Bread For Blokes

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Man Bread And How To Make It

I keep it simple and fortunately, I have been allowed some space in the pantry to keep all my bread making stuff together so the organisation is very simple.

I never weigh anything and I use a bread maker machine but only to mix the dough. I don’t cook the bread in the bread machine because I prefer to make buns and bake them in the oven. I split a bun if I want toast.

Although I have never used a cake mixer with a dough hook they are available and I think I would buy one of these if I ever have to replace the bread maker. I am fortunate I have time to make the bread the way I do and if I was too busy I guess I would just stick to the bread maker recipe and use the machine for the whole process.

Bread making my way:


  • Bread maker or mixer to mix the dough.
  • Oven to cook said dough
  • Conical cooks measure to standardize quantities instead of weighing
  • Two measuring spoons – 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon
  • Loaf dish
  • Oven tray
  • Small scoop
  • Measuring cup for water – about 340 MLS


  • High-grade white flour
  • Wholemeal flour
  • Yeast
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Olive oil – Optional
  • Full cream milk powder – Optional
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – Optional
  • Mixed grains to add to bread – kibbled wheat, sunflower seeds, rolled oats and what have you. Some shops sell special grain mixes but you can make up your own using grains and seeds. – Optional


Warm water from the hot tap – approx. 340 MLS. I keep a particular coffee mug aside that holds just the right amount so when I fill it to overflowing I know it is exactly right.

Put warm water in bread machine pan then add:

  • 1 ½ small scoops of mixed grain
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • One tablespoon of milk powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar (Raw sugar gives a slight brown color)
  • One 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon or slightly less of unsweetened cocoa powder (for color only)
  • One cup of wholemeal flour
  • Two cups of white flour
  • Three teaspoons of yeast. (One level teaspoon of yeast per cup of flour – follow the recipe if you are going to bake this bread in the bread maker as too much yeast can cause the bread to rise so much it will touch the lid of the breadmaker – this is not a problem when baking bread in the oven.) Do not put yeast directly into the warm water – if the water is too hot it will kill the yeast.
    Put bread maker on dough cycle or take the dough out of the bread maker when it beeps to let you know the dough is mixed. Even on the ‘dough’ cycle, I take the dough out of the bread machine early so I can have it rise in the loaf tray.
    If you put too much water in the mix the dough will be wet and sticky and almost impossible to handle.

When the dough comes out of the mixer work it briefly by hand into a short thick sausage and put in a loaf dish. I leave the loaf dish containing the dough in the oven set at its very lowest temperature so that it will rise in about two hours. (Drape a piece of cling wrap or baking paper over the top of the dough to stop it drying out on top.)  Keep an eye on your dough as if it is left too long it will rise beautifully but then collapse and you will end up with an ugly loaf.

To make bread rolls I cut the dough into about 10 roughly equal small chunks and roll each chunk vigorously between my palms to make them into round balls or small sausage shapes.

You can slightly wet the top of the dough and dunk it into the wholegrain mix grain just before you put it in the oven if you want grains stuck to the outside top of your loaf. You can also brush olive oil or melted margarine lightly on top of each loaf or roll to keep the top moist while it bakes.

I then place the balls of dough on a lightly oiled oven tray to bake into buns. Lightly oil the baking dish or oven tray so the bread doesn’t stick – don’t press the dough down onto the tray as that will encourage it to stick. Baking paper is probably the most reliable way to make sure your bread doesn’t stick to the dish while baking.

Baking The Bread

Put the bread into about the middle of the oven and turn it on to the lowest heat setting it will go on so that the oven is just warm. This will give the dough a chance and the time to rise. When it seems to have finished rising and is pretty much double its original size as dough, turn the oven up to just under 100ºc to start the baking. Don’t leave it too long after the rising process is complete before you turn the oven up as the risen bread may sag down.  A short spell of extra heat while the temperature climbs to about 80c will give the yeat and extra quick burst of activity.  Then just crank the temperature up to 200c and watch and wait.

The balls of dough will take about 15 minutes to bake into buns. Keep an eye on them and take them out when they are an attractive brown color with a good crust. Stay focused! They will burn real quick so do not wander off!

Because each bun is relatively small they cook quickly but the loaf, if you decide to cook the sausage of dough in its entirety to give you a loaf of bread, will take a little longer to cook through.

To make a large loaf, after the second rising is complete I turn the oven up to a little over 120ºc and let the bread sit there for a few minutes at that temperature to part cook before I finally turn it up to 200ºc. Once again keep an eye on it as after a few minutes it will brown and then quickly burn as the oven temperature gets up around 200c. It is a matter of fine judgment and good timing to produce a loaf that is lovely and brown and crusty. A few moments too long and your precious loaf will turn dark brown, then black and burn.

Get it right and you will have a beautiful crusty brown bread with lots of grains in it.

Common faults:

The lump of dough ends up like soft solid putty – you forgot to put the yeast in.
Bread dough appears to have risen but has a depression on top and is not as high as you would expect – left too long after the second rising before it was baked.

**Brownie Points: social currency, which can be acquired by earning favor with the wife.

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