First Bread Dough Kneaded By Hand

INSPIRATION from the Kitchen Bootcamp – this month’s challenge is yeast breads. I tried to think outside the box and try something new…very timely since I think my wonderful (and old) bread machine died this morning. I don’t know if it’s recoverable, we’ll see if DH can fix it.

The ingredients were in the machine bucket, and I set it for “dough” and NADA. I could hear a slight clicking noise coming from the motor underneath the paddle, so initially I thought that maybe it was jammed or not placed correctly.

I tried, but I couldn’t get it to work, so I thought, well, maybe this was a sign. A sign to try something new and get out of my comfort zone.

So, I transferred all the ingredients into a large ceramic bowl and started to mix with a spoon. It was so dry; I started to mix with my hands. It was horrible. My hands were immediately clumped with sticky dough. I was trying to remember all the advice that I previously learned in books, on web sites and from other bread bakers. I decided that instead of dusting with a ton of flour, I would keep wetting my hands and try to knead that way.

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Whole Wheat Rye Sunflower Caraway Bread

I found a great “cooking challenge group” called Kitchen Bootcamp. The challenge this month is yeast bread, so I’m trying to bake out of my comfort zone.

It’s tough because when I bake bread (twice a week), I just don’t have the time to experiment with new techniques, but when I realized my loaf pan was in the dishwasher, it forced me to improvise.

I baked 6 smaller loaves. Two in smaller loaf pans, and four rolls in 2 small glass baking dishes. I need more experience with baking smaller rolls, and this was good practice. Next time, I am going for real rolls!

This recipe isn’t 100% whole grain, but it’s still a very good source of fiber! No added sugar, except for 3 Tbsp of Orange Juice.

improvised with baking dishes

I didn’t have much trouble shaping the dough, but they did stick to the pans slightly, even when they were oiled. The bread tasted delicious though, and that’s all that matters in the end, right?

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Mixing Bread Dough in Food Processor – Best Bread Ever Book

(For Kitchen Bootcamp. The challenge this month is yeast bread)

I found a copy of the book “The Best Bread Ever: Great Homemade Bread Using your Food Processor” at the library. I was intrigued because he introduced a technique for mixing bread dough in a food processor.

The book is currently out of print (it was originally published in 1997), but there are used copies for sale on Amazon and you can also find the original recipe & specific instructions online if you want to try it.

I decided to try the technique today. As usual, I was nervous and hesitant, but I got all my tools and ingredients ready to go before I started.

food processor bread dough

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100% Whole Grain No-Knead Bread Retry

When will I learn? Hahaha. I just don’t seem to be meshing with the no-knead bread craze!

Whenever I try, it always seems like more work to me, and always makes me feel intimidated by the sticky flimsy dough! Very frustrating. But I keep trying. I’m sure this will not be my last attempt, especially now that I think I know the error of my ways!

I googled and found another no-knead recipe for 100% Whole Wheat Bread –

Of course, being in a semi-rush, I didn’t read the recipe notes, I just threw myself into the ingredients. sigh.

Looking back at the recipe now, it clearly states that a 1:1 ratio of flour & water is necessary. And she used a regular loaf pan, something I probably should have done as well, since I like the shape better. And of course I didn’t dust with more flour to make the dough less sticky and easier to work with!

I won’t even bore you with my baking notes, since it really wasn’t a triumph. In the end though, the bread was tasty, and I guess that is all that matters. It was just a bear to work with and I would love to say ‘NEVER AGAIN’ but I’ll probably be trying another batch of no-knead when time permits!

I found two no-knead books at the library: Jim Lahey’s My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method, along with the Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous, Fuss-Free, No-Knead Breads book.

So, here are a few photos from my no-knead experience earlier this week:

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Transitional Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread Recipe

My DH asked me if next time, I could make a “whiter” bread for him, so this “transitional” bread recipe is for my wonderful dear husband. Even though it’s not 100% whole grain, it still offers a good amount of fiber!

A loaf of whole wheat oatmeal bread

Inspired by the Oatmeal Bread recipe found on King Arthur Flour’s web site.

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100% Whole Wheat Banana Nut Bread

IMPORTANT: I had originally calculated the nutritional data incorrectly. It’s been updated!

I had three over-ripe bananas, and of course I thought of baking some delicious banana bread! I wanted to utilize a lower sugar (or at least lower processed sugar) recipe that uses whole wheat flour, and I think I have it!

delicious healthy moist banana bread

At 211 274 calories, it’s a good afternoon snack. Add a scoop of peanut butter (+100 calories) and it’s a nutritious healthy breakfast!

