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<p>Hello there!</p>
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<p>After years of for some odd reason being terrified of making bread involving yeast (I make quick breads and muffins pretty frequently), I've finally jumped in with an easy, no-knead recipe and have gotten hooked.</p>
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<p>I'm now very interested in trying to stop using store-bought bread and to start making my own, and would love it if others would post favorite, fairly simple bread recipes.  I'd especially love some great oatmeal bread recipes - anyone wanna share?</p>
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<p>Many thanks in advance!</p>
 

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The bread I make is very simple. It's unsweetened, and whole grain. It can be made into breadsticks, or into long loafs like French or Italian bread, or into a big round loaf. It can also be baked into sliced bread, if you put it in pans, but I don't, usually. If I'm going to make sliced bread, I use a more complicated recipe that includes a sweetener.<br><br>
I start with two cups of warm water-- not hot, just warm. I add to that two cups of whole wheat flour, and then I let it sit an hour or two. Then I add in a packet of yeast, a teaspoon of salt, a few tablespoons of butter or oil-- any kind you like will do, even bacon drippings if that's your fancy. Then I mix it, and then add more flour-- enough to make a thick sticky dough.<br><br>
Then I turn out the dough, and start kneading-- adding in more flour as needed, so that the dough is not excessively sticky, but not dry either-- just a bit tacky on the surface. I knead until it's smooth and elastic, which takes a long time-- about 20 minutes at the minimum. I knead roughly- I sometimes actually get my three year old to whack the dough with his fists, even.<br><br>
Then I put it in an oiled bowl, and cover with a wet towel, and let it rise until it's doubled in size (about two hours) then flatten it into a ball again, and let it rise again (about an hour this time.)<br><br>
Then I shape it into whatever shape it's going to have. I put some cornmeal on a wooden peel (the back side of a cookie sheet will do, if you have no peel)-- the corn meal is to keep the dough from sticking. Then I preheat the oven to 400.<br><br>
When the oven is hot, the bread goes in. I bake directly on a pizza stone. You can just put it in on the back side of the cookie sheet, as it is, if you haven't got a stone.<br><br>
It's usually done in half an hour.<br><br>
If your whole wheat flour isn't "hard" enough, you may wind up with a poorly risen bread. Adding a pinch of vital wheat gluten to the flour will solve that problem.
 

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<p>The "<a href="http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/Artisan-Bread-In-Five-Minutes-A-Day.aspx" target="_blank">Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" recipe</a> is really easy. I'm a lousy baker, and I can still mostly pull it off!</p>
 

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<p>pizza dough</p>
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<p>1 tablespoon yeast<br>
4 cups flour<br>
¼ cup olive oil<br>
2 teaspoons salt<br>
1 ½ cups warm water<br>
Mix all ingredients together in food processor and let rise until doubled. Makes I sheet pan, or 2 round pizzas.</p>
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<p>Really for yeast doughs the hardest part is learning the correct texture of the dough for the specific type of bread being made as some are wetter than others, and identifying when it's been correctly kneaded. Both of those just come from practice or watching someone else that knows what they are doing.</p>
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<p>To me the problem with the new wet dough method used in the 5 minutes a day books ( I have the first two ) is that their method is unique to their process so it does not translate to traditional bread making. Plus working with their very wet dough is not as easy as traditional yeast doughs. Personally I think learning the traditional method is an important foundation in being a good baker.</p>
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