy and a spoon too cumbersome. Get ready to get messy!


Again, please visit to read the rest of the post and leave feedback. Thanks!

raqk8's picture

Hello! I am a new food blogger at I am writing a series on beginning breadmaking. I know the majority of people on this site don't really need the tutorials, but I'd love some feedback! Here's the intro. Please see the website here at Ovenmitts for the whole post!

Breadmaking 101 – An Introduction to BreadPosted on October 23, 2011

I was going to post one of my favorite bread recipes today when started thinking about how I got into bread making. Let me tell you – it wasn’t easy. I did a little research, found a whole wheat sourdough recipe, and dove right in. Sounds like a good plan, right?

Wrong! It took me quite a few complete fails, numerous “just alrights,” and many “almost there’s” before I was able to make a loaf I was satisfied with. It was definitely a journey, but an addictive one. I would constantly think about how I could improve my loaves, what kind I could try next, how to make my sourdough taste sour. I bought books and tools and ingredients. I spent hours on end reading recipes, tips, and advice. I made loaf after loaf after loaf, and finally, after all my efforts, I made something I was pleased with. It was nowhere near perfect. I could still think of many things I could change to make it better. But it had good flavor, good texture, and was something I was proud of.

I’ve come a long way since then. I never buy any bread at the store anymore because I love the stuff I make at home. I consistently make bread that I am happy about, and I feel proud every time I eat my PB&J.

Just for reference, I eat PB&J almost every day.

I understand the ingredients – what they do, how they react with other ingredients, how they will affect the flavor. I’ve made – many times – a sourdough bread that my boyfriend calls home about (no, I’m not joking!). And I LOVE making bread. It takes a while, sometimes up to two days, but it is totally worth it.

So, I thought I’d share my two cents with you on beginning the process of bread making....

Again, please see my website for the whole post and to leave feedback or ideas. Thanks so much!

raqk8's picture

I've seen a ton of posts on TFL about Reinhart's "100% Whole Wheat", but nothing (that I can find) on Reinhart's "Light Whole Wheat" from BBA. So, I decided to give it a whirl, with a few alterations to fit my diet. I substituted the dry milk powder and some of the water with soy milk, and I increased the hydration a bit to get a dough that was easier to work with. This bread turned out AWESOME, and is definitely my favorite sandwich bread so far. It is a couple days old in these pics as I didn't get around to shooting them until later (hence the reason there's only a little left!). The crumb got a little loose around the top, so I will try to fix that next time I make it, but this was overall a wonderful loaf.

Please visit my (very new!) blog at to see the full post. Thanks for reading!


Subscribe to RSS - raqk8's blog