Would You Like to Learn How to Bake Bread?

Even if you have never baked bread before, I can just about guarantee that your very first loaf out of the oven will be so mouth-watering that you’ll amaze yourself (not to mention family and friends)!

Up until 1990, I’d never made a single thing that called for yeast. In fact, if a recipe did include yeast, I avoided it LIKE THE PLAGUE! I’ve never been a “Donna Reed” homemaker and I’ve been told that I don’t “cook,” I merely “prepare” things to eat. So, when an unusual gift of a cup of Sourdough Starter came my way, I was at a total loss. However, the friend who shared the starter with me had a delightfully documented family history about the origins of the starter and how her family had “kept it alive” down through seven generations. Who was I to say “Thanks” and then take it home and pour it down the sink?

Luckily, I was acquainted with a diploma’d gourmet cook and I turned to her for help. Sourdough Starter in hand and a recipe that dated back to the mid-1800s, I spent one wonderful Saturday in her kitchen learning the art of making homemade bread. When my first loaf came out of the oven, I stood there in disbelief! (And then, we tore it open and slathered it with butter and ate the WHOLE THING!)

OK, so enough about all this, let’s get on with getting you started. First, this is not a recipe for bread machines. I don’t own one. My only “bread machine” is a large crock mixing bowl, a big wooden spoon, a 31-year-old pastry cloth (a bridal shower gift from my mother), and my two hands. If you are looking for bread machine recipes, then search the Web---you’ll find oodles! I make bread by hand, from scratch, for the relaxation and personal satisfaction it brings me. So beware, you’ll be getting your hands right into the dough! If this isn’t for you, then by all means, pass it by (or give it to a friend who might like to make bread by hand).

Now you are going to need the Sourdough Starter. Please visit website will take you to my easy-to-follow recipes for both the starter and Basic Sourdough Bread---and lots and lots of helpful hints!

I suggest that you print the recipes for both the starter and the bread. You should know up front that it’s going to take about 10 days to “grow” your first batch of starter (I’d love to share a cup of it with you, but technology hasn’t quite mastered the art of sending material objects via cyber-space!). Once you get started, you can email me directly (using the email address found on the recipe pages) if you have any questions. I’ll be happy to hold you hand while you create your first batch of homemade Sourdough Bread!

Oh, one thing, though…better be sure to have a tub of butter handy! You’re not going to be able to resist it…

Jan K., The Proofer is freelance proofreader and copyeditor. Visit for more information. Visit Jan K., the Proofer’s sister sites: Mom’s Break at for free printable projects and crafts. Jan’s Dough at for free printable recipes for Sourdough Bread and more. For free content articles, visit Article © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

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