Great Big Ideas & Takeaways:
In this presentation, former caterer turned homesteader Laurie Neverman shares her “no fail” basic bread recipe and baking tips, including:
- How to save money by baking your own bread with simple, natural ingredients.
- How to use one easy recipe to make sandwich loafs, buns, or monkey bread.
- The hidden ingredient in commercial breads that may cause reactions in some people. (Hint: it’s NOT gluten!)
- Common mistakes to avoid for a perfect loaf of bread.
- How to store your homemade bread before or after baking for maximum freshness.
- The difference between cooking with organic vs. regular flour.
- How to store your freshly baked bread for maximum shelf life.
About The Speaker:
Laurie Neverman is the creator of Common Sense Homesteading, one of the most popular homesteading sites on the Internet, where she shares tips on gardening, homesteading, home remedies, preparedness, green living and favorite recipes.
Laurie learned to bake from her mom at a young age, and perfected her skills at the family catering business. She encourages readers to enjoy recipes handed down through generations while also learning about healthy eating and working with the best quality ingredients.
QUESTION: Have you ever tried baking bread at home? Do you have any favorite bread baking secrets you’d like to share? Or recipes?
Making bread is something I love to do:all kinds of whole grains,and also pure rye,as traditionnally done in Valais,southern Switzerland…with a 3 day fermentation.
I don’t do it that much anymore,though,because I seem to do a lot better without gluten,in fact,any kind of flour,and gluten free bread,well…I tried,many times,and it was interesting,even challenging,but man…I guess I don’t miss bread in my diet enough to spend so much time trying.
I love salads,and you just can’t fail those!
But I still bake when family comes for a visit:I feel it’s something they enjoy,and I love the tradition! 🙂
I don’t eat as much bread as I used to, and I regularly bake gluten free now, too, but if I’m going to eat bread, I make sure it’s the best quality possible.
My mother was a wonderful baker, and we always shared special family recipes for the holidays, so I do still make those to carry on the family traditions.
I cannot find the promised link at the end of the presentation
for the recipe
hi, I had the same but on her website is a heading for recipes and it has this bread and many more delicious recipes,,, they can be printed off as well.
Hi Al, Yes I too used to love baking bread. But the gluten thing has gotten tome. I also tried all kinds of fermenting tha grain first, etc. It helped a bit, but not really. I am glad the Laurie is presenting on this though as baking bread is such a basic skill.
Try gf sourdough bread!:-) I’m not a very big bread eater and am Celiac *and* gluten intolerant, but really enjoyed this presentation! Thank you Laurie and Marjorie! 🙂
After much experimenting, I did finally find some gluten free bread recipes that the family enjoys, and have included them in the book. I know a recipe is a keeper when my husband says, “It tastes like normal bread.” 😉
“How to store your bread for maximum shelf life”: DON”T have it hot out of the oven as anyone comes home!! When I was a young bride and on an extremely tight budget a friend showed me how to bake bread. She explained that the cost of the three pans would be offset by the savings by baking with on sale flower in just a few weeks. So I learned to bake a basic white bread, timing it to come out of the oven as my precious husband came home in the evening. Two twenty year-olds can eat an 8″ loaf in a few minuets with a whole stick of butter! That wasn’t going to help the budget! So going forward the bread was cooled and in the bags and the house aired out before he arrived home. As soon as the budget allowed hot whole wheat bread at homecoming was again the norm. Fond memories.
lol – 2 teenage boys and a hungry husband here, so I’ve run into the same problem from time to time. The boys now help with the baking, so some of the novelty of fresh baked bread has worn off and the loaves generally last a little longer.
You know, back when I was doing real estate investing, one of the best ways to help sell a house was to bake a loaf of bread just before the prospective buyers would come by. There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread that says “home”.
Yep. One of my boys’ favorite memories of my late mother was how she almost always had something fresh baked waiting when we arrived to visit to welcome us.
I have baked bread for many years. I enjoy it and have started to bake artisinal and no knead bread now that I dont have the time I used to.
I do appreciate being able to work on two things at once in the kitchen by letting the machine do the mixing.
Love this video!
THANK YOU LAURIE!
