It’s a MIRACLE I tell you I made BREAD!

This is completely unrelated to sewing, but I am so excited I have no choice but to share. I want to shout it from the rooftops. I have finally made not one but four successful loaves of bread. Yes, the kind you eat and make sandwiches with. Stop rolling your eyes and get excited with me. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Kermit arms everyone! Yes you!!

Photographic Proof. Exhibit A:

This may seem rather silly, but to truly understand how big this is for me you need to know how poorly my many, many attempts over many, many years at baking bread have been. Deflated, dense, or weird and beery, you name the Bread Failure, I’ve had it. Then I’d take a break for a year or so but eventually read a blog post, someone saying “Its SOOO easy to make bread!” or stumble across a recipe in a book and get sucked in and try it again. I actually amaze myself a little when I think about how persistent I’ve been despite my pathetic track record. Perhaps delusions of someday becoming Martha blinded me to reality. In my head, I’ve always been just a loaf of bread away from becoming the woman who makes her own yogurt and whole grain snacks for my kids before hopping on my thrifted bicycle with side baskets to go pick up the organic CSA box from the Farmer’s Market. The only thing in that previous sentence that is true of me is that I own a bicycle, and that I occasionally go to the Farmer’s Market. I’m trying to think if I’ve ever actually ridden the bike TO the Farmer’s Market, and again, it’s hard to even tell if the time I am picturing actually happened or was just a daydream of my Amazing Self.
Exhibit B:

Amy Karol hasΒ blogged a number of times about her positive results withΒ Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day, but I pretty much wrote that off immediately because come on the woman is so very nearly Martha, totally in a different tier of capability than me (she makesΒ her own deodorant for crying out loud). Honestly I was dubious that her results could be due to anything other than her general Amazingness. I am happy to report that this is not the case. I believe I have (despite forgetting several steps and not even using the baking stone they recommend) managed to make four loaves of bread, all of which have disappeared within a day of being made. I offer to you visual proof that this book is pretty stinking awesome (see Exhibits A, B, and C). My sister Kricket and her husband Ross came over the other day for dinner and they were shocked, shocked I tell you that the loaf of bread they were consuming was not only made by me but was also easy. AndΒ I can’t even believe I’m about to say this because it sounds so cheesy but I think the recipe/technique offered by this book is very nearly foolproof.

Exhibit C: (Mr Rae is starting to make fun of me when he sees me photographing my bread. He’s definitely impressed though. Or so he claims.)

Without giving too much away because that would not be cool, the basic concept is that you mix up a batch of wet dough that is enough for multiple loaves and store it in a covered container in your fridge. Then you just pull off the amount of dough you need when you need it and bake it. No kneading, no kidding. And though it’s a wee bit more complicated than what I have just outlined here, it is most definitely easy. The first few chapters outline the basic concept/tools/recipe and then the rest of the book is full of variations, including desserts (!) that are all built off of the basic recipe. If you’ve been burned by Bread Failure like I have, you owe it to yourself to go get this book from your library. But not from MY library, because I’ve got their copy and plan on renewing it as many times as necessary until the copy I ordered the other day arrives. Hneh-hneh-hneh, booyah!

So let’s debrief. Am I the last one to the party with this? There must be other fans of this book unless there’s some other bread craze I’m missing. And then, the question I’m really interested in: what’s your Amazing Self like? I know I am not the only person who has this. Do you think it’s better to set your expectations low so that you don’t get depressed when Amazing Self never materializes, or is it better to set high goals? I go back and forth on this.

84 thoughts on “It’s a MIRACLE I tell you I made BREAD!

  1. OK – I've been reading your blog for a while now but I think this is the first time I've commented. But I HAD to share in your excitement. Yay for homemade bread! Definitely worthy of Kermit-arms! I havn't used that book yet but everyone keeps telling me how amazing it is. But don't you need a dutch oven? That's what's been keeping me from buying the book. I can make bread in regular loaf pans and I don't have the budget to by the Le Creuset enameled pan I covet.
    And my Amazing Self is a combination of Amy Karol and Amanda Soule. Creative and clever and endlessly patient and wise. Ha! In my dreams. . .

