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A Formula and A Weekend Bread



After making bread regularly for some time, one get the hang of what works and what doesn’t. When our bread stock is getting low, I check the cupboard for ingredients and make bread from whatever I find (given that I have the necessary basics), based on following formula:

1 tsp yeast, sometimes 1 pk (2 1/4 tsp)
4 cups (1 l) liquid
40-60% ( 4-5 cups) whole grain, oatmeal, bran etc
40-60% ( 4-5 cups) white bread flour (regular wheat, all purpose)
1-2 tbs salt
2 tbs sweet (honey, sugar, syrup)
2 tbs oil

Usually this comes out quite successfully whatever combination I do. There’s still a range of variations possible within this formula. Different liquids give different tastes and textures. Choice of sweetener (or you could leave it out) influences taste and color, you can add one or several different grains, the oil you choose makes a difference …

My typical bread today came out very nice, and since it is Friday I’ll just call it the Weekend bread. It was made like this:

Weekend bread

2 1/4 tsp yeast, dissolved in 1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 1/2 cup stoneground whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup wheat bran
6-7 cups regular wheat bread flour
1 tbs salt
1 cup plain greek yoghurt
3 cups lukewarm water
2 tbs honey
2 tbs hazelnut oil

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients, leave half of the white flour behind
  2. Prepare the yeast
  3. Heat the water and add oil and honey
  4. Stir the yoghurt, the liquid and the yeast together with the dry ingredients
  5. Gradually add the white flour until the dough is solid enough to move to the table for kneading
  6. Knead for about 10 min., then leave the dough to rise for about 90 min.
  7. Knock it down and let it rise again for another 90 min.
  8. When the dough is ready, knead lightly, split the dough and shape two bread, then put them in pre-greased loaf tins.
  9. Let the bread after-rise for about 40 minutes
  10. When ready to bake, varnish with milk and sprinkle with bran (or oats) for decoration
  11. Bake at 385 F for 45 minutes (in a conversion oven – 395 F in a regular oven, for slightly longer)

This procedure works in my kitchen. But there is this thing about bread –  the baking process is influenced by surrounding factors. The temperature in the room, the air humidity, the power of the oven, the quality of the flour … Measures and temperatures and time therefore may vary according to present factors at location.

Also – I prefer to let the dough rise twice before molding my bread (or add less yeast to let it rise for longer. Or both.) I have never seen recipes asking for that, it is a personal preference. But I didn’t make that up – I’ve seen plenty of baking instructions mentioning this as a flavor enhancing step.

OK, let's work this dough ...

OK, let’s work this dough …

Done rising, ready for molding

Done rising, ready for molding

Ready for the oven? Probably could do with a few more minutes ....

Ready for the oven? Probably could do with a few more minutes ….

All done. Cooling off ...

All done. Cooling off …

Have a great weekend. Thinking about doing some bread baking? If you are, enjoy every minute of it! I’d love to hear about your experiences. Baking or not – enjoy the weekend nevertheless.

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I'm Currently living in Florida, USA, but I'm Norwegian born and bred. At the moment I enjoy baking bread and blogging about it. I enjoy blogging in general, because I like writing. But I'm trained as an illustrator, originally ... in England. One day I'll write a book. About bread. And illustrate it myself. Maybe. Life will see.

6 replies

  1. And I thought I invented that tweak-the-basics recipe. 🙂 My proportions vary slightly (6 cups flour rather than 8), and I add something for body (nuts, grains, seeds), and maybe some spices or cocoa for a bit of bite. It’s a wonderful way to make bread.

    1. Sounds nice! I love nuts and fruits in bread but never tried adding that myself. I tend to fall back on those safe ones I know work 🙂 but I’m determined to explore more. Cocoa? Wow. How much do you add?

      1. Just a tablespoon. It’s more for color than anything else, although it adds a little bitterness. I tried adding coriander and walnuts today. Will see how that works.

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