Love your blog & Looking forward to your new bread book!
Thanks for the heads up—I did not know about the glyphosating of the cane sugar 🙁
You’re welcome. It’s so frustrating that more and more chemicals are being dumped on our food.
What is that mixer? I would like more info because I am making a kitchen need wish list!
Thank you for sharing!
It’s a Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine. After killing several bread machines (they don’t hold up to whole wheat breads), I invested in a Bosch. It has the dough hook, and a whisk, and a small blender built in. You can also get an optional slicer/shredder attachment to turn it into a food processor. There are more photos of it, and the bread recipe used in the video, here – http://commonsensehome.com/sloppy-joes-with-homemade-buns/
I really appreciate the homemade bread recipe and the info regarding cane sugar. I’m trying to build a recipe collection of “made from scratch” recipes so that I can reduce (and hopefully one day eliminate) the unnecessary preservatives, chemicals, corn syrup, etc. that is found in SO MANY food today.
Melissa, you’d love the bread book I put together. It covers all the basic breads – sandwich bread, tortillas, biscuits, pancakes, French bread, bread bowls, basic sourdough bread (including how to make your own starter) and much more. I’ve been using my proof copies already – so convenient to have all my favorites in one spot. There’s more info here – http://commonsensehome.com/bread-book/
I am french and I love baking the big fat round country loaves, they last well in a cupboard wrapped in a tea towel. I am practising doing sourdough ones but do not have regular success, some are amazing others are more like crusty pizzas. I make wild sourdough as I cannot buy culture here.
There’s an art to sourdough, that’s for sure. I shared a basic yeast bread here to make it easier for beginners.
I think one of the most critical parts of successful sourdough bread is making sure your starter is active, and timing the rise just right. I know that a common mistake (with sourdough and standard yeast breads) is to wait to bake until the dough has reached full growth. If it’s put in the oven before it’s fully formed, it will still rise slightly during baking and be less likely to collapse. Having overly wet dough will also make a bread more likely to fall.
I have likewise been making wild sourdough bread. My most common mistake has been adding too much flour and making the dough too heavy to rise well. I like to first add about half of the flour and knead it really well to release as much gluten as possible, and then work in just enough additional flour to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl. When leaving it to rise, I always coat it well with oil and cover the pan with a clean towel to prevent it from drying out. Also, warmth is important for good rising. My bread always seems to turn out better in the summer than in winter, when the temperature in here can get down to 55 or 60 degrees.
I loved your presentation and will be checking out your blog. Did not know about the cane sugar issue. It is hard to keep up with all the bad things being dumped into our foods, even when we try to cook from scratch. The white whole wheat flour is the best!
Glad you enjoyed it, Joan. I know that traditionalists frown on the white whole wheat, but I have found it to give excellent results. As I mentioned in the video, I know some friends of mine have no problem with organic wheat (whatever the variety), but react when they eat standard baked goods. It makes you wonder which ingredient (or ingredients) are causing the problems. I shared an excerpt from the book about some of the questionable ingredients in this post – http://commonsensehome.com/commercial-bread-making-you-sick/
Thank you thank you thank you! I didn’t look at the presentation list ahead of time so this was a wonderful surprise! I’ve baked some breads before, but haven’t found a sandwich bread recipe my kids enjoyed. I haven’t baked bread all summer, either (too hot in the kitchen!) and am anxious to get back to it. I’m excited to try your recipe, thank you for sharing!!
I imagine hot dog/brat buns would be delicious with this recipe, too. Any tips or different instructions for making those?
That recipe Laurie has is so basically universal – I would simply change the shape to elongate the bread into hot dog bun sizes.
Oh, check out the Sun Oven! It is great for summer baking.
I have baked this recipe successfully in the Sun Oven!
You’re welcome. This is our “go to” recipe for bread and buns, including hot dog/brat buns. I bake those at the same temp as other buns (375F). To form a longer bun, I cut a strip and roll and pinch into shape – something like shaping a mini bread loaf. As always, keep in mind that the bun will double in size during rising and baking, so I try to keep the size small-ish and flatten them after rolling like the hamburger buns. If you don’t flatten them, it easy to end up with much more bun than hot dog.
