Penny Lane - Baking Bread - Penny Lane Blog at - 152847

Penny Lane

Penny Lane - Baking Bread 
Jan. 25, 2010 11:15 am 
Updated: Jul. 25, 2011 11:01 am
I find great joy in baking bread. Hence my "name" Baking Nana.  The grand kids will call me and ask "Are you baking Nana?"  Yep - I am baking! 

Beware! Yeast is addictive! I buy bread flour 25 pounds at a time for around $7.00. 2 pounds of yeast is $4.00 at Sam's Club or Costco. So for about $11 or $12 you can make loaves and loaves of beautiful bread.  You can save a ton of money and eat great bread too!  Besides, I really like knowing what is in my food.

Any bread machine recipe can be done by hand or using a KA mixer. 
French Bread with the Kitchen Aid

Also check out the recipe for Fabulous Foccacia my recipe box.  Delish!


I do use a Kitchen Aid mixer to handle the kneading but certainly this can be done by hand as well. The one complaint that people have is that their bread is dense. Often this is the result of adding too much flour. Kneading is needed to develop the gluten in the flour. Working with slightly sticky dough can be tricky and takes a little practice but is worth the effort.  Sticky dough and the Kitchen Aid get along great.

Poolish French Bread

The day before baking make the poolish.

1 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/2 cups water

Mix together and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in the refrigerator over night or for up to 3 days.

On baking day remove the poolish and let it come to room temperature. In the bowl of the Kitchen Aid add

All the poolish
1 1/2 tsp yeast
3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
3 cups bread flour (plus you will need another 2 cups, later in the recipe)
1 T Kosher salt (or 1 1/2 tsp table salt)
2 T Olive Oil
Add all the poolish, yeast, water and 3 cups bread flour and mix well on speed 2, add the salt and knead a bit, add the oil.

Start adding more flour 1/2 cup at a time, kneading in between each addition. You will probably use another 2 cups of flour. Knead until the dough is smooth, glossy and stretches well.

Spray a good sized bowl with cooking spray. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Put the dough into the greased bowl, spray the top with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap. I place the bowl in the oven with the light on. Let rise until doubled, about an hour or so. If you poke the dough and it bounces right back, it isn't done rising.

Once doubled turn out on to lightly floured surface and let rest for a few minutes. Gently stretch the dough to slightly de-gas it. Use a sharp knive and cut into two equal pieces. Shape into a ball and using your hands gently turn the ball to create surface tension across the ball of dough. Place dough on a parchment lined baking sheet. Score the top of the dough with a sharp knive and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size.

Pre Heat oven to 500 degrees.

Beat together one egg white with a little water. Gently brush the risen dough with the egg wash, sprinkle a little kosher salt on the top.

Put the loaf in the hot oven and carefully toss 2 or 3 ice cubes into the bottom on the oven. Close the door, wait a minute, open the door and mist the oven with a little water. Repeat this a couple of times, then reduce the oven temp to 375 and bake for about 25 minutes.

