tommyflan

POLL: Do you bake your own bread?

Tom Flanagan
5 years ago
There's nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked bread to get you feeling hungry is there? I'd love to say I baked my own but I'm a 'head-to-the-bakery-instead' kind of guy!

But what about you - are you an artisan bread baker or not? Leave us a comment and let us know!
Alsace by L'Art du Jardin, world's first outdoor wood-fired oven and grill · More Info
Yes!
No.
I'd like to try!
Other - tell us!

Comments (61)

  • Tony McIntyre
    5 years ago
    I tried. I failed.
  • margretg2
    5 years ago
    I agree with chrissie48 about the fresh yeast. We get ours from Sainsburys bakery counter but I think Tesco also offers it - might even be free there. We had lots of inspiration from Richard Bertinet who runs the Bertinet cookery school in Bath. If you want to learn the French way, I can recommend his classes.
  • Sam Hill
    5 years ago
    Breadmaker bread is lovely
  • ash4711
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago
    I have been making bread for years, by hand and with breadmakers and although the results were OK (sometimes) it wasn't the kind of bread I was looking for. I wanted a nice soft bread I could make myself and the Tangzhong method is the answer which turns normal breadmaking on its head. This bread is soft and delicious and a week after making it, it still is. This is exactly what I have been looking for - it's perfect and can be adapted to make any kind of bread you fancy. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.
  • marjew
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago
    I have been making soda bread for most of my life which is fast & easy peasy ! It's great for those who think they can't make bread , it's essentially assembling ingredients & bunging in the oven ! Recently I have been making sourdough with successes AND failures but all edible. It can be challenging but worth it for the great flavour.
  • adaywt
    5 years ago
    Yes, with a bread maker!
  • Average Jo
    5 years ago
    I used to... then I found I was eating it... one loaf at a sitting!
  • Ingrid Flower
    5 years ago
    Just started to bake bread following a school trip to Betty's Cookery School in Harrogate, North Yorkshire . I'm trying to bake a little something each week!
  • whiteleghorn
    5 years ago
    Can anyone recommend a kitchen worktop/counter material to suit kneading bread?
  • minnie101
    5 years ago
    I find Granite or marble are good for doughs and pastry.
  • margretg2
    5 years ago
    Whiteleghorn, Like minnie101, we have granite but I don't think it matters that much. It's not like pastry, which should be kept cool.
  • whiteleghorn
    5 years ago
    I have been using a laminate topped table because I like to weigh down upon the dough, and I am barely 5ft 4" tall. But now, the table has to go, and there is a kitchen redesign planning process underway. I read about silicone kneading mats, and actually bought one from John Lewis which arrived yesterday...but it looks so small! Our new table is to be a mahogany family heirloom, which would not like to have dough scraped off it with a knife, and which has a scrolled edge which would not suit attaching the traditional type of wooden kneading board. This has left me pondering upon the best way to go, so any suggestions are most welcome big wide world!
  • Clare Jones
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago
    I have been baking my own bread for years, but like Average Jo says, I end up eating too much of it - well it doesn't keep very well does it? I have tried my hand at sourdough and made some very popular croissants & cinnamon buns for Christmas morning for where I volunteer. I use a marble board for baking on, I got mine from Ikea years ago but I think you can get them from Amazon.
  • ash4711
    5 years ago
    I have a granite kitchen floor and put one of the left over tiles (2ft x 1 ft - sorry no good with metric) on my black worktop, right next to the hob. The tile is great for kneading bread, chopping veg and for hot saucepans, no problem with any of them..
    Oscarchick - Bread doesn't keep very well if you eat it, but if you use the Tangzhong (water roux) method - it stays fresh for over a week - do try it.
  • whiteleghorn
    5 years ago
    It seems I might be the kind of kneader who spreads herself unnecessarily widely. I shall try for smaller on my piece of silicone! Thanks everyone for your comments regarding stone being just fine for the job.
  • kittihawke
    5 years ago
    I used to bake Irish soda bread with my Mum when I was growing up. I learned exactly how to knead it etc. Then I didn't bother for years and years. Recently I bought a bag of bread mix and was puzzled when it didn't instruct me to knead at all, only stir. Needless to say the loaf came out like a rock. I stubbornly tried to eat it but my son wouldn't go near it and he normally laps up anything I cook. I finally admitted defeat and binned it. I know if I went buying bread hooks and bread makers they'd end up at the back of a cupboard. But I must ask my Mum to show me how again. And all we'll need is a bowl, a spoon, a table, and our hands as equipment. Better hurry she's nearly 70 now!
  • n247080
    5 years ago