What temperature do you use for baking the sandwich bread, monkey bread, buns and dinner rolls?
Sandwich bread and monkey bread at 350F, buns and dinner rolls at 375F.
great video. love watching you ‘do your magic’ in the kitchen.
Glad you enjoyed it, Norman.
Laurie, I noticed that you did not rub butter across the tops of your baked bread. This is something I learned to do at a fast food place where I worked. I always do it with fresh biscuits and it seems to keep them moist. Loved your presentation. Thank you so much.
My mom used to do that sometimes, too, but I’ve found that with this recipe it’s not needed. Even after freezing, the loaves stay in great condition. For example, right now we have half a loaf on the counter that was made a couple weeks ago, frozen, and then taken out and thawed two days ago. It’s still in great shape.
I shot a quick instagram video so you can see if you like – https://www.instagram.com/p/BMZboZ8BacS/?taken-by=commonsensehome
To those who don’t have a heavy duty mixer, I made bread totally by hand for several years. It helps to mix in only about half the flour into the liquids, stir until the mixture begins to look stringy. Cover and let rest until bubbly then stir in the last half of the flour a little at a time, kneading in the last. Don’t cover with your favorite pretty kitchen towel. Yeast digests cotton and linen! A new traditional birds eye cotton diaper works great. Wet it and wring out as much water as you can and double over the top of the dough bowl. Or you can use plastic film if you have no objections to using that.
Once a neighbor’s five year old daughter wanted to help me bake bread. It was very slow going with her tiny gentle hands. But the resulting bread was the very best I had ever made. The experience taught me that slow and gentle is best for bread.
I have a few flour sack towels that I use for a variety of kitchen tasks – including covering the bread. You definitely don’t want to use anything with a nap to it, or the dough will stick.
In the printable version of the recipe that I have linked, I include hand mixing instructions as well.
Laurie, I laughed when you introduced the “white whole wheat flour”. I had a grain mill and bought buckets of wheat berries from Wheat Montana. My precious husband preferred the robust flavor of 100% Bronze Chief but when I baked for others I usually used a mix with Prairie Gold. Once we took bread which was made with only the Prairie Gold to a gathering. A man asked about the bread and when I told him it was 100% whole wheat he proceeded to argue with me contending that it was not whole wheat but “obviously at least half white flour!”. I’m not sure he was convinced even after I assured him the all the flour came out of my grain mill and I only put in whole Prairie Gold berries.
My husband and boys are used to a range of wheat types, but this is what I bring to family gatherings. Some of the most interesting wheat we’ve tried came from a local farming friend. He grew an organic hard red spring wheat. When I ground it, the resulting flour had a slight cinnamon flavor. It was great for sweeter recipes, but not so hot with soup!
Where would you get these flours. I have a grain mill. Are these wheat berries?
so what brand is your bread mixer? i think santa needs to know.lol
It’s a Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine. You can see more photos (and the recipe featured in the video) at http://commonsensehome.com/sloppy-joes-with-homemade-buns/
Thanks for your presentation! I’ve tried making bread several times, but have been intimidated and given up when we weren’t pleased with the results. What kind of mixer are you using?
The mixer is a Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine. You can see more photos and the recipe featured in this video here – http://commonsensehome.com/sloppy-joes-with-homemade-buns/
This recipe is really easy. My boys have taken over most of the regular baking (since they do most of the eating), and they make it often without any trouble.
Laurie, I’m also wondering where you guy your organic flour? And what type of loaf pans do you have? I don’t want to use the standard non-stick… yours look like some type of stone?
I usually get my flour and wheat berries (sometimes I grind fresh) through UNFI (United Natural Foods Inc). We have a bulk buying club. Sometimes I find some locally, but that’s seasonal. There are several bulk buying options listed on the Resource page of the website at http://commonsensehome.com/resources/
My favorite loaf pans are Pampered Chef Stoneware loaf pans. They tend to stick a lot less than glass pans and distribute the heat evenly.
More info on those pans, and a slightly less expensive stoneware pan option in the potato bread recipe post – http://commonsensehome.com/leftover-mashed-potatoes-make-potato-bread/
(The potato bread is another very easy and very tasty recipe.)