I originally found the Moist Whole Wheat Banana Bread recipe on the web site It’s a great recipe (originally from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book), and there are lots of helpful comments and even an instructional video!

I modified some of the ingredients from the original recipe, using coconut butter/oil in place of butter, adding more nuts, and lowering the sugar content slightly.

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100% Whole Grain Wheat & Rosemary Sunflower Bread Recipe

Made a new bread this afternoon. Just had a slice, and it’s hearty and wheaty tasting!

Modified from my regular 100% whole wheat recipe that I based on the Walnut Whole Wheat Bread recipe from King Arthur Whole Grain Baking book.

slice of 100% whole wheat rosemary sunflower bread


  • 2 Tbsp Almond Oil (olive oil or any other vegetable oil)
  • 2 Tbsp of molasses (or honey)
  • Approx 1 cup plus 3 Tbsp lukewarm water (IMPORTANT: the molasses is mixed into the water to equal a total of 1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons)
  • 1 tsp salt (I use sea salt, and lowered the amount from my previous recipes; I’ll probably lower it even more next time)
  • 12 oz or 3 cups – mixture of traditional and white whole wheat flour.
  • 2.5 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup wheatgerm
  • 1/2 cup raw hulled (unsalted) sunflower seeds
  • 1 Tbsp dried Rosemary herb

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King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Book Review

I borrowed a copy of the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains book and I loved it so much, I have renewed it three times.

I found the Yeast Bread section extremely helpful in learning more about baking whole grain bread, and I successfully baked using their “Walnut Whole Wheat Bread” recipe twice, and will continue to use this recipe going forward. I didn’t bake yet with nuts, but I mixed in rosemary once, and poppy & caraway seeds the next time. I use a bread machine on the dough setting (per their recommendation) to mix and knead the bread, and perform the first rise. It works very well.

I just love this book, and I might end up purchasing a copy for myself. It’s really an invaluable book if you are just starting to bake bread. They explain the basics in simple terms, and I really started to understand the complex world of bread!

Besides bread, there is a ton of other whole grain recipes: puddings, muffins, cookies, cakes, pies, crackers, and flat breads (just to name a few). There is even a section on sourdough. The last section is about the actual details of each whole grain.

I have never been much of a baker. All the required accurate measurements feel so restraining, but since I am getting so much better with bread baking, I feel more confident to delve further into other aspects of whole grain baking.

I will update the review if I do decide to buy a copy for myself. I am still reading several other whole grain bread books, & haven’t decided which one I love the most. The King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book is definitely in the running!

I love reading cookbooks, like some people love reading novels! I am inspired by recipes, and enjoy learning ideas from cookbooks; I like putting my own spin on a recipe rather than exactly following it. Please keep in mind that my opinions might be completely different from the other home cooks.

Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day – First Batch Using Master Recipe

Check the bottom of this post for nutritional data (calories, fat, sodium, fiber, etc) for the Master Recipe!

I mixed up my first batch of whole wheat “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients” using the Master Recipe. Yes, it includes a bit of white flour, but I figured I will tackle the 100% whole wheat master recipe after I get a handle on the first recipe.

So, I measured the whole wheat flour and white flour using my food scale and poured it into a large 5.5 qt Rubbermaid brand plastic container. It’s a very wide container, and not that deep.

(Note: I was concerned that it wasn’t the right shape, so I posted a question over on the web site and received an answer very quickly, that yes, that shape will work fine, in fact it’s what Zoe uses.)

I measured the vital wheat gluten, salt (used only 2 tsp vs 1 Tbsp suggested in recipe) and yeast and whisked all the dry ingredients together. I measured 4 cups of lukewarm water, & poured it all at once onto the dry ingredients. I started to mix everything together with a wooden spoon, and it became quite clear that was too dry. It wasn’t mixing well at all, so I added a bit more water, probably about 1/4 to 1/2 cup.

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100% Whole Wheat Bread With Caraway & Poppy Seeds

Oh my, I baked bread this afternoon, and I am in love with this recipe! I couldn’t wait, I had to slice a piece! It was heaven. A big ole slice of heaven!

can't wait to slice the fresh baked loaf

I used the same recipe as the previous 100% Whole Wheat with Rosemary Bread, except that I swapped the rosemary for some yummy caraway and poppy seeds. I was happy that my bread machine didn’t make the clanging noises this time. I can only guess that the last dough was too heavy or maybe the paddle wasn’t placed properly.

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