The Day My Husband Tried to Make Bread

Foods & DrinksCooking Tips & Recipes

  • Author Gini Johnson
  • Published July 11, 2011
  • Word count 1,205

Now you would think since I have 42 years experience and have taught all my kids to make bread that my husband would be very good at it as well. But you would be wrong! Since I’m now in my 60’s and can no longer eat wheat my interest in making homemade whole wheat bread has dwindled. I told my husband, who is retired, that he could just put the ingredients into the bread maker and in an hour he could have hot bread. So that is exactly what he did for months. After awhile this was not good enough for him. He wanted to make, what he called, real bread. What he really wanted was to be able to make more than one loaf at a time and freeze it. I have a Bosch mixer with a dough hook, which has stood the test of time for about 10 years, it being the second one I have ever owned. The first one lasted 32 years so I can’t complain. So I said, “Go ahead. The recipe I have always used is in the “Wheat Cookery” cookbook.” I even pointed it out to him. It is dirty and has notes written all over it where I doubled and tripled the recipe to accommodate the appetites of 5 growing children.

The next thing I know he’s in my office asking me to please come because something is wrong. He said it didn’t look right.

“Sure ” I said. I’m used to mom to the rescue. Not only do I get a least one call a day from one of my kids asking me how to do this or how do I do that. I get calls from the friends of my kids who now call me mom and members of my church and other churches. I’m always glad to help and always a little flattered that they would want my advice and help. I go into the kitchen to find this gooey glob going round and round in the mixer. I take one look and tell him it does not have enough flour is all.

He tells me that that is what the recipe called for. “It said to grind 6 cups and put 7 cups in the mixer and that is what I did.”

“I understand, but it still doesn’t change the fact that there is not enough flour in there.”

“What do I do I’m out of ground flour.”

“Sorry you are just going to have to grind more flour and keep adding it till the texture is right.”

How will I know when it’s right?”

“When the bread pulls away from the sides of the bowl and clings to the dough hook and when you pinch it between thumb and finger and it does not stick to your fingers.”

So off he goes out into the garage to get more wheat berries to grind.

I got back to my office because I have more to do than I can get done in a day anyway. Even from the office I can smell the fresh ground wheat flour and it smells so good. You can smell all the nutrients in it. I know it will be warm to the touch after being ground. It’s times like these when I feel a little sorry for myself not being able to eat wheat any more.

“Honey?” Comes the plea from the kitchen after about 15 minutes. “Could you come here a second, this still doesn’t look right?”

I look sadly at the pile of work to be done knowing it will probably have to wait for another day. I put a smile on my face and head for the kitchen.

What I find is my sweet husband putting unequal amounts of bread dough into bread pans of different sizes. I know this going to be bad. The smaller loaves are going to get done before the larger loaves and he is filling them only half full. I know when you are making whole wheat bread you fill it 2/3 full because whole wheat is not going to rise as much as white bread. I inform him of such.

He tells me that I am wrong the recipe told him to fill them ½ full.

I inwardly sigh. I decide not to step in and take over but to let him handle this on his own. Sometimes the best teacher is to make mistakes and then learn from them. “So what don’t you think looks right then?”

“The tops look bumpy,” he complains.

So I take a lumpy glob of dough out of one pan and fold it under until the top is smooth on top and put it back in the bread pan.

“Oh right, you showed me how to do that last week when we made whole wheat hamburger buns. By the way you have to go to the bank and do something with your account. I will take you. Do you think the bread will be OK while we’re gone?”

I look at the bread and tell him it should be OK so long as we are quick. Bread made of warm freshly ground wheat rises quicker than starting with cold flour so I know from experience we don’t have a whole lot of time. We go to the bank and thank goodness it is quick. As we are returning home my husband informs he is going to drop me off could I please bake the bread for him. I stifle yet another sigh and tell him it’s OK, go ahead and go. So I end up baking his bread. When it comes out I can tell the small ones are a little over done. Yes I could have taken them out of the oven sooner than the others but Gerald would not learn anything from that. I must do it exactly how he would do it. I butter the tops as I turn them out of their pans. Then I turn them on their sides close to each other and cover them with two towels. This will ensure that the crusts are nice and soft and have a buttery goodness. Oh by the way I checked the recipe. There were two recipes side by side. One called for 7 cups of flour and one called for 13 cups of flour. Guess which one he was making?

Gerald came home to find warm mouth watering bread to enjoy. He cut a slice off the big loaf and slathered it with butter and homemade strawberry freezer jam. I did take one bite. Don’t judge me I couldn’t resist. I am just hoping the price I will ultimately face won’t be that bad.

My son showed up the next day just to visit. Well, he also needed his dad to fix his windshield wiper, but I prefer to think of it as just a visit to see his poor old parents. As my son was leaving my husband presented him with the two small loaves. I didn’t say a word but I thought maybe my husband wouldn’t learn a lesson after all since he never had to eat those small loaves. Oh well, maybe next time.

The author Gini Johnson can be found at We have some of the best and yet most affordable grain mills on the market. If you want to eat healthy we can help. Read the “History of White Flour,” and check out our recipes, helpful baking hints and videos page. Let us show you why you need a wheat grinder in your life.

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