Bread of life

Posted: December 11, 2014 in Food, Personal
Tags: , , , , ,

For several weeks, my husband has been on a restrictive diet prior to some testing, a diet that excludes all iodine, dairy, canned veggies, prepared foods, and more.  Using non-iodized salt, I can easily make many of the normal dishes we eat, but almost everything has to be from scratch.

To this end, I brought out my neglected bread machine, as all bread you buy (unless labeled “no-salt”) has, at the very least, iodized salt and perhaps other forbidden things.  I made a simple French bread first–flour, water, salt, sugar, and yeast.  Then I reached back into my recipe file and made part-white, part-wheat rolls.

If you choose, you may use the machine only for mixing the dough and letting it rise, then shape and bake it outside the machine.  That’s what I did with the rolls.  Here’s the dough at the end of the hour-and-a-half dough cycle.


I roll the dough into a rope, then cut it into 12 somewhat similar sections. Each gets rolled into a ball and put in a muffin cup.  After a twenty-minute rising time in a warm oven, the rolls are ready to put in the oven to transform from dough into rolls.


Voilà!  I have a dozen rolls.  To gild the lily, the house is now permeated with the indescribably delicious smell of freshly baked bread!  How is it possible for a smell to carve a whole in my stomach that immediately need to be filled only by fresh bread?  When our daughters were still at home and I used the bread machine almost every night, it was a sad day the day we grew so used to the divine smell of baking bread that we no longer noticed it!

I’ve realized from this experience of having to make virtually everything from scratch, how easy it is to use prepared foods, most of which not only aren’t as good for us as well as more costly, but often don’t taste nearly as good.


I’m sure once we’re back to what passes for normal in our house, I won’t make every single thing by scratch, although I will be making ravioli for Christmas dinner as well as the walnut sauce.  But the experience has kicked me back into a better place for cooking and eating and for that, I’m grateful.

  1. Norma says:

    Wow! there is nothing good as the smell of a freshly baked bread. They are gorgeous looking breads. 🙂

  2. Baking bread is actually quite simple.. (even without a bread-machine).. I have used one of those old fashioned mixers for dough.. But instead of following the recipe strict, I run it for at least 10 minutes. Afterwards I make loafs (much simpler) in silicon trays.. This makes excellent sandwich bread… Sometimes I have done this in the evening and let them rise on a cold place over night.. Then I just go up a little earlier and bake them.. Then you get fresh bread for breakfast.

    I think I might just do that this weekend.

    • You’re right, Björn, making bread isn’t difficult. It can take time, though, The bread machine is great for that overnight baking and getting up to fresh bread is wonderful. In the last years, there have been bakers that use the method of making dough, then letting it sit in a cold place/fridge, taking off a certain amount when you need (knead??) it, and then baking. Haven’t tried that yet. Most of my family likes bread but is trying not to eat too much of it, so I’ve really cut back on making it. When the girls were little and at home, I made a loaf almost every night.


  3. Sandra says:

    Lovely photos, I can almost smell them baking. I make all my own bread these days, usually ciabatta and/or crusty white. I don’t use a bread machine, though I do use a foodmixer with dough hook for preparation. I might try putting the dough into muffin cups next time.

    • Or you can just shape it into rolls, let them rise, and then bake them that way, too. I have a mixer with dough hook, but have loaned it to our younger daughter, so I don’t have the option available right now.


  4. ChristineR says:

    Too much yummy temptation for me. 😀

  5. Huge bread people in this house. Prefer it over cake and cookies any time. Hoping all goes well with your husband’s testing.

  6. Sue says:

    Normally I don’t eat a lot of bread but if it was fresh baked warm out of my oven I’d probably eat the whole thing. Slathered in real butter of course…mmmmmm

  7. Beautiful, beautiful yeast dough – I want to give that big lump of it a nice pat.

    I should make a delicious smelling loaf of raisin bread…

  8. Joyce says:

    The rolls look really good. I remember seeing once a picture you posted of you making the ravioli, but am curious. Is it your favorite dish? It is a dish I have not heard used or made for Christmas dinner. I bet it is delicious, though as I have always loved ravioli when eating it out in a restaurant but never tried it. Our traditional for Christmas is the spiral ham and turkey on Thanksgiving, but this Christmas we are going to get prime rib to cook for our family dinner for a change.

    • When I was growing up, we always had ham because the company gave my dad one. I like ham, so that was great. My in-laws would have ham and turkey but when I took a ravioli-making class some years ago, my family loved ravioli. After I took the Italian cooking class where I got the walnut sauce recipe, it became a holiday demand. Usually now we have them at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Sometimes I make both meat and artichoke fillings and then make regular ravioli and spinach so we can tell the difference. Making them is a bit time-consuming, but the results are delicious


  9. Madhu says:

    Well done! I can almost smell it halfway across the world!!! 🙂

  10. Great photos. I can almost smell the bread from here. There is enough salt to cover the daily intake in 2 slices of brought bread. Makes you think doesn’t it. 😀

  11. Sea Salt is a favorite in this house. And I love making bread! I always see my grandmother’s hands when I’m kneading. They are shaped like hers, except for the missing tips of two fingers that were cut off when she was a girl when her brother chopped off a chicken’s head. But that’s another story. Yea for your breadmaking. It’s rewarding. (and warm)

    • And tasty! 🙂 I also like to make bread by hand, but it’s hard to beat the simplicity of the bread machine. I also like to make the dough for cinnamon rolls, then shape and bake them outside the machine.


  12. They look so delicious. I’m looking forward to getting my bread machine next year when our furniture gets shipped over here. 🙂

  13. Your rolls look delicious. When I take the time to make something from scratch, it always reminds me how few ingredients it requires and I can pronounce them all. 🙂

  14. jamilamimi says:

    Hmmm anything from the oven, smells good! I bet it didnt last long at the table😊

  15. helenscribe says:

    Purely wonderful. I love the photos of the gestation and transformation of simple ingredients into the bread of life. This would go well with reading the “Alphabet novels” of Sue Grafton, one of whose characters is a retired baker, whom she describes with loving attention to detail.

  16. Can almost smell the bread!!! And that first photo looks like someone’s skin 🙂

    • It’s kind of a funky photo, isn’t it? That made it even more fun to post. 🙂 The bread smell is so wonderful that I hope everyone reading the post can smell it. Hmmmm. Next step: scratch and sniff posts. 🙂


  17. storydivamg says:

    I love that photo of the loaf, Janet.

    My spouse is permanently on a restrictive diet that excludes gluten and most dairy, so I do a lot more cooking from scratch than I might otherwise do. It’s fun sometimes, but I so wish I could fix a dish made with good, old-fashion cream-of-mushroom soup now and again.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  18. Making food from scratch is a great thing to do. We always have a homemade tomato sauce (fresh roasted tomatoes, capsicum, onion, etc) frozen in various sized compartments ready to whip out for pasta sauce, pizza base, etc. Infinitely better than anything you’ll get straight out of a bottle or tin.

  19. YUM … Hello – my name is Isadora and I am a bread addict (now restricted due to gluten issues) I would have devoured those delectable buns. You made my mouth water with your photos. MMMM …. yummy. Ahhh … now, I can appreciate bread with my eyes. Thanks for the visual memories.

    • Izzy, there are many recipes for gluten-free bread. When one of our daughters was eating gluten-free for a time, I found a recipe for gluten-free pasta that was much better than any of the commercial products I found anywhere. Glad you enjoyed the gluten-free photos, though.


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