**This giveaway is now closed and the winner has been announced. Thank you!**
There is nothing quite like the smell (or taste) of freshly baked homemade bread, don’t you agree? Just thinking about it makes my mouth water! Have you always wanted to learn how to make delicious breads for you and your family to enjoy but don’t quite know where to start? Intimidated by the process or not sure how on earth you “proof yeast” or what gluten is? Never fear, I am here to tell you about a great website that will teach you how to whip up amazing breads and tasty rolls in your own kitchen: www.howtomakehomemadebread.com.
How to Make Homemade Bread helps take the guesswork out of the bread-making process! Detailed videos feature original recipes developed by Lorie Fleischer, who has been teaching and sharing this passion of hers for many years. Lorie takes you through each recipe step-by-step, sharing great tips and techniques along the way that will definitely build your bread baking skills and confidence! Soon your own home will be filled with the aroma of fresh bread from your own oven!
There are many benefits of making your own bread. It is cost effective, because you are using pantry staples and simple ingredients, especially with Lorie’s recipes–making your bread much less expensive and much more delicious than store-bought bread. Plus, you know what is going into your food–no preservatives or unknown chemicals.
Before I go into more detail about the website, Lorie was kind enough to do a little question-and-answer session with me. You’ll get a taste of her knowledge, personality, and her love for making homemade bread! Thank you so much Lorie, I learned a lot!
Q & A with Lorie of HowtoMakeHomemadeBread.com
Brooke: It’s clear to me that you are very talented in the kitchen! Have you always had a love for baking and cooking? When did you start?
Lorie: I learned to cook from my mother and with the 4-H program. I have always liked creating different foods. Chopping, slicing, dicing and kneading is therapeutic for me. I found my love for baking bread when I was fourteen years old. Dinner time is a daily ritual at our house. It is nice for the family to be together around the table.
Brooke: I love your cinnamon roll recipe, and my family raves about it too. What is your favorite type of bread to bake? Do you prefer sweet or savory?
Lorie:My favorite recipe is the Everyday Loaf. It really is the bread we eat everyday. It is good for sandwiches, toast, and an after school snack. Friends and neighbors also love getting a loaf at Christmas time! (GREAT IDEA!) I also like artisan bread, bread sticks, focaccia bread – the list goes on. I would rather have a piece of bread than a piece of cake.
Brooke: Is there a particular type of flour you recommend for baking bread? For white bread as well as wheat bread?
Lorie: I use bread flour. It has a higher protein content that helps the gluten develop. Gluten enhances flavor in the bread as well as build strong cell walls.
I find I get a better flavor in my wheat bread when I grind my wheat flour fresh. Wheat grinders are readily available for purchase. Wheat is great to have in food storage and it has a long shelf life.
Brooke: For some reason I get a tiny bit nervous when having to work with yeast–for example, sometimes my dough doesn’t raise as much as it’s supposed to. Do you have any tips or tricks to having success using yeast in bread recipes? What type of yeast do you recommend?
Lorie: Using too hot of water can kill yeast. If your water is too cool it will require more time to properly activate the yeast and raise the dough. Your water should be the temperature of a baby’s bottle.
I also add sugar or honey to feed the yeast and give it a jump start when I begin my dough.
I purchase 2lb bags of Active Dry Yeast. After it is opened I store it in the fridge. It sounds like a really large bag of yeast but I make bread often enough I always use it way before the expiration date. If you are a beginner bread baker you might want to start with a smaller package.
Brooke: Sometimes I like to think ahead and have some food prep done in advance so when dinner time comes around, I’m not left stressed and scrambling. Can I do this with bread dough–meaning, can I mix together some dough and keep it in the fridge or even freeze it for later? What are your recommendations for freezing, thawing or refrigerating bread dough? Do I let it raise first and then freeze it? Help!
Lorie: You can certainly make dough, let it raise once, punch it down, shape it and then store it in the fridge or freezer. However, after you take it out of the fridge/freezer it needs plenty of time to properly raise before you bake it.
After the bread is baked it should be cooled completely, stored in a tightly closed plastic bag in the freezer. If you are not going freeze the bread, store it in the cupboard. Storing bread in the fridge will cause it go stale faster.
I have been asked how long a baked loaf will last in the freezer. My answer is, I really don’t know. Our family of 4 eats six loaves every week!
Baking many loaves and freezing them insures that we always have a fresh loaf of bread. I regularly bake six loaves of bread at a time and freeze five of them. I just thaw it on the counter top. (My kids won’t eat bread from the grocery store!)
Brooke: What are some ways moms can instill a love for cooking and baking in their kids (or even in themselves!)?
Lorie: Cooking with children takes time, patience, laughter and a good sense of humor. Most children love the feel of bread dough. Even if the dough never gets baked, the children love the hands on experience. Children are more likely to eat food that they have helped prepare. My sixteen year old daughter is now the official Sunday dinner roll baker. Her rolls are as good as mine!
When I was sent a few recipes and videos to try out, I was most eager to try Lorie’s cinnamon roll recipe. I’ll admit it, I have a sweet tooth!! Let me just tell you, this recipe is a WINNER. I am being completely honest when I say that her cinnamon roll recipe is my family’s all-time favorite, and I have tried out several recipes.
The videos are so helpful because you can watch carefully as each ingredient is added, which helps make sure you are following the recipe correctly. You can push pause and rewind to clarify and review. I’ve had issues before with messing up the yeast or doing something wrong and maybe once or twice I’ve had some bread FAILS come out of my oven. That is why I really like how Lorie shows and describes exactly what the mixture and dough is supposed to look like every step of the way. I like seeing what it looks like after the yeast is ready to go, and the right consistency when you’ve added enough flour.
I have made these cinnamon rolls many times now over the past few months, and the rolls have turned out every single time–even the first time I made them (cue the heavenly choirs!). My kids request them often. Oooh, and the cream cheese frosting? Completely scrumptious.
Now, here is a little more information about How to Make Homemade Bread. It is a membership site with two options:
Silver Monthly Membership: $12.95/month for access to a new bread recipe every other week
Gold Monthly Membership: $19.95/month for access to a new bread recipe every other week PLUS unlimited email access to Lorie
You can pay monthly and you will always have access to the videos you receive during your membership. When you log into the membership section, you will also have access to a PDF version of the recipe for you to print off and have handy. Here are some of the recipes that you can look forward to learning about:
- cinnamon rolls
- focaccia bread
- whole wheat bread
- pizza dough
- pita bread
- dinner rolls and more!
What’s great is that you can try out the first video for the “Everyday Loaf” for FREE! Simply sign up with your name and email on the website, and you will be sent the video link where Lorie will teach you how to make her “everyday” white bread, which as you read in the interview happens to be her favorite type of bread.
So now it’s GIVEAWAY TIME!
The prize: 6 months FREE silver membership to How to Make Homemade Bread!
You will receive approx. 12 awesome recipes during this time!
There are two easy ways to enter:
- Leave a comment on this post (you must be a public follower of The Crafting Chicks to be eligible)
- Sign up for the free “everyday bread” video at How to Make Homemade Bread, then come back and leave a comment on this post telling us you signed up.
The giveaway will close Sunday 5/29/11 at midnight (MST) and the winner will be announced Monday 5/30/11 on our Facebook page. Good luck!
**This giveaway is now closed and the winner has been announced. Thank you!**
The kind folks at How to Make Homemade Bread sent us several videos and recipes in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.