  2. hey Wendy! Thanks for being excited for me!!

    OK: Dutch oven. The Dutch oven was part of Mark Lahey's no-knead recipe that was really hot a few years ago (about the same time this book came out), it's a different recipe/technique although there are similarities. And I think the other reason it's a little confusing is that Amy made her bread from *this* book using a Dutch oven.

    For this book's bread I have just been using a cookie sheet (although the other key thing is that you have to have some water in there, so I just put the cookie sheet and a metal 9×13 underneath while the oven preheats, and then pour a couple cups of water in the 9×13).

    Works great so far!

  3. I love Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, and I love the healthy one too. I use fairly often, but I bake bread every other day so I usually only use it for artisan bread. I prefer to make up fresh dough for sandwhich and toast bread but really it's all good.

    HURRAY to successful bread baking!

  4. Yeah, bread! Yeah, Rae!

    I love, love making bread. It doesn't always turn out well, but I still like it. That bread you described to be easy-peasy. Maybe I should consider looking for that book, too. πŸ™‚

    I have high aspirations and I get some down when I fail to live up to my expectations. So, to combat that, I'm trying to learn to love the experience of it. Not the result. Haa, haaa!

  5. This cracks me up! I have the same problem with making bread and I love this book! In fact I blogged about it too not too long ago. That bread is delicious and oh so easy! I highly recommend!

  6. Thanks so much for the info on the Dutch oven thing. I'm sold! My local indie bookseller is having their anniversary sale today and I know they carry this book. I'll be trying out a new recipe this weekend!

  7. Insert repeat 10 times!!!! I sooooooo totally get this. When I was first married I had never been much of a cook, I barely remember so attempt at baking bread in home ec but I digress…Husband and I got pregnant rather quickly and that is when I got the absurd idea to have Husband teach me to make bread…yeah not very smart.

    I have lots of memories of throwing myself on our bed in a fit of tears because the dough didn't rise and completely confident that my husband would in fact leave me for someone who could actually cook.


    (side note, he never did leave me and we now have 5 kids and are on a gluten free diet…so bread making has become even more complicated)

  8. Hurray! I am officially not the only one who has repeatedly failed with bread!!! Reading about all your previous attempts with bread was like reliving parts of my life. I had sort of given up on bread until my grandpa gave me his old bread machine… which actually works, but it doesn't yield the kind of yummy bread that you get at the bakery (just like the loaf you made, which looks delicious by the way). So I still had to find "that perfect recipe" that I could do myself, Γ  la pro-artisan-baker style, and it looks like you might have it! I will definitely have to look for that book which I doubt my local library will have πŸ™
    Congrats on your super-bread!

  9. congrats Rae! I have made that kind of bread too & it is amazing! A favorite around here for sure- so easy and kids love it. Sometimes I replace a couple cups of white with WW flour and it still turns out yummy! Way to go you big baker you!

  10. If you can do it then I can too. I just ordered the book. I think my daughter will enjoy making bread over the summer. I will enjoy eating it!!

  11. Rae – I have been following your blog for a while,and this is the funniest post I have ever read! Totally HI-larious!

    So glad you have experienced bread success. You might also try the Whole Wheat and RYe bread recipe in "Best Recipes" – written by America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated folks. I think it is pretty foolproof and GOOD. Some wholegrain bread is hockey-puck material.

    My amazing self works out 2 hours a day, sews 10 hours a day, achieves house cleaning by nose-twitching, and only requires 2 hours of sleep a night.

    Keep up the fun!

    Maris Olsen

  12. We love this recipe! I sometimes flatten my dough and roll it up with grated cheddar cheese or a heavy sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar. The cinnamon loaf makes AMAZING French toast.

    It's so satisfying to make beautiful crusty loaves on your own. Congrats!

  13. Hurrah for success! So before I run out and buy this book…does it address making bread at high altitude? Because I used to make some AWESOME bread when I lived in the flat land. And now? Hockey pucks. I've been sticking with the box mixes and my bread machine because it has depressed me so much. Tell me this will work!