The internal temp of the bread should be 190 - 200 degrees when done. Move the bread to a cooling rack. Let rest for a least 20 minutes before slicing.
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Jan. 25, 2010 11:50 am
Very nice! I too, bake our bread. My kids aren't very "adventurous" in the bread department, but I just may be springing something new on them soon. I don't have a membership to Sam's Club, but I do intend to investigate Gordon Foods for flour and yeast. It's abit expensive at the grocery store. It doesn't matter so much to me if it's less expensive than store bought, so much as I KNOW what's in it. No preservatives!
Jan. 25, 2010 11:52 am
Bakingnana your bread looks sooo yummy..... I have just started my baking journey and really want to learn the art of breadmaking for my family I have tried twice let's just say I have a lot to learn lol, great blog by the way:-)
Jan. 25, 2010 11:54 am
I am so scared to make bread that uses yeast! I tried to make the conchas from this website and it was a disaster! They were are hard as a rock. Nice to know that others have that talent. Maybe I need more practice.....
Jan. 25, 2010 11:57 am
LS, I agree, knowing what is in the bread is wonderful
Jan. 25, 2010 12:01 pm
ShareBear....try again and again. It is so worth it. I will check out that recipe that you mentioned.
Jan. 25, 2010 12:02 pm
sillasmiles It does take practice but once you have it down it is so easy!
Jan. 25, 2010 12:35 pm
Holy Cow...I wish I could make bread that looks like that! I'm new at bread, but you're giving me something to strive for..thanks!
Jan. 25, 2010 12:37 pm
Baking Nana- you are what got me excited to start baking bread. I was so afraid and you offered so many wonderful tips- I am now a yeast addict!!! Thank you :) And by the way- I find your blog to be a perfect fit for me!
Jan. 25, 2010 12:46 pm
Thanks Kathleen. So glad to hear you baking bread. It is great stuff.
Jan. 25, 2010 12:46 pm
WW, shaping is just practice.
Jan. 25, 2010 1:40 pm
That looks great! I'll give that a go soon--since I have some buttermilk I thought I had to have! Thanks, Baking Nana!
Jan. 25, 2010 2:13 pm
You are welcome Marianne.
Jan. 25, 2010 5:07 pm
Great blog, Baking Nana! There is nothing like homemade bread! Looking forward to trying your recipe.
Jan. 25, 2010 6:10 pm
Seriously? I am heading to Sam's in the morning! I have 2 bread machines and have gone a little nuts with them LOL - I would love to save $ on yeast and flour! The poolish French bread makes my mouth water, I can almost smell it! Will definately try your recipe, thanks for sharing!
Jan. 25, 2010 7:57 pm
Thanks for the encouragement folks. We had Green Chili Pork Stew and Poolish French bread for dinner...delicious and the whole meal cost me about $2.00! Less than one can of Progresso soup, loaded with sodium! Amazing fresh food!
Jan. 25, 2010 7:57 pm
I am looking forward to trying my hand at baking bread once I get my new stove. My dad used to make home made bread when I was growing up and my sisters and I just devoured it.
Jan. 25, 2010 7:58 pm
Sam's has the yeast for sure, as does Costco. Costco just started stocking bread flour. Smart and Final has bread flour too. Glad you like the blog.
Jan. 25, 2010 8:06 pm
itmedj, My kids and grandkids will always remember the fresh bread from my is a great legacy. My grandson Ruben asked me to make foccacia for his football bake sale. It was the only "non" sweet thing there and it was the first sold out!
Jan. 25, 2010 10:37 pm
I have yet to make or attempt to make bread in my new KA. This recipe looks to be the one that will take my virgin dough hook for a whirl. I can't wait and I will let you know how it turns out. I'm excited now.
Feb. 2, 2010 10:25 am
Let me know how it turns out Avon. Enjoy!
Apr. 15, 2010 1:31 pm
I was wondering if you would share the recipe for sour cream yeast rolls? Those sound wonderful!
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Baking Nana

Member Since
Aug. 2009

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Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Healthy, Quick & Easy

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About Me
Every morning my granddaughter calls and says, "Good morning Nana. Whatcha doing? Are you baking Nana?" Hence my name, Baking Nana. I love to bake bread and never get tired of it. Yeast is additive! Visit me at If you would like to contact me directly please use the 'Contact Me' on my site.
My favorite things to cook
I go through phases, Asian for a while then Italian then on to something else. I love experimenting with new flavors and different spices. Some times my husband will ask if we will ever have "ordinary" food again. Once in a while I have to toss him a burger just to keep quite! Actually, he is a good sport and my favorite taste tester.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In our family if it is your birthday you get to choose the menu. We have had some really interesting meals. In March we have 5 birthdays so we do one big party - what a crazy menu that is! Christmas dinner is very traditional. Sausage rolls, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, Green beans with bacon, Mashed Potatoes (the really fattening kind) and trifle for dessert. If I were to dare to omit any of those items I would be lynched.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering really great bread is probably my biggest triumph. I am always so pleased when I create a perfect Asian dish.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few but none so horrible that I can't laugh about them now.
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