Farmhouse White Bread

I learned a lot in my early cooking days from watching the Food Network. Now I try and shy away from featuring recipes by stars on the Food Network. If I am going to borrow someone’s recipe, it should be a fellow blogger. I picked up this book, The New Midwestern Table
, while visiting a friend with no clue that it was a Food Network personality. This book is nothing like what you see on TV, it is eclectic and a truly fabulous read. The stories about each recipe are fascinating and inspirational. I love that the food turns out so well because this collection of recipes is a fabulous tribute to regional American cuisine from the Midwest. We have not had a bread recipe on the blog in some time, despite our anti-storebought-bread persuasion, so I think we are due.



I do have a confession. My white bread recipe sucks. All the trial and error to perfect that white bread, and I can’t stand it now. I loathe the day that I ate the bread from a Mennonite bakery nearby. My bread does not hold a card to the fluffy, rich, perfect loaves. I actually never bake white bread anymore, I am only baking the honey oat bread. So I am back to the drawing board. I really don’t know how they do it, maybe I could ask the mennonites to take me under their wing and teach me the ways of their bread baking. I found this recipe in the book, The New Midwestern Table. I figured an old family recipe may be just the jumping off point for my new white bread. This bread is incredible!

A note on the potato water… I know it sounds weird. But there is something to this! When you mix the yeast with the sugar and the potato water, it just starts raging with foam. There are a million ways to use the potatoes when you are done. You can easily make mashed potatoes or potato salad, but I recommend starting with finely chopped potatoes and making Chicken Pot Hand Pies (recipe coming soon!). If you have read the Potato and Onion Buns post then you are probably starting to understand my obsession with recipes within recipes and doubling anything and everything. I think it is my day (and night? and all the freaking time) job as an ER doc that encourages this behavior in the kitchen. At work I am looking for any possible shortcut so that I can just save 30 seconds of time. A large amount of my free time is spent in my kitchen. I love cooking and baking and the process is my stress reliever. I work insane hours and so I understand the time crunch that working home chefs face. I try to intertwine these recipes so that you can read 3 blog posts and have inspired meals for an entire week. This bread is worth making and the step of boiling potatoes may seem too time consuming. But these potatoes are a side for dinner tonight or an ingredient in a more complex recipe tomorrow.


Farmhouse White Bread
Makes two loaves

1 large russet potato, approximately 2 lb, cubed
2 1/2 tsp yeast
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening, melted
2 tsp salt
7 cups bread flour
Canola oil to oil the bowl

Place the potato cubes in a saucepan with 4 cups of salted water. Bring to a boil, cover, simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked. Drain, reserve 3 cups of the cooking water.
Place 1/4 cup of the potato water, a pinch of sugar, and the yeast in a small bowl. The yeast should foam up (like crazy in my case) in about 5 minutes. Allow the rest of the potato water to cool slightly.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the remaining 2 3/4 cups potato water, the melted shortening, 3 tbsp sugar, the salt, and 1 cup of the flour. Whisk until smooth. Add the proofed yeast mixture and 2 1/2 cups of the flour, and whisk again until smooth. Place the bowl under the stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Knead with dough hook for 8 minutes. Add the remaining 3 1/2 cups flour, cup by cup. The dough will begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough springs back when touched.

Place the dough in a well oiled bowl and allow to rise until doubled for 1 hour.

Punch down the dough and leave it to rise until doubled in size, 45 minutes.
Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Grease two 10x5x3 inch metal pans with shortening. Stretch out and roll up each piece of dough to fit the pans. Coat the top with some melted shortening. Allow to rise for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake until the loaves are dark golden brown and sound hollow, 45-50 minutes.

Recipe adapted from The New Midwestern Table.