    My awesome self? Often does the Toldja So Song ( from Will & Grace. When I let her out. πŸ™‚ And yeah, I also waffle between set the expectations low and set them high.

  14. That has got to be my ALL time favorite bread book! Okay I have a confession to make… my name is Peggy and I am a cook-book-aholic… and recipe collector. I went through a self induced form of rehab called moving 4000 miles. So my collection went from well over 250 (closer to the 300, maybe even more) recipe books to a smallish collection of close to 100. And I LOVE to make bread (however my family thinks I may have forgotten how because our current oven likes to burn everything under the sun!) but such was not always the case.

    Confession time…. I may know how make bread but my sewing skills… well that's another story! Let's just say tears are usually involved when I sew anything other than curtains and shopping bags and table runners.

    And CONGRATULATIONS on the bread!!! Before long you may never want to go back to store bought. (See if your library has the whole grain version of 5 minute bread book… if not do an interlibrary loan. Its awesome as well and oh so delicious!)

  15. I want to make homemade bread so bad. Maybe this will inspire me now. Love your blog. Been reading for awhile and love it.

  16. i did kermit arms for you. way to go! i borrowed this book last year & tried it out. doesn't work quite as well (or save as much $) for gluten-free bread, but there is nothing quite so satisfying as hot-out-of-the-oven i-did-it-myself bread.

  17. I make the same bread and now have both books. I love the bread and usually use a regular glass loaf pan that I oil and its still great. I dont usually buy bread since I started making this bread. Its great!!

  18. Yes you might be the last one on the bandwagon. πŸ˜‰ Seriously when I found that recipe it was life changing. I love to use the dough to make pizza. While it isn't the best pizza dough, it is much better than anything you can buy, and you can have a homemade pizza in just slightly more time than it takes to cook a frozen one.

  19. I am so happy for you. I am someone that has great success with bread and has made many different kinds but can't, for the life of me, make a good wheat sandwich bread. So if you master that do tell!! I have made this several times and like it but the bread from the book "My bread" is far superior and even a little easier!! If you have a dutch oven I HIGHLY recommend it. If you try it also make the cinnamon raisin bread. OK that's all I got.

  20. Welcome to the bread band wagon.

    And thanks for reminding me that I need to whip another batch of bread today.

  21. Ok will try to answer some questions, although I'm not sure.

    bdaiss: here is a link to information on high altitude baking, not sure if that is helpful or not

    BUT I feel like I read somewhere that the newer book (if you click on the book link it's their "Healthy Bread in 5 min a day") also has a section on high altitude baking. Did I make that up? Does anyone know?

    Kimberly: The gluten-free recipes are in the second book, not the first. Haven't tried that one yet but it looks great!

    Thanks everyone for your other bread book recommends, can't wait to try now that I have Bread Confidence. πŸ™‚

  22. Oh I can totally understand the bread failure. I too have heard good things about this book, so I just may need to find a copy of it. And my Amazing Self (never thought to call her that, but it's very apt) well, let's just say I set the expectations low just to cope with her. πŸ™‚

  23. Where is the "like" button for what Kricket said? Hooray for bread! Lolo has raved about that book, I've never tried it :). When my amazing woman doesn't show up?? Haha, no I don't adjust my expectations, that would be too rational!

  24. Oh, Rae! I remember my first bread success and it was so exciting I flipped out and if I'd had a blog at the time, I'd have blogged for three days straight. Every successful loaf since has been almost as exciting and erases all the disappointment of each loaf that gives me trouble.

    Congratulations! I hope you keep finding it exciting each and every time and feel accomplishment in each slice.

  25. ROFL kermit arms. Kermit arms it is. KERMIT AAARRRRMSSS!!!! That's my new favourite. Congrats on bread, it totally deserves a yay! I find bread kind of easy (don't hate me, it's probably the climate here) but my 'bread' is cinnamon buns. I can make a tiered wedding cake but I can't make a asdkfjaosierjawelafjsldfjasldkjf tube of Pillsbury Cinnamon Buns. I have on I think three occassions made delicious cinnamon buns from scratch but upon sixty-three million other occassions have failed from scratch or tube. grrrr.

