A Knead For Change

Our separation is final. After years of trying to work out our differences, my bread machine and I have parted ways. I had high expectations and Mr. Oster could no longer rise to the occasion. He continually produced flat results. At first I blamed our problems on the yeast, but the poor yeast was not to blame. The new loaf pan I found at the thrift store certainly didn't improve things between me and Mr. Oster.

Thrifted Loaf Pan

I was tempted by its vintage charm and tin ceiling inspired design, and curious to try a batch of bread the old fashioned way.


I am a changed woman. I love mixing the yeast with warm water, measuring out the flour, making a well in the center, stirring all the ingredients together, kneading the dough, finding a warm place for the yeast to do its magic. To think I once relied on a machine to do all those steps which I find so enjoyable and rewarding. Just goes to prove you can't rush love, even if you use the rapid cycle.



  1. so so true! We make bread by hand twice a week (okay, I use the mixer to help) and all of us love the process - the stirring, the kneading, the watching it rise. Arguing over who gets to punch the dough down. It's so much more meaningful than just throwing ingredients in a machine and waiting for it to pop out.

    And I love that loaf pan.

  2. I couldn't agree more.

  3. I am so with you on this one! I was always so intimidated by making bread the old-fashioned way. But in the last few months, I really just tried and fumbled my way through the process. And now, I'm hooked. It's so much better this way. And I love the kneading, and the setting it by the fire to rise...

    But I have a technical question for you--how many times do you punch it down and let it rise? Do you let it rise (double in size, punch it down, let it rise again?) I have only been doing one rise, and I wonder if it would be better with two....

  4. Baking fresh bread is my favorite. I find the entire process so rewarding and there is no better smell than freshly baked bread wafting through the house!

  5. Molly - Guess Who? Give you one chance - think of who your mom traveled across country with back in '93 - and our only goal was to find Reba's house to take a picture of it for a friend (Teri) - HA!

    I just got back to Miss Lilly's house after having lunch at where else but Chevy's with your Mom and Dad and Greg and Teri - OMG! What fun was that. It's like time has not even separated us.

    I wanted so much to be able to see you while I was here, but things just didn't work out that way. Your mom told me that I would be able to catch up to how your life is with your blog, and girlfriend, what a life you have. How ultra cool! I have only skimmed the surface of your blog - I can't wait to read the WHOLE thing! WOW! You are just too cool for words, what can I say???

    I have a blog too, it's on weight loss, so you probably wont find it all that interesting, but you can find tid bits of information on my life in between the lines.

    Just do me a fave ok? My name? You know how "common" it is! LOL - I choose to go by Biz for reasons we can get into via eMail. So if you choose to comment in my blog, please use "Biz" - OH MY MOLLY! I can't wait to find out more about you. I hear you are quite the crafty one! Me too, I have become so domesticated - it's about time eh?

    You can reach me at bizadventure at comcast dot net - write me when you can ok?

    Can I just say WOW one more time?

  6. this is what i'm talking about. wonderful post! so well written!

  7. Looks delish! Care to share your recipe?

  8. Uhhh, my jaw is aching and my mouth watering from looking at that beautiful loaf of bread. Did I mention on the phone that we should get together and visit this week. . .?

  9. Oh I'm making bread also today! To go with my carrot/ginger soup. Yummy!

    Love your new machine! ;)

  10. Now you're talkin' my language baby! In the warm months, I love finding the sunny spot to raise my bread, and in the cold months I love putting it next to the fire... I LOVE how it feels to knead the bread: smooth,warm,& springy. I can't think of one other thing I cook (except maybe soup) that makes me feel happier or more centered than bread!Hearth, home and happiness!

  11. I gave my bread machine to my daughter, who works full-time and doesn't have as much opportunity to make bread the "old fashioned" way. I had stopped using it, because I never liked the shape of bread machine bread, and I found I really enjoyed the process of making bread.

    I make the dough, and while I'm making it, I turn on my oven to let it get just barely warm (because my house is too cold for the bread to rise if I don't). I let the dough rest while I clean out the bowl. Then, I put the dough in the oiled bowl, cover it with a towel and let it rise in the oven, that's turned off now. When it's doubled, I take it out of the bowl and put it into a bread pan, cover it, and put it back in the oven, and let it rise to double again. Then, I bake it.

    I'm no bread expert and I've ruined plenty of loaves by not letting them rise enough, or by not adding enough flour and they end up too "dense" or brown on the outside and doughy on the inside, but I've had just enough success that I keep doing it.

    And those doughy loaves make good French toast :).

    Happy kneading!

  12. I've never gotten along with my bread machine, either. It would just sit in my kitchen taking up space, until just the other day I dropped it and it broke! Whoops! I'm really heartbroken, can't you tell?

    I'd really like to start making it the old-fashioned way, I'm just a little intimidated. This post kinda gets me in the mood to go try it, though!

  13. i am new to this bread making world, but i agree completely.

    it is a powerful feeling.

  14. I just got done making foccacia. The best part about making bread the slow way is the talks. My kids and I have the best talks when we mix and knead. and if no ones around it is something that quiets me and everything else. Great post! Now you know how easy and rewarding it is you won't go back!!

  15. I love making bread by hand. Every so often I think I want the convenience of a bread machine, but I don't think I would use it. I would rather do it by hand.

  16. I just gave my bread machine away on Freecycle Sunday. I hadn't used it in years and have been making bread by hand for over a year.


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email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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