I am starting to worry that maybe you guys are getting tired of bread recipes. But we are well into the month of April and I still have not bought any bread at the store. If you are going to try any of these bread recipes, this is the one. These baguettes are the perfect dinner bread, they make a fabulous sandwich, and are delicious days later as toast. This recipe is so amazing and so simple! You can easily bake fresh bread for dinner guests with this recipe. This recipe is labeled as “the 4 hour baguette.” It does take 4 hours, but most of that time is rising and resting. You can use the time between steps to make something else, or you can watch some Apple TV. I recommend pouring a glass of cold brew coffee and enjoying the beautiful weather on the patio. Don’t have any cold brew? Brew a batch while you wait for your dough to rise! Or, do as I would, and pour a glass of Saint Hillaire sparkling and write this blog post by the pool! This is the first Bubbly Kitchen bread recipe that requires kneading by hand. It will really be no trouble at all, just give it a try.



1 1/2 cup tap water
1 tsp active dry yeast
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp kosher salt
canola oil or butter for the bowl
1/2 cup ice cubes

In a large bowl, whisk together the yeast and warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes until foamy. Add in the flour and stir with a fork until a dough comes together. Let this rest for 20 minutes. Mix in the salt and transfer to your lightly floured counter. Knead until smooth and elastic, at least 10 minutes. You will know the dough is kneaded when you push the dough with your finger and it springs back. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow this to rise until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Transfer the risen dough to your lightly floured counter top. Pat the dough into a rectangle. Fold the long sides into the middle and then fold the short sides in, as if you were folding a T shirt. Return the dough to your greased bowl, place seamed side down, cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest until doubled in size, 1 hour.

Arrange your oven with a cast iron skillet or metal baking pan in the bottom rack. On a rack above this, place a pizza stone or upside down sheet pan if you do not have a stone. Heat the oven to 475°.

Prepare a rimless baking sheet with floured parchment paper. Move the dough to a lightly floured counter top and cut into three equal pizzas. Roll and stretch each piece into a 14 inch rope. (This website has a great video on how to form your baguettes.) Place the baguettes on the parchment paper and lift up the paper between the ropes of dough. Place two rolled up kitchen towels on each outer side. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 50 minutes, until doubled in size.

Remove the plastic wrap and towels, flatten the paper to leave space between the loaves. Using your kitchen shears, slash the top of each baguette at a 30 degree angle in 4 places, each slash approximately 4 inches long. Pull out the oven rack with the baking stone, slide the parchment paper and loaves carefully onto the stone. Place the ice cubes in the skillet or metal pan. Bake until dark brown, 25 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Food 52.


Throughout my bread baking journey, there have been some less than ideal products. The other day when I was post call, I doubled the honey oat bread recipe to make two loaves. The dough rose beautifully and was absolutely perfect. I formed them in the pans and left them for a second rise…. And then fell asleep for 3 hours. Don’t over rise your bread in the pans. The top of the loaf will dry out and collapse. Also, maybe don’t bake bread after working 30 hours straight. I baked the loaves anyway and I burned them of course.

But as it turns out this was not a complete failure. I turned this bread into croutons. Just trim off the overly baked edges and it’s like you never messed up your perfect dough. Homemade croutons are insanely good and there are so many different ways to flavor them. You can use any loaf of bread for this. It is a great way to use up homemade bread that is dry and a few days old. Put these croutons in salads or serve them with soup, like this French Onion Soup. Cut them into whatever size you prefer. Sprinkle these croutons with Parmesan cheese halfway through baking, or my secret salad improver – the Melting Pot Garlic and Wine seasoning.


1/2 loaf stale homemade bread (white bread or honey oat bread)
Kosher salt
Olive oil (or melted butter)
Garlic powder (optional)
Onion powder (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the loaf of bread into one inch slices, cutting off the crusts if you prefer. Cut this into one inch cubes, or larger strips for soup if you prefer.

In a large bowl, toss the bread with just enough olive oil or melted butter to coat them. Do not saturate the bread.

Arrange the bread in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and any seasonings of your choice such as garlic and onion powder.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until they are golden brown.

This is a Bubbly Kitchen original recipe.

