5 Bread Secrets Revealed

Kayla Howard Real Food 22 Comments

5 Bread Secrets Revealed

by Kayla Howard

Bread.  How can one food cause so much controversy?  To this point I have not shared a lot of bread secrets out of respect for the many people who read my newsletters and eat gluten free.  I honor your food choices and am completely supportive of anyone who eats gluten free in order to heal their body.  There is no denying that diets like GAPS, Maker’s Diet and Specific Carbohydrate Diet bring healing to a stressed out body.

However, more and more frequently, I have been asked to share how I make bread.  There is no denying that I make great bread — that’s one of my gifts — I don’t know why, but dough makes a ton of sense to me.

I love making bread.  I love perfecting bread.

There are two kinds of  bread that I make most often for my family; a basic wheat loaf and a salted French bread. 

The basic wheat loaf can be made whole wheat, and I do that sometimes if I’m using a hard wheat variety for my flour.  Lately however I have been making Spelt bread with fresh ground Spelt flour.

I’m going to share one of my recipes — the one for Spelt bread — but first I’m going to give you my top secrets.  Are you ready?

#1 Saf Yeast

I don’t mean to sound cocky or stuck up, but no matter how many times I give this secret, people still treat it like it doesn’t matter.  It does matter!  In fact it’s the most important element for great bread.  If you’ve heard that Saf yeast is better, haven’t tried it and are still making so-so bread, well, I don’t know what to tell you.  I use Saf and I make amazing bread… I’m just saying….

#2 Bread Flour

This is another thing that mystifies me.  I’ve met many, many women who make their own bread and still have no idea what bread flour is.  I used to be the same way but am now a happy bread flour user.  If you want to make amazing French bread, then bread flour is the answer.  I also use a couple of cups in my Spelt loaf because Spelt can be a little too delicate on it’s own. 

Never buy bleached flour… never, ever, ever.  Unbleached flour gives your baked products a more wholesome and flavorful taste.

#3 Fresh Ground Flour

There is nothing to match the taste of fresh ground flour.  If you are a serious bread maker, start saving your pennies and buy yourself a grinder.  Watch your local Craig’s list. — We’ve seen a few on there.  Our local health food market has a grinder where you can fresh-grind flour then take it home and bake with it. 

I own a Whisper Mill (which is now called Wonder Mill).  My sister has a Nutrimill.  They both work great!

#4 A Bosch Mixer

KitchenAid users, I love you for who you are, but — my mixer beats yours. [wink]  

Okay, so I do know that people really, really love their KitchenAid mixers and I’m respectful of that.  I’ve used one and can’t get the right feel from my dough.  I never could get it to knead up just perfect.  However, in my Bosch mixer I can throw all the ingredients in, turn it on and walk away for 10-20 minutes.  I can tell when the bread is done from the sound of my mixer.  Me and my Bosch… we’re almost soul mates (he-he).  There are many things in this world that I do not know, but I believe one of my secrets is my Bosch mixer.

#5 Roll Our Your Dough

No matter how many times I try to shape it and plop it in the pan or follow some other directions for shaping a loaf, rolling it out into a rectangle and rolling it up into a log produces the highest rise with the most even crumb.

Basic Spelt Sandwich Bread

6 cups cold water

3/4 cup olive oil

3/4 honey

3 T Saf Yeast

2-3 T Sunflower Lecithin (optional, but does improve the texture of the loaf)

2 T Sea Salt

Spelt Flour

Bread Flour

This is for a Bosch Mixer, you will have to alter it to fit yours.  I begin by putting the water, yeast, honey, oil and lecithin into the mixer.  Then I grind my flour.  I grind 8 cups of wheat which produces something like 10-12 cups of flour….  I’m not very good about measuring. Next I will add the fresh ground flour, which is warm.  That’s why I start with cold water because overheating is a major cause of bread turning out yucky.  Finally, I add some bread flour and salt until the dough looks right.  (It would take a video to explain that!)  Then I turn it to speed “2” and let it knead.  If using whole wheat it takes 10-15 minutes.  If using Spelt, 10 minutes or less.  If using all bread flour, it takes 20 or more minutes to knead to the right consistency.

Allow the dough to rise until doubled (or as some of my Skyping clients know… until the lid “pops” off with a loud shot!!)  Then roll out and shape into loaves.  Allow to rise again until well above the sides of the pans then bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.