Loved this! I enjoyed learning about lycosine (?). Thanks for this info!
Thank you for your very good presentation. My question is this: I live at 6700 feet elevation, in the dry N.M. climate…what, if any ,adjustments should I make? My oven is gas (propane)…thank you, and I will look for your book
King Arthur flour has a great guide for high altitude baking adjustments at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html
For yeast breads they suggest:
Decrease the amount of yeast in the recipe by 25%, and make water/flour adjustments as necessary to get a dough with the correct texture. Make sure your bowl has plenty of room for the dough to rise in. Since rising times are much shorter at higher altitudes, you have a number of options to help its flavor.
Give the dough one extra rise by punching it down twice before forming it.
Try covering the dough and placing it in the refrigerator for its first rise, to slow the action of the yeast give the dough more time to develop.
If you have sourdough starter on hand, use some of it for some of the liquid in the recipe. Make a sponge by mixing the yeast, the liquid in the recipe, and 1 to 2 cups of flour. Cover and let the sponge work for a few hours in the refrigerator to develop it.
what the temperature to bake
The bread bakes at 350F, the buns at 375F. Instructions can be found on the site at – http://commonsensehome.com/sloppy-joes-with-homemade-buns/
and in the downloadable pdf with the troubleshooting tips.
Thank you for nice presentation. I liked your site as well, but i could not find a recipe for sour dough bread. Are you baking such a bread and if yes, do you have recipe?
Yes, I do have a recipe for basic sourdough bread at http://commonsensehome.com/super-sourdough/
Amazon shows that this book “Never Buy Bread Again” is out of print 🙁
Yes, the book listed on amazon was an earlier ebook version, which I decided to remake as a print version (in addition to the ebook). Right now I have a kickstarter running to try and pre-sell the print copies at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/963529763/common-sense-home-bread-book
BUT – it looks like I will be coming up short, so I’m going to pitch the book to some traditional publishers. If that doesn’t work, I’ll make the ebook available again, and probably do print to order via createspace on amazon. (I wanted to avoid this if possible because createspace is very expensive for full color books.)
Loved your presentation, I also bake my own bread, my husband loves my honey bread for sandwiches and I also make a chocolate bread that makes a great french toast! I also like your mixer! Thank You for a great presentation!
Ooo…chocolate bread French toast sounds very decadent!
Glad you enjoyed the presentation.
Maybe I’m dense, but I couldn’t get the download that was supposed to have the recipe from this video. I was taken to the website, where I had to sign up, although it then notified me that I was already a member. There is a homesteading free download on there, but no bread recipe that I can find.
Betty – the recipe can also be found on the website at http://commonsensehome.com/sloppy-joes-with-homemade-buns/
I’ll be sending out a link to the download again to all subscribers, old and new, tomorrow.
Great presentation, thank you. Joined your Kickstarter, but it does look like you may end short; too bad really. I hope through this summit you get enough people to help make the book a reality. I like the idea of a spiral-bound book for making bread. Thank you for showing a simple way to make bread, I am just learning!
Thanks for joining the kickstarter. If it doesn’t succeed (which seems likely at this point), I’m going to pitch the book to traditional publishers. One way or other, it’ll get to print, just not quite the way I may have first expected.
I didnt get the name of the yeast
The yeast I use most of the time is called Saf Instant yeast, but you can also use active dry yeast or other bread machine yeast.
The recipe and adjustments for different yeasts can be found in the printable download, or on the website at http://commonsensehome.com/sloppy-joes-with-homemade-buns/
Where do you get your huge bucket of coconut oil from?
For baking/cooking where I need a neutral flavored oil, I order directly from Tropical Traditions and get their refined coconut oil. They also stock a virgin coconut oil, which has a stronger coconut flavor. There’s a review and video about the company here – http://commonsensehome.com/tropical-traditions-gold-label-virgin-coconut-oil-review/
I have been baking bread for years and love the whole process. I also have a Bosch mixer. It certainly does the job.
I also have a grain mill and purchase Palouse wheat berries, but would be interested in a bigger variety
Your presentation was so down to earth. Just like being ther, I could almost smell the bread baking.