  26. I've been reading you for a bit, but this…this is freakin' awesome! Mostly because I've had the same battle for YEARS (and my Dad used to own a bakery-for shame!) and I've conquered bread baking with the same book! It's great!!Now look for Healthy Bread in 5! I bought that one!

  27. Funny, I'm totally listening to Christmas music right now (itunes on shuffle) and then seeing your bread pics…I kind of wish it was Fall all of a sudden!
    Weird that we're going to pool in an hour πŸ™‚

  28. You're not THAT late to the party πŸ˜‰

    I am obsessed with this book! I bought it last fall and entered a loaf from my second batch in the county fair…and was awarded "Wheat Queen Second Place"! That $10 premium check paid for 1/2 the book, LOL!

    Other than the regular loaf, the Spicy Pork Buns are a family favorite–and we fill them with all sorts of different things.

    Oh! and try the pita bread…you will feel so smug that you can make pita bread!

  29. Yaaaaaay
    *kermit arms for rae*

    I love making bread. Actually I love kneading dough, it is so meditative and relaxing. I grew up watching my mother make bread so I never felt it was a hard thing. As for my sewing, I am still practicing. I set my expectations high, and am usually quite stubborn when I want to learn something. My husband always jokes and says my best strength/weakness is that I am blind to my own limitations.

  30. You crack me up! I definitely share in your excitement, as I felt the same way when I managed to make bread from that book too. Though it should be said that while tasty, mine didn't photograph nearly as nicely as yours! Looks lovely…and delicious!

  31. That book totally changed my life (slight exaggeration, maybe). I will never go back to buying bread again (except for in a few weeks when I'm dying from heat and humidity and the thought of turning on my oven makes me want to die). I used to bake the 100% whole wheat bread pretty often, and eventually I changed a handful of things in the recipe and posted about it here. here

  32. I love making bread (though I don't do it enough) and Artisan Bread in 5 minutes is one of my favorites. I've also got a whole wheat cheese bad recipe and whole wheat challah recipe on my blog if you're looking for other options. I've promised friends that they too can make bread, and I'm going to use you as an example πŸ™‚

    p.s. I was tooling around Brooklyn this weekend and got tons of compliments on my Lickety Split bag. One storeowner said I should go into business and I told her it's all you and she should check your stuff out!

  33. I love the book, too and also have the second book, "healthy breads in.." or so. I definitely like the first one better, though. I'm making almost all of our bread, usually doubling the receipt and doubling the amount of dough we're using. That's because the loaves are pretty small and I feel bad using up all that electricity (with preheating and such) for just one tiny loaf. The bigger one lasts us for 2-3 days and is still good on day 3 when toasted. I've tried most breads and like them all, usually make the whole wheat, throwing in nuts, raisins, substituting some of the flour with other types of flour or oatmeal, etc. Always comes out great.
    I like angrychicken, too, part of my ideal self is making more art with my kids rather than just the usual crafts. Just thinking that she buys way too much stuff, even though it's all handmade and sustainable, etc. Sometimes I think there's some conspiracy going on, somebody paying those ueber-moms for making the rest of us feel that we're lacking something. Whatever, you're making bread now, way to go!

  34. I LOVE that bread! I made the dough once and had fabulous bread for a week! I love it so much! I haven't made it since, but I was just thinking about it yesterday. This may just be my project for tomorrow! Thanks for the reminder!

  35. That bread recipe – which never seems to fail – is awesome. I cook mine in a dutch oven though – easier than putting a dish of hot water in the oven.

  36. Congrats on the yummy bread. My Amazing Self wears make-up every day, folds laundry right out of the dryer, dazzles my family with healthy and delicious meals and serves as room parent for each of my children (b/c amazing self is always fair . . .)