Honey Oat Bread

After much experimenting and many tiny barely risen loaves of bread… I am elated to post this honey oat bread! It is my new favorite. It is fabulous for sandwiches and toast. It is very difficult not to eat it piece by piece while it is still warm from the oven. I actually really like this method of melting everything together in a saucepan as well. You can bring the liquid to an exact temperature and get a more consistent rise from the dough. I have to say, this bread baking journey has been so rewarding. It has not been difficult, even during my busiest of weeks. There is something therapeutic about baking the same thing each week.



A note on the flours… You can use all-purpose flour if you do not have bread flour. I have used it in this recipe and the bread was still delicious. I have also experimented with using whole wheat flour instead of white whole wheat. You should experiment with proportions of white whole wheat to whole wheat flour. This changes the texture of the bread and this is really a matter of personal preference. Readers have asked me about gluten free bread. I don’t know why gluten has become such an evil substance. There are people with real gluten intolerance who have a long list of symptoms and suffering. But I am not sold that gluten free food is “healthier.” If you do have a gluten allergy, I would recommend Thomas Keller’s Cup 4 Cup flour substitute. If there is one person to be trusted when it comes to recipe substitutions, it has to be Thomas Keller. In his books he allows no substitutions and is extremely precise.


Honey oat bread
Makes 1 loaf

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 egg

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the water, butter, and honey. Allow this to melt together and warm to 140 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine 2 1/2 cups of the flour, kosher salt, oats, and yeast.

Pour the water/honey/butter into the flour in the stand mixer bowl. Mix on speed 2 for a minute until combined. Add in the egg, mix for 1 minute. Turn the mixer on speed 2 and knead for 5 minutes, adding the last half cup of flour intermittently during the kneading time.

Place the dough in a well buttered bowl and cover with parchment and a towel. Allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, it should double in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl and roll out into a rectangle. Fold into thirds starting with the short sides, then the long sides. Roll the dough out again and repeat. Turn it over and place the dough seam side down in a 1lb loaf pan. You should have a nice and smooth top surface.

Allow this to rise for 1 more hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.

This is a Bubbly Kitchen original recipe.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

These days it seems like everyone is changing recipes to be whole wheat or whole grain. I am reading all these articles about grinding your own grains… sounds super hipster. No matter what flour you use, my pizza recipes end up with the same amount of calories. So I am not sure how much time should be spent making things “whole.” In theory there is a difference in the breakdown of whole grains versus super processed grains in our body. It seems logical that the more processed the grains are the faster the food turns into sugar. Whole grains may be more slow burning carbs. But this pizza crust just tastes fabulous. I’m not trying to lie to you and say that this pizza is healthier because its whole wheat. This recipe makes two larger pizzas that I sliced into 8 pieces. This comes out to be about 165 calories for 1/8th of the pizza. Whole wheat or white whole wheat flour can be used here. I prefer King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour in most recipes, it has the best flavor. You can obviously use this for any of the Bubbly Kitchen pizza recipes: Gruyere and Caramelized Onions, White Pizza, Breakfast Pizza, Spicy Kale Pizza.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough



Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Makes 2 x 12 inch pizzas

2½ cups whole wheat flour
2½ cups unbleached bread flour
2 cups lukewarm water
4½ tsp. instant yeast
1¾ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. honey

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, combine the flours, water, yeast, salt olive oil, and honey. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Leave the mixer on for 6 minutes to knead the dough. Place 1 tsp olive oil in a large glass bowl and swirl around. Transfer dough to the bowl, turning once to coat in oil. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Rise for 1½-2 hours.

Gently punch the dough to deflate it. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into two pieces. Work each piece into a smooth ball. This I’d the step where I wrap one of the dough balls in plastic wrap and freeze it in a freezer bag. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

Roll out the dough between two sheets if parchment sprayed with olive oil. Preheat oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone in place. Place your toppings on the crust and bake for 10 minutes.

Adapted from Annie’s Eats.