i did it!

2 Nov

I have done something I had never done before.

I made bread.

The idea had been dancing around in my mind for weeks, and I kept encountering signs all around me that told me to face my fears.  Fears of flat, lifeless bread that you’d rather use as a footstool than eat.  Or dense, chewy, tasteless bread like this.

But on Sunday night I finally gave in.  I rooted around for a vegan whole wheat recipe and finally found one that spoke to me. It called to me really. Begging me to just jump right in.

All I needed was just a few basic ingredients.

And one cute little helper.

“Just Like Grandma’s” Whole Wheat Bread
recipe found here


  • 2 3/4 cups hot water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp sea salt, or whatever kind you have on hand
  • 6 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, divided
  • 2 tbsp dry active yeast


  • Combine the first five ingredients in your mixer bowl and whisk together. Mix in 2 cups flour using hand or standing mixer (I used standing – I already got my workout in today).  Next, add dry active yeast and then 4 more cups of flour. Mix thoroughly until the consistency is somewhat even.
  • Next,  slowly add another 1/2 cup of flour until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. The dough should feel sticky when you touch it.  Add another 1/2 cup of flour if this sticky consistency has not been reached. Make certain not to overmix the dough, as it will make the bread hard.
  • Next, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel, say a quick prayer and let it rise for 30-45 minutes.

It should go from this:

To this:

  • Use a napkin to coat all surfaces of 2 bread pans with Earth Balance.  Toss a small bit of flour around the pan to cover all sides.  Mix the dough again to get it back as close to it’s original size as possible.
  • Now it’s time to really get messy.  Sprinkle some flour all over your counter-top and spread it around before plopping the dough onto it.  Knead the dough for just a couple of minutes or just until your hands begin to get weak, making sure to keep it somewhat covered with flour to prevent sticking.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Shape dough into a nice oblong loaf. Now destroy all your hard work by ripping the loaf in two and doing the same exact thing to each smaller loaf. When you’re done, it should basically look like it does in the movies, but maybe with a little more character.
  • Place each happy little loaf into a pan and make yourself busy while it rises for about 30-45 minutes.
  • Place loaves in the oven and bake for 36 minutes.

  • After removing it from the oven, immediately turn it out onto a cooling rack.  When you simply cannot resist one second longer, slice off a nice, thick, hot piece.  Slather it with Earth Balance and enjoy!!

*Store wrapped in foil in room temperature.  Do not refrigerate.

My first experience at bread-making was…enchanting. I honestly didn’t know I had it in me and about fell over in shock when it came out resembling an actual loaf of bread.  My favorite part of the process (besides eating it of course) was kneading and shaping the dough.

There is just something about working a floury ball of dough into that comforting and familiar shape that makes a girl feel like she’s been transported back to her grandma’s day.  I loved it!

Now I’m just itching to experiment with more variations…Christmas presents anyone?

Now tell me about a recipe you’ve made before that took you out of your comfort zone and made you face your fears! How did it go?


31 Responses to “i did it!”

  1. Rhea November 2, 2010 at 5:56 am #

    This is awesome! Bread, especially in the colder months, is so hit or miss for me. If I have warm weather and humidity on my side, I’m ok, but if drafts are involved… well, let’s just say there have been some flops. I do make a mean pizza dough, though!

  2. Amy B @ Second City Randomness November 2, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    Look at you! Nicely done. I’m positive there’s nothing better than the smell of bread straight from the oven. My mom got really into it after she had a bread maker (sure, it’s not the same, but close) and that’s the smell I would wake up to almost every weekend. Fantastic…

    • candice November 2, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

      haha, thanks!

      And I totally agree about the smell. It made our whole house so cozy and comforting:)

      I want my (future) kids to wake up to the smell of bread. How sweet.

  3. Heather (Where's the Beach) November 2, 2010 at 7:32 am #

    Way to go, looks great. I love to make bread, but do cheat a bit and let my bread machine do the hard labor. I just set the dough setting then pull it out to shape it and bake. I think baked goods make great gifts.

    • candice November 2, 2010 at 11:59 pm #

      Nothin’ wrong with the bread machine for sure:) And I agree about baked good gifts – affordable, yet thoughtful. Now I just need to add some excitement to my bread recipe, and I’ll be set!

  4. ely November 2, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    Way to go! I’ve really been wanting to try making bread, but it seems so scary!

    • candice November 3, 2010 at 12:00 am #

      Don’t be scared, Ely! I promise, it’s a lot easier than it seems:) Let me know if you end up making some!

  5. kate November 2, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Congrats! I really need to dive into bread making!

    • candice November 3, 2010 at 12:00 am #

      come on in…the water’s great! 🙂

  6. cristen November 2, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    looks scrumptious. i’d love a loaf or three for christmas sis. congrats!

    • candice November 3, 2010 at 12:01 am #

      uh huh. that’s all yer gettin’ too;)

  7. Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin November 2, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    Wow I’m totally impressed!! I’ve never made my own bread from scratch. I did pizza dough and that turned out great but I’ve yet to try bread…..

    • candice November 3, 2010 at 12:03 am #

      haha, thanks:)

      I’m sure you’d do great! Try it!

  8. Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans November 2, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    Mmmm! I adore fresh bread so making it at home would be the very best way to get it. I have to try this!

    • candice November 3, 2010 at 12:03 am #

      You totally should! It turned out better than any bread I buy at the store and much cheaper than Ezekiel bread (which is what I usually buy)!

  9. amber@SAHM's musings November 2, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    I’ve always cheated and used my bread maker when I’ve made bread 🙂 I faced my fear and made homemade pizza dough which isn’t too much different from bread except the rolling part which I completely stink at but we ate it anyway 🙂 I need to try try again

    • candice November 3, 2010 at 12:05 am #

      Nothin’ wrong with the bread machine! And you’re definitely doing better than me in the pizza department. Don’t know if you remember that post several days ago, but pizza dough did not go over too well here:( It was inedible.

  10. kelli November 2, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    picture perfect!!! i faced my fears and made bread and pretzels. so fun and yummy!

    • candice November 3, 2010 at 12:05 am #

      yay! Homemade pretzels have been on my list as well! What recipe did you use? Mama Pea (peas and thank you) made some last week, and I’ve been wanting to try her recipe.

  11. Dorry November 2, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    I’m so glad you posted this! I have it on my to-do list to bake bread this week. It’s one of my 30 before 30 things because I’ve never baked a loaf of bread either. I researched about a million recipes today and have narrowed it down to a couple. I’m excited!

    • candice November 3, 2010 at 12:06 am #

      Can’t wait to see your recipe! I’m anxious to try another variation.

  12. Hangry Pants November 8, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    It looks really beautiful!

    • candice November 8, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

      Thanks, Heather:)

  13. Nicole November 13, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    I just made my first loaf a couple of weeks ago, too! Hopefully I’ll be trying this recipe soon (:

    • candice November 15, 2010 at 8:58 am #

      Awesome – let me know how it goes!

  14. Anna November 17, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    I love homemade bread! My mom has been making her own bread and I always try to get a loaf whenever I am home 🙂 I occasionally try to make bread but I usually stick to making my own pizza dough.

    • candice November 18, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

      I tried to make pizza dough and I failed! I’ll have to come over and scope out your recipe if you’ve posted it:)


  1. the day i almost didn’t vote|ChiaSeedMe - November 2, 2010

    […] Homemade bread. Almond butter. Pumpkin butter. […]

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