  37. congratulations!
    I tried a lot of time but I never mad a very bread, sgrunt!
    bye bye, taced

  38. Yay for homemade bread! Nothing beats it, so you get Kermit-arms from me.

    Amazing Jess has the dishes done, the house cleaned, dinner made, and fabulous hair. Real Jess laughs because (a) this doesn't even happen in the summer when I'm home, and (b) unless I get plugs, fabulous hair is out. But a girl can dream!

  39. I love love love this book, so glad you tried it! I mostly actually use it for pita/flatbread because I am literally too lazy to preheat the oven and let the bread sit, although sometimes I do make a loaf or rolls. Also makes pretty good pizza dough albiet a bit sticky.

    And… my real self does (sometimes) bike to the farmers market and (sometimes) make yogurt… my Amazing Self actually cleans the house. I think it is good to have such aspirations because well, otherwise I would probably never ever clean the house/empty the dishwasher/all that other tedious stuff.

  40. When my sister went off to college, she came home and complained to my mother that she couldn't get her bread to turn out as yummy delicious as my mother's bread always turned out, and asked mom for her secret. My mother's (in)famous reply: "Well, you just have to show the yeast who's boss." (This is the source of Whipstitch Power Phrase #1, BTW.) I have never forgotten that, and kick myself all the time that I don't make the time to bake bread–trouble is, I always FORGET IT while it's rising, and then: blech. So, I'm thinking, if we all invest in our own copies of the book, maybe you do a Bake-a-long? And we'll all bake and be successful together? Am very sure the author would whole-heartedly support you pimping the book so that all of us can fit more awesome into our daily lives. I could use some more awesome.

  41. Ditto!!! I've been making bread for over 20 years – first with a Kitchenaid mixer and now with a bread maker. I think I make some pretty good bread, but when i tried the "Miracle Bread", I couldn't believe it. After all this time, I can make a chewy, crusty, big-holed sensational bread. I even took pictures of a loaf and sent it to my friends. It really is a miracle. And, I bake mine on parchment paper, in a blue enamel covered roaster pan that I inherited from my mother. No fancy stuff required.

  42. I am seriously LMAO happy for you. I felt that way when I made a cake from scratch! Did you know you can make one without a box from Betty Crocker? Who would have thunk it! Beautiful Bread.

  43. I love this recipe as well! Don't worry about the dutch oven, although that works too! We've used this dough in a cookstove on a cookie sheet with a tiny pan of water, on the bricks of a bake oven and even in a dutch oven with coals on the top and bottom. It comes out great EVERY time… well except that one time when we put it too close to the fire, but I digress. None of you should fuss over the particulars… just try it.

    And my Amazing self is going to tend to her 50' x 50' vegetable garden, take a class, teach in the fall and care for her lovely children with full attention and no naps. Ummm hmmm. And wash the dishes, put up jam and pickles and clean the bathroom every day. And figure out how to blog about it. And make a dress, two skirts and finish knitting a sweater. You think?

  44. Goodness, I love this post. So funny! So happy for you. And I love it when you say Kermit arms.

  45. Congratulations!! I wonder your hapiness!! IΒ΄m brasilian and I start to follow your blog today. Sorry, my english is not very well. I still learning… Kisses.

  46. Artisan Bread was one of the first wedding gifts my husband and I received last year, and I internally rolled my eyes when I saw it because I have a poor history with cooking/baking in general – but that has been the most used wedding gift of all. SO easy, so few ingredients! It still amazes me! I'm glad you were finally successful πŸ™‚

  47. This post totally put a smile on my face- your excitement is oozing out of my screen! I have also done Jim Lahey's bread with delicious results, and I too did that "OMG I am so awesome, I just made the best bread ever" dance! Isn't it good?!

    Oh, I also felt the same way when I discovered the 3-ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe. πŸ™‚

    Enjoy your bread! Wish I had some right now…- Erin

  48. I also LOVE these books! I got the artisan and healthy ones. I have always wanted to make my own bread but have been afraid to do it. I have considered using a bread machine but it seems people buy them and then never use them. When I heard about these books I was very excited and yes they are near foolproof. With two little ones I have found myself very distracted while making the bread and have forgotten how much flour I had already put in the container or didn't put water in the pan in the oven, etc. and so far it has always come out fine. It has def. been better at times than others but always edible. πŸ™‚ I share your joy.

