The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How often do you bake bread?

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lisak's picture
lisak

How often do you bake bread?

In the past I have made my ww bread once or twice a week with things like pizza, pita or naan inbetween but now that I am on this rustic bread kick I am finding myself wanting to bake every other day. I would love to hear from others about what they bake and how often.

pseudobaker's picture
pseudobaker

Lately, I've been baking 3-4 times a week.  I've been finding that our bread lasts 1-2 days on average.  My husband informed me tonight that I should think about baking LESS (his waistline is feeling it!) with a little less experimentation, but I think I'll pretend I didn't hear him.  (:

leemid's picture
leemid

If I had the time I would bake bread every other day. Now I only get time on the weekends, and then I make more bread than I can eat. So I give the excess away. This allows me to experiment and learn. So far, it's working. Recipients like the bread, I get kudos, I get all the bread I want, and I satisfy my urge to bake. If/when I get so good that people start demanding my bread, well, isn't that when you build that brick oven in the back yard?

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

Paul Kobulnicky

Baking in Ohio

 

I tend to bake on weekends. I usually make several loaves of one kind, eat one fresh and freeze a couple. That way I have a variety of types of bread in the freezer for use during the week. While frozen bread is not as good as fresh, it is much better than what can be had from the store or from a mediocre bakery.  I even freeze parts of a large loaf right after it cools if I don't think that most of the whole loaf can be eaten before it goes dry. It works. The usual caveats about frozen bread apply. The more basic the recipe (water, flour, yeast, salt) the less well it freezes and the more you need to heat it in the oven and eat it all up when you use it.  The more enriched the dough, the more resiliant it is after coming out of the freezer. When I make a honey-yoghurt-whole grain loaf-pan loaf, it is almost the same after being frozen. If I make a sourdough, there is a big difference if i do not reheat it. Most everything falls somewhere in between.

 

 

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I usually bake on the weekends. On a light weekend, I'll make 2-3 loaves of sandwich bread, and freeze all but one. That usually lasts us the week. On a heavy weekend, I'll make some sort of lean hearth bread for dinner, which we'll finish up before the weekend's out, maybe a pizza and 3-4 loaves of sandwich bread.

This weekend was relatively light. I'd baked a ton of sandwich bread the weekend before, so we had plenty in the freezer for the week. So I baked a roasted garlic and walnut sourdough (30% whole wheat) for a friend's birthday present and some Desem for Saturday's dinner. I also prepared some pizza dough, but it went straight into the freezer (an easy way to use up leftover starter).

Oh, also made some killer sourdough muffins (maple blueberry-pecan). They don't taste like sourdough at all, but the combination of the lactic acid-baking soda reaction along with the CO2 production in the oven from the starter really makes for a nice, light, poofy muffin.

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

JMonkey - would you mind sharing your SD maple-blueberry-pecan muffin recipe sometime? Those sound great, and the last time I tried just making SD blueberry muffins they were just OK, they were not quite sweet enough. I'd like to see what ratios you used of everything.

My baking habits are similar to JMonkey's and Caryn's - only on the weekends, work long hours during the week. I have a routine of pulling the starter out of the fridge Thurs AM for refreshing, and by Friday AM before I leave for work I make whatever levains I need so that Friday night I am ready to make the dough, which ferments overnight, baking usually done beginning early Saturday AM, done by noon-ish. I make quite a few batches which usually disappear among my grateful French extended family. I am also tucking one or two extra loaves into the freezer each week should I get too busy with my gardens this spring to not have time to bake every weekend. There is something comforting about hoarding a few precious loaves in the freezer.

I am told that in the olden days the French peasants in the Alps (Savoie), where my husband comes from, used to bake all their rustic breads in the fall and store them in the rafters for use all winter - those must have been some tough crusts! Breakfast for them was bits of stale bread soaked in cafe au lait. Dinner bits of stale bread soaked in stew or soup. As for chief cook around here for other than bread, Husband, being the son of a chef, is a far better cook than I, but if it involves the oven, I usually handle it, he prefers to use only the cooktop.

BROTKUNST's picture
BROTKUNST

I bake every other day .. about four times the week, I'd say. If am not baking, then I am at least preparing preferments. I give additional loafes when I have them available to friends and neighboors instead of freezing them ... I rather bake another one.

Brotkunst

caryn's picture
caryn

Like many of you that posted, I am usually a weekend baker, not so much because I like it that way, but because I am away from my home for about 9 1/2 hours on work days.  Somehow with eating most of it and giving away some of it, the bread gets eaten.  Usually the bread ends up in the freezer after the first day.  I then mostly use it for toasted sandwiches which are quite wonderful.

