Homemade Bread {without a bread maker!}

Yesterday afternoon ended up being much more eventful than I had intended!  Around 12:30, Craig picked me up to head to the Blood Center of Wisconsin to do a blood donation.  I got done before he did because I had been there before and didn’t have the same procedures to go through that he did.

I was waiting for him in the recovery area (Panera donates their day old pastries!!!) with my Sprite and bear claw when Craig strolled on over.  After asking for an apple juice, down he went.  Right next to me.  He had absolutely NO color and his eyes were open…and vacant.  I flipped.

The staff did a great job, they responded immediately and got him into a wheel chair to move him back to the donation room.  Except on the way there, after telling them he knew he was in Milwaukee, Craig passed out again.  This lead to them yelling to me, “What is his name!?” and 5+ people yelling his name at him.  I was beyond flipping, I was going ballistic.  They wouldn’t let me near him.  He eventually came to, but passed out yet again when he got to the bed.  He laid on the floor for quite some time before they were confident he would be okay laying in the bed.  Their “this happens more often than you think” talk didn’t convince me.  If this does happen so often (someone passing out numerous times!?) then why did 10+ staff members need to be around, either “helping” or watching?  Okay, honestly, they DID do a great job and I’m thankful there were so many, rather than none at all.  At that point, I was able to join him and “scold” him for scaring me half to death.  His main concerns at that point were being cold and incredibly weak.  So, they pumped him full of water, coca cola, and a cookie before they let us leave over an hour later.  They also checked his blood pressure numerous times before giving us the “A-okay.”

On the way home, he mentioned his neck hurt badly and he felt nauseous.  We made the decision, based on the notes they gave us, to seek out an urgent care center.  The nurse had me flipping out after she reacted to Craig’s history of concussions and detached retinas and told us that he would likely need a CT to check for bleeding (Craig did actually hit his head on the floor, though his shoulder broke most of the fall).  Well, the doctor came in, and told us it was just a minor concussion.  I’m to keep an eye on him, but he didn’t seem OVERLY concerned.  Thanks, nurse, for unnecessarily adding to my stress.

Anyway, we headed home and snuggled on the couch all afternoon watching trashy TV.  Thanks, babe, for the afternoon off.  Though, in the future I would prefer it be under less dramatic circumstances.  Sigh.


Now, onto what you all thought you were getting today:  homemade bread!  I never thought I would have the patience to make my own bread. For some reason it just reeeeally overwhelmed me. I have to admit I’m not the biggest fan of breads from bread makers, so if I was going to do it, I was going to do it with the good ‘ole oven.

The first recipe I tried was a huge failure. The instructions weren’t clear and it resulted in an extremely dense dough. Despite the fact it didn’t rise, I baked it anyway. Wishful thinking didn’t save it. Both loaves found their way into the garbage.

The next morning I tried a different recipe. What did we do before Google? After researching online, I realized it’s because I used active dry yeast and I didn’t proof it before adding it to the dough. The recipe had also called for quite a bit of salt and that inhibits the yeast. I actually learned quite a bit from that website. I will utilized my new knowledge the next time around. Maybe I should have been more thorough before jumping in head first!

I also looked for a different bread recipe. I found this gem on AllRecipes.com . The dough rose as it should and it came out close to perfect! The honey in the recipe gave it just a touch of sweetness. I love that I can make my own and know exactly what is going into it!

loaf side

Honey Wheat Bread

2 c warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 c whole wheat flour
1 Tbs active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1/3 c honey
1/3 c vegetable oil
5 c all-purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Add honey, and stir well. Mix in whole wheat flour, salt, and vegetable oil.
Work all-purpose flour in gradually.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for at least 10 to 15 minutes.

When dough is smooth and elastic, place it in a well oiled bowl. Turn it several times in the bowl to coat the surface of the dough, and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Punch down the dough. Shape into two loaves, and place into two well-greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise until dough is 1 to 1 1/2 inches above pans.

Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes.

loaf slice

This recipe called for MORE yeast and LESS salt the the first recipe I tried. It obviously made a huge difference. The only thing I didn’t do was check the temperature of the water before I mixed in the yeast. I just used very warm water from the tap and it seemed to be just fine!


This was really tasty! After offering Craig half of a slice to give it a try, he asked for seconds. That says a lot people! Even though he could live off of hot dogs and mac and cheese the man is pretty picky when it comes to things that come from my kitchen. He is a very honest critic, which I really appreciate, but it was a huge compliment to have such a positive response! I agreed with him in that it was still a little dense, but I think that will be better as I become more practiced in kneading dough and just getting the hang of this bread making biz-nass.




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