  49. Made my first Artisan bread April 19th, 2010… and it was YUMMY! Used the Simple Crusty Bread recipe from the book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day"… so simple & so tasty! I've been baking this bread ever since then… it's a hit with my family & friends. Did not invest in a baking stone… I use a teflon coated thick aluminum griddle we bought for camping; use the bottom of the oven's broiler pan for the water. Only problem was using a dough that was in the refrigerator too long… yeech!

    My Amazing Self never sleeps; sews up all the fabric in her stash; keeps her home spotless; cooks & bakes every meal; grows vegetables for all her family, and hands out hugs & kisses to hubby, kids & the grands while arranging vases full of flowers from her yard… have you seen her around anywhere?

    Here is a favorite quote:
    "I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble."
    – Helen Keller

  50. I have to make another batch of the brioche, that was the favourite so far, the wheat sandwich bread is pretty good too, and the 100% wholemeal one… yum, you're making me want to make bread, maybe I'll get a batch going this evening…

  51. Congratulations! That's awesome. I love homemade bread.

    I've got a couple questions. . . wait, I guess you already answered my first one. You use a cookie sheet instead of the stone?

    So is this like a sourdough? And can you make it using whole wheat flour? That's all we ever use, so I'm wondering if that would affect it. . .do they have any whole wheat recipes in the book?


  52. Congrats!!!
    Homemade bread can be very difficult. Your excitement has me curious about this book… Just might have to make some bread this weekend and check into getting this book from my local library! Thank you for sharing your experience!

  53. I have that book on my Amazon wish list, now I'll have to move it to the top of the list for my next purchase. My sister can make up to 8 loaves at a time, from scratch (thanks to paying attention to a babysitter we had once) and I am so jealous. Ironically, now she's gluten free. If only she didn't live half way across the country…

  54. Yay! I can definitely share your excitement and just blogged about the old no-knead bread recipe. My SIL raves about this book and I'm definitely looking forward to trying it. Glad to read your comment about the cookie sheet for the 5-minutes a day approach. I thought I didn't have the right equipment but now no more excuses. Oh, and I go back and forth about my Amazing Self, too. I'll never aspire to it, and sometimes it makes me crabby when I realize that, but you need to have goals, right?

  55. Baking bread can be a difficult thing. I have made beautiful, delicious loaves of bread and I have made dense, ugly, not very tasty loaves of bread. Baking seems, to me, to be an exact science. If anything is off, things will not go as planned! LOL Having a loaf come out exactly as you planned is definitely a cause for celebration and much picture taking : )

    As for my Amazing self, she is much like your Amazing self. I tend to be a perfectionist, in my mind that is. I cannot even come close to attaining my Amazing self goals. The funny thing is, other women tend to think I am one of these amazing women because I have 8 children and still function lol I am always correcting them. Once they really get to know me, they realize I most definitely do NOT have it all together. Somewhat disappointing to them, I am sure. I find I can do one or two things at a time very well. Like homeschooling and making a healthy and delicious dinner. But the house looks like a bomb went off and there are no clean clothes. Or, the house is clean and I actually got to sew and do all the laundry, but no teaching took place and we are eating sandwiches on store bought bread for dinner. I simply don't have enough time in the day, or energy for that matter, to be my amazing self. One day, I will accept this and stop being so hard on myself.

  56. LOVE this post! This is probably the 3rd time I've heard about this book in the past week alone, not to mention Amy Karol and others tauting it so highly. Well, good thing because it's on its way from the bookstore to me. Can't wait! And if I'm the last one on the breadwagon? Fine by me, a good place to be!
    My Amazing Self (I think I'm co-opting that term, I love it) can raise children, style a home, sew with creativity, knit like mad, train for triathlons, and grow,can,preserve like Martha the semi-urban homesteader. My Amazing Self doesn't need (much) sleep, is always able to put a positive spin on things, and relishes other people's success without doubting my Amazing Self's own.