    The best vacation I ever took was two weeks at the end of the year. It snowed a LOT. I bought a half dozen bread baking books. I stayed home and inside and I taught myself to bake bread. I made bread every day until I got it right. Now I'm comfortable making it and experimenting with new variations. The taste, the smell, the feel of the dough, its all very addictive.

  • marjew
    5 years ago
    For Kittihawke
    (Darina Allen)
  • teenytinyhouse
    5 years ago
    I have a bread machine, does that count? Though since I met my other half, it's been languishing in the cupboard. He makes bread every week (including a loaf for his mum, how wonderful is that?) and always has a stash of sourdough english muffins and hot cross buns in the freezer for Sundays!
  • jamesanddeirdre
    5 years ago
    Grew up on homemade soda bread, regretted not paying more attention to my mum's methods. Love baking my own bread, using the breadmaker or by hand, kneading it in a huge old fashioned mixing bowl or putting it in the breadmaker to knead and prove and then turning it out and making it into more interesting (and tasty shapes). Like to add lots of seeds although my most requested bread is a simple flour, water and yeast mixture.
  • maggieandrichard
    5 years ago
    I have done, using a bread maker, and it tastes lovely. However, after working out the cost in electricity (and four hours in time) I have gone back to buying bread.
  • marjew
    5 years ago
    Give Darina Allen's recipe a go (above) ?
  • PRO
    Amarestone
    5 years ago

    I always try to bake my own...when time allows! I used to have a lump of old granite which I'd put in the oven to get hot first and then put bread/pizza straight on it and back in the oven to cook. Next best thing to a proper pizza oven!

  • milfordmaid
    5 years ago
    Mum moved from rural Ireland to London in the 50s and despite being a daughter of a baker, she never baked anything. I think her stance was that baking your own bread was something that was done for economic necessity. As she now had a bit of cash - why would she dirty her hands by baking bread! Also we lived in a Jewish area with many wonderful patisseries - how could you compete with Grodsinski !!
  • Simran Rakkar
    5 years ago
    I sometimes do however I prefer to make flavoured breads so I am guilty of buying mass produced bread on a weekly basis.
  • dottymax
    5 years ago
    We bought a bread maker a year ago because my husband can only eat white bread and shop bought pan is poor. I worried that it would languish in a cupboard but we haven't bought white bread since. I programme it to be ready at bedtime so it cools overnight and then slice it with electric knife the next morning before putting grease proof paper between the slices and freezing. Sounds like a lot of palaver but it's the only way I can thin enough slices for sandwiches and if I cut it when it's warm, it's difficult to stop eating.
  • PRO
    Patricia Tyrrell Living Landscapes
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I make my own sourdough, baguettes and seedy breads amongst others. In answer to the question of what to knead on, I use a piece of timber which was cut out of our beech counter top to put in the belfast sink. Its about 45cm x60cm and it can be put on any surface.

    When you master bread baking it feels like magic when the bread rises and that wonderful taste and aroma when it comes out of the oven.

    I originally got interested in making my own bread because what comes from the supermarket usually contains palm oil and from an environmental and health perspective I didn't want to consume it.

