Bullmarket French Bulldog Breeders

In which I become domesticated

Fresh from the oven home made bread

I made bread! Bread, bread, bread! Real, live, honest to God, yeasty bread!

Sorry, let me just calm down.

I’ve always had an irrational fear of making bread. I figured it was one of those things that required specialized skills to be able to master – perhaps an extra set of female chromosomes or something. At the very least, I figured I needed a bread lifter thing (what the hell is that called? made of wood? Like a big paddle?) or one of those pizza stone things. I didn’t think I could just toss it on a baking sheet and throw it in the oven, and yet oh – how wrong I was. Bread making is easy!

I used the following recipe, with a few simple modifications.

Fresh from the oven home made bread

Crusty White Bread


  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons margarine, softened
  • 6 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  1. In a small mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the milk, the butter or margarine, 4 cups of the flour and the salt; stir until well combined. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and put in a warm place to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  5. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and form into loaves. Place the loaves into two lightly greased 9×5 inch loaf pans. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
  6. Mist loaves with water and bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown and the bottom of a loaf sounds hollow when tapped.


I didn’t have bread flour, just all purpose flour. I suffered through ten minutes of “should I drive and get some?” guilt, then said to hell with it.

Also, I didn’t knead this for anywhere near 8 minutes – try two minutes or so, tops. I split the dough into two balls, which I formed into sort of a flattened circular shape. I then dusted the bottoms with flour, and put each round onto one end of a baking sheet. I left them to rise by the fireplace.

When they were done raising, I brought the loaves upstairs and sprinkled each one with water, since I am apparently mister impaired (I was sure I had one, but in hindsight I think the puppies might have eaten it). I think sprinkled smoked sea salt on top of one loaf, just for fun.

I put a pan of water on the lowest baking rack, and the loaves on the middle one, where I let them bake for the recommened 20 – 30 minutes.

The crust is chewy, the interior is moist and dense, and the smoked sea salt adds a subtle flavor to the bread. Simply wonderful, and dead simple to make – no bread machine or pricey stand mixer required!

Fresh from the oven home made bread

10 replies
  1. Susan
    Susan says:

    #1 Buy a box of gluten. It turns any kind of flour into bread flour, if you need it.

    #2 Bread machines are AWESOME if you want to make your own pizza dough. For decent pizza crust, a stone really is a must — and you have to heat it up at full blast before putting the pizza in. Put the rolled out pizza on parchment paper and slide it onto the hot stone, lower heat to below 451 F, and bake until crust is crisp and cheese is starting to brown.

  2. frogdogz
    frogdogz says:

    Using reg flour didn’t really seem to make much difference to this bread. In the future, I’m going to keep some bread flour on hand. Sean wants to try sourdough, and I want to do some herb/cheese breads, so it looks like investing in some equipment will be worthwhile.

    Thanks for the tip about the pizza dough! can you keep dough frozen, do you know? That would speed things up.

  3. Susan
    Susan says:

    I know there are places that SELL frozen pizza dough, but I’ve never tried doing it myself. It only takes 50 min to make with my bread machine, so we just whip it up.

  4. Cletus Residence
    Cletus Residence says:

    Not to burst your bubble, BUT
    Bread making is just so easy. I’ve made bread many, many times, which should give you a good idea of just how pitifully easy it is. That and scrambling eggs and making tea are about the limit of my cooking skills. I love to punch the dough. One of life’s little pleasures…

    The downside is that you end up eating ENTIRE loaves of bread in one evening. Not good.

    Cletus Residence’s last blog post..Once a wonk, always a wonk…

  5. Dawn
    Dawn says:

    That really does look amazing. I do all my shopping in a store called Wild by Nature and usually spend upwards of $4 for a loaf of bread. We are big carb eaters.Now that you say it is so easy, maybe I will give it a whirl.

  6. Fran
    Fran says:

    I love making pizza dough. It freezes like a dream – after the rise, just stuff it into a ziploc bag. When you want to make it, let it defrost then turn the bag inside out onto your floured board. We especially like grilled pizza! Although it’s 40 degrees outside, I know summer’s on the way – the Cubs’ home opener is Monday. Grilled pizza, here we come!

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