People need teachers who know how to do bread baking so they can see it is not scary, You make this look like the simple fun it is.
And thank you team happiness homestead for bring this to us.
You all are amazing!
I’ve been baking since I was a small girl, helping my mom in the kitchen as the youngest of six kids. We had a family catering business for nine years, so I have rolled thousands of buns over the years. I know a lot of people are avoiding bread right now, but I think that there’s a big difference between industrial bread and homemade bread, just like industrial meat.
Thank you for your kind words, and I’m glad you enjoyed the presentation.
I never knew about the thumb trick when rolling balls of dough. Thanks.
Do you ever use a bread machine?
You’re welcome, Martha.
I have used a bread machine in the past, and several of the recipes in the book work well in a bread machine.
I switched to the Bosch after burning out several bread machines with heavier whole wheat doughs. Also, with two teen boys in the house, I usually make double batches of bread now and freeze some to keep us stocked.
Loved this presentation. I don’t eat any bread or grains — but maybe someday I might want to back some bread for someone else. If I were to start eating that bread, I think I would not be able to stop, and my good habits of no grains would go out the door. Wonder what Lauri would recommend for mixing the dough.
It may sound a bit strange coming from someone presenting a bread baking video, but I do limit my bread and grains, too. For me, even when I do eat breads, I find I don’t get an urge to binge like I may have before I switched to eating less grain. I have small amount of good quality bread, and that’s enough.
If you don’t regularly make bread and don’t have a heavy duty mixer, a large bowl and a wooden spoon work just fine. There are instructions for hand mixing in the printable recipe and troubleshooting guide.
I can’t find the link that is mentioned. Great presentation. I have always been yeast challenged in that my bread turned out horrible if yeast was involved. Makes me want to try again.
The link is http://commonsensehome.com/subscribe/.
My teenage sons make this recipe all the time, so I’m sure you can succeed with it, too.
A bread recipe with eggs, butter and sugar? That’s cake, not bread…. But, I’m German and grew up on what Americans would probably consider heavy, dark bricks. I’ll stick with rye sourdough bread with is just as easy to make.
I was happy to see the Bosch machine in action and to hear that you like it. I just recently found out about it and was wondering about how happy owners are with it. I would consider getting the grinder attachment and grinding grain fresh as whole grain flour goes stale quickly.
Guilty as charged on the eggs, butter and sugar in this recipe, but I do also make a mean sourdough and simple French bread.
I haven’t tried the milling attachment for the Bosch, but it has held up well for mixing and as a food processor for many years. I have a Nutrimill grain mill for grinding whole grains, which works quite well, although it is loud. (The sound level is similar to a vacuum cleaner.)
Loved this! I bake gluten free bread for myself but still make loaves of “regular” bread for my husband who likes the more traditional taste of wheat bread. He is going to love the monkey bread! I’ve always made it by hand but what is this magical bowl mixer that you use? Also, I love the victory garden poster in your kitchen!
The magical bowl mixer is a Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine, which can tackle up to triple batches without shearing gears.
You can see more photos of the mixer and get the bread recipe at http://commonsensehome.com/sloppy-joes-with-homemade-buns/, or via the free download.
The Victory Garden poster was a gift from my mother-in-law. I love those vintage images.
Oh my goodness. I watched this just because I miss making all of our bread so very much. I have a 16 yr old celiac son and the rest of us have discovered we are gluten intolerant. I have just been buying storebought gluten free “bread” since that is basically junk food. But after watching I am again inspired to come up with gluten free recipes for bread we can enjoy. Thank you.
I’m glad you enjoyed the video, Jenny. I do have a couple gluten bread free recipes on the site, and more in the book, which I hope to get published this year, one way or another.
Laurie, when I was growing up, my mom used to make fresh bread that made he entire house smell like yeast…best tasting bread ever. We both have used the same recipe and changing brands of yeast but cannot get it to taste as yeasty as it used to What do you think might be the reason. Do you have a really good yeast bread recipe and favorite brand of yeast?
hmmm…I’ll bet the strains of commercial yeasts have changed over the years, and that might account for some of the difference. She didn’t use fresh yeast, did she? Sourdoughs also tend to be more fragrant, but it sounds like you used a commercial yeast.