    On another note – just finished the toddler backpack and it was a huge success! Great Pattern! I filled it with a magnifying glass, tape measure, binoculars, map, compass, and whistle. Perfect bday pressie for my 3-yr-old!

  57. Love, love, love this post (even though I was looking for a sewing tidbit even till the end, lol.) When I was firs married, we lived next door to a couple. The wife was a wonderful woman who did everything, incl making the most delicious bread. She taught me and I made bread for years. My husband loved to do the kneading (he said it helped him get his anger at his boss out, etc.). My recipe called for 3 raises, so making bread was a lengthy process. Work and life got busier and more demanding, so breadmaking fell to machines which weren't nearly as satisfying or always successful. Soon, I was paying waaaay too much for bread!

    Thanks for this. I've been really needing some good bread when I want it! I am sooooo excited, I can't wait to try it. Kermit arms to you!!!

  58. I have this book, and have been avoiding giving it a go, whle persevering with my unnaturally dense bread (seriously, you could sink ships with it), but you've convinced me to get it out and actually attempt some baking using it! Fingers crossed I produce something slightly more like your bread and less like a house brick…

  59. Not silly at all! I've never been able to bake decent bread, either. I've resorted to bread makers, but though good, they're just not the same. I now have this book on my library list. Thanks!

    I've found this discussion very interesting!

  60. Kudos on the bread! It sounds great; I've requested the books from my library to try out.

    As to my 'Amazing Self', you have totally inspired a somewhat lengthy blog post with your question.

    I'd say in summary that I like having an Amazing Self (who gets everything done, and does amazing things while keeping the house amazingly clean) to strive for, but that I seriously need to not take her too seriously, and to realize that I am merely my mortal actual self in the end.

  61. I'm excited for you!! And I know how you feel. We have a bread maker and it makes good bread..but it makes it in such goofy shape that I just didn't like to make it.. Then I started using the bread maker to just do the mixing and kneading and all I do it flop it out on the counter and roll it up and throw it in the pan and let it rise and then bake it. It's great.. I was very excited that first time when I had no clue what I was doing and I pulled this wonderful yummy loaf out of the oven. Sadly, no one else wanted to try it, until like the 3rd loaf, their loss! So way to go!
    My amazing self never gets tired and finishes everything she starts (and not years later). She never has to work but always has enough money for whatever supplies she needs. And she's great at everything and throws awesome parties! πŸ™‚

  62. I don't have that book, but I found the basic loaf recipe online and have tried it a few times. Isn't it amazing? How it just turns out like real bread? I too was so impressed with myself. I haven't done it in a while now, though. I may have to dig up that recipe.

    My amazing self? If she ever comes around, she'll be a stay-at-home mom that maybe has a little part time job that can mostly be done from home, she makes things from scratch, knows how to can and pickle and put up food. She has plenty of time for sewing, reading, and playing music on the piano for her kids to sing along. She also, in Super Amazing form, lives in a farm house and has an organic u-pick blueberry farm and grows most of her own produce. Of course the bread is homemade. Oh heck, while I'm at it, she also is skinny and has a perfectly ordered home.

  63. FUNNY. & i have a similar experience with the same book (only the "healthy bread in 5…"). i was SO excited & got close to getting some good loaves when my kids got all into pita bread.

  64. I just have to say your tone & style today was so refreshing. I rejoice in your success in making bread today and the fact that it makes you one step closer to your Amazing self. Thanks to the many blogs I read, I too have concocted an amazing version of what I should be doing with my life which has most recently driven me to take up hot yoga. Which makes me feel like rising dough every time I step in the room. I digress … but anyways, I appreciate hearing how someone who I admire their together-ness has the same feelings I do about the "amazing" wife/mother/woman we should be. Thanks for inspiring me today πŸ™‚

  65. Rae you are so funny and awesome. Seriously. It's like you know my thoughts. … We recently found out my son (who we had thought had autism but doesn't) is actually sensitive to foods- artificial colors, artificial flavors, and more. So in the last month I've gone from buying prepared foods to stumbling along the road of all homemade and organic to avoid the bad stuff. We have eaten a LOT of pancakes because I can whip those up from scratch real quick. I need help! … And my Amazing self has flat abs, amazing complexion, "fixed" hair, makes everything from scratch, spends tons of time laughing with the kids, has a spotless house, goes on dates with her hubby looking super chic, maintains a weed free organic garden, spends hours with bible study and Jesus each day, and always has something yummy in the oven…. yeah she's beyond superwoman….