Now what I would like help with, is a way some of us weekend bakers could devise a way to sneak in some loaves during the week by breaking up the steps.  I don't know if it is really that feasible, though.

The other thing that I am curious about is I would like to know how many of you bread bakers are the chief cooks in your household?  The other reason I can't always bake bread is that I need time to cook other things for the bread to go with!!  It is just a matter of time.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I am the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer at our home. For 30 years my wife did most of the routing cooking and I did the "gourmet". During those years we bought our bread as best we could from local bakeries. There were a couple breadsmiths and Panera type bread shops that kept us happy. Then one day I decided to try an learn the art of baking French Bread. One thing led to another and now I bake about 3-4 days/week. I try and make pizza once each week and with kids they don't object to that. I have started to freeze a few loaves for later which seems to work OK. I agree with an earlier poster that it seems like the basic formula's don't revive as well. My college age son now checks the freezer first thing for the Banana bread slices upon arrival.

I do seem to not be spending as much time working on meal preparation as before. But, I am doing things that speed up the process like using a pressure cooker and slow BBQ cooking. Last night we had lamb shanks in brown veggie sauce and a boule of the Leonard rustic bread (mountaindog). Mmmmm

audra36274's picture
audra36274

It's a sickness! I hear there's help for people like us....working in a bakery! Just think you could bake all the time!!! And even get paid to do something we would do for free! I have really been on a tare here lately (I got a new cookbook) but I share a lot. You even sit around and try to think of people you haven't given bread to recently so that you could make that one more loaf...! Last night upset my husband greatly. We had a few last slices left, so I was planning to bake today to keep it fresh. He was cooking the spaghetti and I was doing the toast, and the enevitable happened, I burned the bread. I'll never hear the end of it I'm sure! "All that bread you bake and we're out! How can we be OUT!" I offered to go to the store and get some GULP store bought bread, and he won't admit it, but he's as addicted to it just like I am. We just scrapped it! Burned homemade bread is better than storebought anyday! We are ruined. Let's see, I have a loaf of braided Challah in the rise now, if we got to my moms, she might enjoy a loaf of that nice Potato Rosemary that is in the BBA....humm; better order another pound of yeast!

mse1152's picture
mse1152

I usually bake once a week. By mid-week, I'm cruising the bread cookbooks to decide what to bake on the weekend. Last weekend, I baked JMonkey's biga version of Laurel's buttermilk whole wheat bread, but was unable to post photos. It was yummy.

Every 3 or 4 weeks, I parbake a batch of pizza crusts and freeze them. Most Saturdays, we have movie and pizza night, so it makes it very easy to throw together a pizza with these in the freezer.

With all my sourdough and other bread experiments lately, it hardly seems like real baking to make a loaf of quick bread or muffins, but I do that sporadically too.

I'm in awe of you all who post the output of a single weekend's baking, and the photos make it look like you bought out half a bakery!

Sue

Thegreenbaker's picture
Thegreenbaker

I usually bake every other day.

I am not as experimental as alot of you yet, but I stick to the rustic bread on this site.

Honestly it is my favorite bread. It tastes fantastic.  Makes me want to keep on eating warm buttered slice after warm buttered slice!

O, one day I am making a poolish, the next I am baking bread....and giving the kitchen a rest!

I dont have many friends here, but the ones I do have, when they come over for dinner, I always make fresh bread, and they get the second loaf. :)

She usually returns the favour by making a delicious meals of poopers lasange using my left over bread as the lasange sheets. :)  yummo!

I love baking, and when I find a place with better ingredients, I will be trying all of the recipes in BBA and all of them on this site aswell!

 

thegreenbaker. 

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

During the week I work from home so I can get some baking time in while i work. On weekends I go into the city to work so most weekends are out for me.

I want to bake more but I am THE cook of all things in our house so I do have to spend time on other things...and i have a tendency to want to do everthing from SCRATCH -strarting from growing and stroring my own veggies, making my own cheese, etc. so it is all time consuming.

The other thing is that there are only two of us in our household so I am afraid to go overboard on the bread, it taste so good fresh! Also, I have a small freezer which is pretty much taken up with flours and things I 've saved from our summer garden. I am looking into getting an extra freezer for the basement, that may change my baking schedule as many of you have said that certian types of breads freeze well.

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

I usually bake once a week, on weekends, and I often do pretty big batches (2 or 3 things). If I have a lot in the freezer I might skip a week, but then I get to missing it :)  Also, I might bake more often if we need a specific bread for dinner--pitas, baguettes., etc.

 

Funny to see how often everybody bakes!  People are always asking me how we eat all the bread we bake, and it's obvious we're not the only family who can put away a loaf or 2 a week!  :) 

Atkins schmatkins, we eat bread with every meal--sometimes it IS the meail!