Compared to this sandwich bread, French bread is more yeasty fragrant and crusty, so you might enjoy that recipe. It’s easy, too.
Yes, it was commercial yeast. I will check out this recipe. I appreciate your presentation here and have thoroughly enjoyed your website/newsletters since last year’s summit. God bless you and your family! Diane
thank you Laurie, I really enjoyed your presentation.
Thank you, Pamela.
Hi Laurie Thanks for the video. I make all our bread from scratch. No more bread from the store for us! I make a basic yeast bread and I have also started making a sourdough. The sourdough is wonderful, you can do many other things besides bread like waffles, sticky buns, and homemade english muffins. Thats just a few different things that ive made with it. Keep on baking!!!
Last fall I cut way back on my baking and accidentally killed my sourdough starter. I may have to try and start one up again this winter now that we are baking more again. My friend, Wardee,is the sourdough queen.
Thank you so much for a great video!! Can’t wait to try out your monkey bread!
You’re welcome, Edith. Glad you enjoyed it.
I love bread making. Where do I find the recipe? I am already subscribed to your email newsletter.
The recipe is at http://commonsensehome.com/sloppy-joes-with-homemade-buns/, and I’ll also be sending the printable troubleshooting guide out to all current subscribers tomorrow.
Unable to get your bread recipe! Can you email it to me!
Edith, if you signed up, I’ll be emailing the printable guide again today, but you can find the recipe on the site at http://commonsensehome.com/sloppy-joes-with-homemade-buns/
Great presentation, Laurie. Lots of tips and tricks that I didn’t know. My question is about the amount of salt. I know it’s a double batch, but that still seems like a lot of salt. Hubby and I are on low sodium diet due to his heart condition. I’ve learned to make whole wheat flour (ground from organic wheat berries) to make my baked goods with. I still have to master sourdough, but I’ve made rolls, cinnamon rolls, bread and even bagels! THANK YOU again for your wonderful presentation!
You can cut back on the salt some if needed (say by half), but the salt does help to moderate the activity of the yeast, so I wouldn’t eliminate it completely. Congratulations on your baking success, and I’m glad you enjoyed the presentation.
Thanks Laurie for thi fantatic presentation.
I bake my own bread daily as we have 6 people to feed and it just saves a huge amount of money over the year even when uing organic flour. Used to bake only bread with yeast but in the last year added making sourdough to the skill set and it is fantataic. I use a backing automate for the yeast based bread as it is just a five minute preparation thing and you have lovely bread in 3 hours.
As Laurie I use twobase receipies and than change the taste by using different ingredients like full grains, sunflower, olive, dried tomate etc.
My kids love the smell in the house and the tate of the fresh bread.
Glad you enjoyed the presentation, and it sounds like you have the perfect conditions to keep a sourdough starter very happy – lots and lots of baking!
I am interested in the make and model number of the mixer that Laurie is using. I have not seen one like this before. Could please email me with this information?
I hope you see this, Chris, as I don’t have access to you email unless you signed up as a subscriber. The mixer is a Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine, and it is a workhorse in the kitchen. You can see more photos and a link to the one I purchased on the website where I originally shared this recipe at http://commonsensehome.com/sloppy-joes-with-homemade-buns/
I thought this was going to be making bread by hand – the REAL lost art. Not everyone has access to or can afford a fancy machine to do most of the work for them. Besides, what about those of us living off grid or what you gonna do when there’s no electricity – which is what we may WELL be looking at very soon?
You can certainly make the dough by hand, as I have many times. The ingredients don’t change if you use a mixing bowl and wooden spoon. Many people simply appreciate the convenience of machine mixing.
I can agree w/ last two comments… loved the mixer, but sure can’t afford it.
I am on metered connection… Finally had to turn it off mid-stream when I saw it had used up almost 600 MB [almost three times what other presentations had used]! I’ll have to ask minor details like… oven temp and time. Too bad. Wished I hadn’t watched it.
The mixer is completely optional. The bread bakes at 350F for 25-30 minutes, the buns bake at 375F for 12-15 minutes. If baking in a sun oven or wood stove you’ll need to adjust accordingly.