 Kayla Howard loves doing business from her home in the woods where she is the master real food chef, homeschool teacher, goat shepherdess, head gardener and holds a certificate of studies from The Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy Her passion is vibrant health in beautiful homes! www.kaylahoward.com

Comments 22

  1. WOW!  And I thought I baked beautiful bread but yours has mine beat for sure, Kayla!  I will definitely have to find the SAF!!!!  You have a couple of other differences, too.  I have lecithin but I've never heard of sunflower lecithin!  Also, can't think of the name of it right now, but I have that other whoop de do mixer that's supposed to be so great for making whole wheat bread!  However, a good friend GAVE me the the Zojirushi bread machine that works with whole wheat flower and I haven't looked back since I got it!  I LOVE it!  I don't bake bread in it, just mix the dough in it.  We (well, I do!) want to see a video for "until the dough looks right!"  Also, my husband loves french  bread and I make one that he's crazy about, but I'm always looking for ways to improve it!  Thanks for a great newsletter, Kayla!

  2. Guess because it's Monday I am thinking of beautiful bouquets of "flowers" to start out my week!!!!  The word is "flour" NOT "flower!"  Mercy me!!!!  I really need to start proofreading my comments!  Mac is just not always reliable……obviously, neither am I!

  3. The bread looks fabulous Kayla.  I am temporarily eating gluten free and sugar free to try to budge the scale and tape measure as nothing else has worked, but the rest of the family isn't.  I will have to see about trying your recipe.  I use SAF, Nutrimill (grind Prairie Gold Hard white), and the infamous Bosch, and lecithin, but never heard of sunflower lecithin.  I will have to get out and compare my actual recipe, but I believe they are similar, except I use some molasses instead of honey and I have not been using bread flour.  I have been hard core about only using fresh ground and wheat, so what kind of bread flour do you buy?  My family I'm sure would appreciate me lightening up the loaves.  I have on occasion more recently splurged and added a couple cups of organic white flour for pizza dough, etc.

    1. I’m sure our bread is similar!!! I love molasses and would use it except my hubby isn’t as found of it. I purchase Sunflower Lecithin from Azure Standard. I doesn’t make a big difference, but does produce a slight nicer loaf.

      I used to be a stickler about all wheat flour, but I’ve read some research in the last year that made me change my mind. Sometime I will write about that!

      BEST WISHES eating gluten free–it works for me to take off the last few pounds. 😉

  4. Thanks, Kayla, for these great tips. I heartily second your first tip–SAF yeast.  I don't even want to THINK of the bread I made before SAF yeast.  Have a great day and God bless.

  5. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my mom's Bosch machine! It is so easy making yummy whole wheat bread with it…..why buy and eat the "artificial stuff" when my mom or I can make super delicious whole wheat bread that's packed with vitamins and minerals?! In fact, I already told my mom that for a wedding present, I want a Bosch! (I'm not getting married any time soon though!)
    Your bread is just gorgeous looking, Kayla! Can you send me a loaf in the mail? LOL!

  6. Kayla…we are moving away from wheat products and baking with Spelt flour. we would like a lighter loaf of bread so could you share what your bread flour is made of? And your bread does look amazing!

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  7. HI Kayla. I so enjoyed reading how you make bread. I have made bread most of our 52 years of marriage. I even sold it one year for a mission project at church. I have had my Bosch for probably 40 years and would be lost without it. I have a Nutrimill and grind all my grains like barley, rye, and brown rice, and usually make a 4-5 grain bread. For years I have had a bottle of liquid licithin, “Farn” I believe but have not used it in bread mainly because I never knew how much to use. Now I will have to look for Saf yeast too. Thanks for all of your suggestions. I want a lighter loaf so I am going to go to work on it!! There is nothing like homemade bread!!

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  8. Kayla are you saying that you use 10-12 cups of wheat flour ( ww or spelt) and just add bread flour until the dough looks right? I need to find out where to buy SAF yeast now. Is that an abbreviation?

    Sometimes my bread falls a little in the middle of the loaf. Yours are so beautiful!!

  9. HI Kayla,
    Is SAF instant yeast what you use? I see where I can order 1 lb. Do you store yours in the freezer or refrig?

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