  66. Ok, that's it. I'm coming over for fresh bread πŸ™‚ Yum!!!!! I need your help on a "blog thief" situation I'm having here anyways. How about we put our blogger combat boots on, eat some yummy bread made by your amazing and kick ass self and whine and complain about friggin blog thieves. I'll bring the coffee?? Can't. Stop. Thinking. About. The. Bread….So. Yummy…..You are fab my dear!

  67. This book has been on my amazon wish list for quite a while. I love making bread, but it can be time consuming, so this book seems perfect. Do you use the large cambro (I think that's what they're called) container to keep your wet dough in? The only thing keeping me from buying this book was not knowing if there was enough room in my fridge for the large container.

  68. Stephanie:
    I use a sterilite container (the plastic boxes you keep craft supplies in). It's not too big in my fridge…but if I were to do the double recipe I'd probably have to find a bigger container!

  69. I love it. I had my first bread epiphany a few weeks ago myself. Pioneer woman's step by step instructions & wonderful cinnamon bread. Check it out. It might also have been the new mixer I bought….either way, I now love homemade bread.

  70. First, can I just say that I love your blog? Ok, now that's out of the way.

    I was *really* into this book a couple of summers ago — it truly is amazing how delicious the basic recipe is, and how very little work it takes. The only special equipment I bought for my Summer of Bread was a big storage container for the dough.

    I lost enthusiasm when it became clear from some of my less successful experiments that white flour is a *must* for the method in that book. ALTHOUGH, in case no one else has mentioned it, the authors had a follow-up book that fall called Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day (I never bought it, but maybe I should!), adapting the method to other flours and grains.

    Hmmm…maybe a 2nd Summer of Bread is upon us?

  71. I've been making bread from their other book, Healthy Bread in 5 Min a Day, and now have several other friends doing that too. I use the dough to make artisan bread, loaf pan bread, pizza dough, calzones, breadsticks, baguettes, and more! You feel great eating large amounts of the whole wheat bread because it's not clogging your body up like the white bread, but helping you get rid of toxins. That book also has several variations which contain nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, and even whole wheat bagels and donuts! There's also a gluten-free section. Wonderful authors!

  72. I'll have to try this again now that I have a new thermometer in my oven. Ironically,I love to make bread and have had great success with the Cooks Iilustrated adaptation of the NYT no-knead bread, but my loaves from this book always came out like little bricks! I'm glad to hear it's working for so many others. Maybe it's time for one last go…

  73. Have the book, totally made the bread and the bagels.

    LOVED the bread…the bagels need some work. It's packed right now but Rae those pictures are making me want to dive into those boxes and FIND THAT BOOK! πŸ™‚

    Congrats and beautiful work!

  74. Oh, look at you go!!! My no-knead bread never rises…and always looks like a crusty little mushroom. haha

  75. I have made no-knead bread serveral times and it's amazing how it always turns out well and yummy. To those who believe you need a Dutch over for no-knead bread, I can tell you I used a regular glass pirex or even a pot with a metal lid (make sure there's no plastic in there). What's important is that the stream stays inside.

  76. Your bread looks fantastic! I just put a pile of dough in the fridge (my own recipe) and will let it rise again and bake tomorrow. Since I've been baking so much bread this year, my kids complain when I buy some from the store!

  77. Your bread looks delicious!!! I cheat & use my bread maker 97% of the time. But I am definitely going to see if I can get my hands on this book. Thank you!

  78. bought the book, bought the baking stone, mixed up the first batch of dough, hopefully tomorrow we will have the wonderful smell of fresh bread baking!!! thanks for posting about this.

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