  • whiteleghorn
    5 years ago

    I am redesigning my kitchen and intend to include a lower worktop area for dough kneading. My kitchen plans show this section of worktop to be 60cm deep by 80cm wide, and 83cm high, with full height worktop flanking it either side. I would be interested to know what other bread makers think of these dimensions?

  • PRO
    Patricia Tyrrell Living Landscapes
    5 years ago

    The height will depend on how tall you are and you should try and work out what is a comfortable height for you to knead at, without bending your back. The other dimensions, I think seem fine, the only consideration being how you clean all those edges and angles!

  • whiteleghorn
    5 years ago

    Patricia - Cleaning the corners!!! Thanks, I had not thought of that. Maybe I had better make the run all lower height. Alternatively, I could resign myself to a silicon mat placed on the ancestral victorian mahogany dining table with scrolled edges, something I was hoping to avoid. If only I could buy one big enough for a messy bread maker. The ones I have seen are for the more delicate process of pastry rolling.

  • whiteleghorn
    5 years ago

    Comment to self - Although maybe those corners could be made easier to clean, if a kneading board was used in the niche, rather than kneading directly on the worktop.

  • milfordmaid
    5 years ago
    @whiteleghorn buy a hop-up. No need to alter height of counter. Often used in operating theatres when surgeons + scrub nurses are all different heights. You don't need to move around when kneading bread do you? Might be a cheaper option - + you won't need to clean any corners!
  • whiteleghorn
    5 years ago

    Thankyou Milford Maid, I will google hop-up. It might stop hubby moaning that new kitchen will give him a bad back

  • milfordmaid
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    @whiteleghorn Tá failte romhat. Get a sturdy plastic one can put into dishwasher to clean!

  • milfordmaid
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    @whiteleghorn Something like this. Not sure of height. Try Amazon - plastic kitchen hop-up. Builders ones would be too high - unless you're a Bridget the Midget

  • whiteleghorn
    5 years ago

    Yea- I was thinking , you were thinking , that I must be really small. Screw fix ones came in at 40cm upwards. However those look more like it. Hows Wales today? I was born in Carmarthen, and went to school in Llanddowror once upon a time.

  • milfordmaid
    5 years ago

    @whiteleghorn I've no idea how Wales is today. But we had a great sunny day here on the west coast of Clare, with the Atlantic blinking at us. Glorious day.

    Was in Carmarthen at start of July - travelling to and from ferry at Fishguard. It's still standing anyway!

  • PRO
    Patricia Tyrrell Living Landscapes
    5 years ago
    I still think if you need an area in the kitchen to knead, you should have it. Could you have a lower run at the end of a counter top rather than a well in the middle? If this is something that gives you a lot of pleasure (and the rest of the family ) you should have the proper set up. I move back and forth with the rhythm of kneading, I couldn't imagine being perched on a step.
  • PRO
    Patricia Tyrrell Living Landscapes
    5 years ago
    Here's my set up this morning , board on table It could do with being a bit higher for me but it works quite well and I can wash down the board in the sink afterwards.
  • milfordmaid
    5 years ago
    @patricia could you have a thicker board so you won't have to stoop as much? Or would it be too heavy + awkward to handle?
  • whiteleghorn
    5 years ago

    My step mum had an ancient wooden tray type thing with a brass handle for hanging on the wall when not in use. It had 3 upright sides to stop the flour falling on the floor. She used to use it on her kitchen table I think. I am starting to think I should get a good solid baking table from somewhere.

  • PRO
    Patricia Tyrrell Living Landscapes
    5 years ago

    Too heavy milfordmaid.

    I think Ikea might have just what you need in terms of tables whiteleghorn. I went on a bakery course and all the tables we worked on came from Ikea, with lovely laminate wood surfaces.

  • whiteleghorn
    5 years ago

    A trip to Ikea.... But maybe online first.....Not that far away. Laminate is awfully good though, for kneading bread on. That damn ancestral table! Why oh why do I feel so honoured and obliged to take the bloody thing? But I do, and it is extremely handsome.

  • Coco Nuts
    5 years ago

    Like a lot of Donegal woman I like to make soda bread or bakebread as we call it. My mother and mother-in-law were great bakers and my daughter-in-law is second to none. It's in the genes. :)

  • insightt
    4 years ago

    We've just finished renovating our house and we now have great bright Kitchen so planning to make bread in my new breadmaker, I'm a bit nervous of using yeast as I haven't tried it before I make brown soda bread on a regular basis but would love to make yeast loaves and rolls

  • rivsilk
    3 years ago

    I love to bake bread when I have the time. Google '5 minute artisan bread'. This recipe is so easy and quick and you can keep pulling chunks out of the fridge for two weeks so you can always have a fresh sourdough type loaf or cobs to eat. Let us know how it goes.

  • Tom Flanagan
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Thanks for the tip @rivsilk - I'll definitely try that out!

  • rivsilk
    3 years ago

    OK - it's really easy.

  • GJ Dee
    last month

    I love making bread. Like someone else commented, it is very therapeutic. I have a bread machine which I use constantly. I also do some breads by hand.
    I make white bread for my other half, spelt loaves or wholemeal for me using a variety of seeds or honey, molasses, bran, oats etc. I also make bread rolls, croissant, baguette, tortilla (which takes seconds by hand and is then used to make wraps, enchiladas or quesadillas). I also make Pide (Turkish bread), roti chani(paratha), flatbread, roti, puri, bhatura, chapatti, Irish soda bread, dried fruit soda, boxy (an Irish potato bread usually eaten at Halloween), St Vincent bakes, Scotch pancakes, crepes, scones, pizza base, ciabatta and focaccia.
    I like Matthews Cotswold flour which I get in Aldi when they have it or on Amazon. I bought from Shipton Mill during lockdown as I had very little white and wholemeal flour left. They were excellent, reasonably priced as well. I had been struggling to find flour and Amazon had doubled the price of the Matthews ones and I couldn't get through to Matthews directly.
    I buy 12-16 kg at a time usually of the flours I use the most. I currently have about 10 different types of flours I am using.
    We never buy bread any more and my other half finds homemade bread more filling so he eats less and is full quicker. Even the dog comes running when I slice a new loaf. He only gets a few crumbs but he loves it.
    I would love to go on a bread making or even a pastry course as I want to learn more.
    One bread I haven't mastered yet is naan bread. I am wondering about buying a pizza oven as I think a standard oven can't do it is well. Or maybe I just haven't found the right recipe yet.

  • ash4711
    last month

    Checking back five years ago on this site I was loving Tangzhong bread. I’ve moved on to sourdough now and I’m totally hooked. I love Matthews flour and have several different ones. I buy their Canadian white in 16 kg sacks. I bake for family, friends and neighbours and they love my loaves. I experiment with flavours, roasted garlic and rosemary and Stilton and walnuts are favourites at the moment.

    i don’t knead my bread at all, I discovered Foodbodsourdough, a lovely lady called Elaine Boddy who has taught so many of us online, via YouTube, and you just stretch and fold the dough, no smashing hell out of it, gentle stretches and folds only, then it’s baked in an enamel casserole in a cold, yes that’s right, a cold oven and the results are amazing. It’s just flour, salt and your own home made starter and water and that’s it. Remember when there was no dried yeast to be had in the shops? Make your own. So G J Dee, Elaine’s Master Recipe might be the one you are looKing for. Before I found it I tried many others, and there is a lot of choice online, I bought lots of cast iron Dutch ovens and various other casseroles, but the cheap enamel one is excellent, not heavy like the cast iron ones and you don’t burn yourself. I’m loving sourdough, I’m making an enriched version this week, adding butter, eggs, milk and honey. Also sourdough makes the best toast ever.

Ireland
Tailor my experience using cookies

By continuing to browse this site or use this app, I agree the Houzz group may use cookies and similar technologies to improve its products and services, serve me relevant content and to personalise my experience. Learn more.