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Making Bread the Hard Way :-(

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Hi Everyone!


I haven't been around in a long while. But I have a question for the breadmakers out there. I'm trying to start making bread again. I've made homemade whole wheat bread before, but I always had a mixer or breadmachine to do the mixing (sometimes I'd knead the bread, sometimes not, but usually mixed it by machine). But I moved (yes, again Cat, lol) and sold most of my stuff, and I'm stuck for now with no mixer. My family is a big one, and I have to make a minimum of two loaves, usually four to make it more than a day. But I'm finding that mixing up four loaves of bread by hand is nearly impossible. My hands and arms are aching, and it takes forever. I know that if I keep it up, I'll get bigger arm muscles and it will get easier. But in the meantime I can't get the dough mixed very well. Even doing two loaves is difficult.


I don't know if there is a solution to this, but are there any tricks or tips someone might have? I do plan to get a mixer eventually, but I'm also thinking that for TSHTF situations, I'd like to know if there is some kind of a non-electric tool that would help in the dough mixing. Please don't laugh! :grinning-smiley-044: I'm just thinking that I'd like to make bread without it coming out terrible or taking hours just to prepare it. I'm guessing the answer will be "you just gotta build up those muscles", but I figured it was worth asking.

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OK- here we go.......................


are you 'mixing' whole wheat flour with some white flour? If you do it will be a bit easier to mix and the bread will not be so 'thick' when done.


Some people use a rolling pin to mix dough after you mix it up in a bowl until it is 'ball state'.


Flour your table (or marble tile) well and keep the rolling pin floured as well and just push the dough with the rolling pin, then turn it and fold in half and do it again, and again, and again until it 'looks right' about 3 -5 minutes at least.

this may help get you baking without all the pain.



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Thank you for the reply. Right now I'm using a mix of wheat and spelt. I hate using any white flour, other than to dust the kneading surface with. I may have to consider it though.


I'll keep that rolling pin idea in mind. I think the hardest part, for me, is getting the flour incorporated into the mixture well enough. I might just have to break down and make four separate batches of bread in order to get it mixed without cramping my hand. I can't even get a spoon through it, I have to mash it with my hands. The kneading part isn't so bad though. Maybe I just need a better recipe. Anyone know a good whole wheat (no white flour) recipe that can be stirred by hand? LOL


Of all the things I'm dreading about possible TSHTF scenarios, I think the idea of having no choice but to make bread like this every day just might scare me the most!:cheeky-smiley-067: Okay, that and the possibility of starving to death. ;)

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I know what you are going thru. I had the same problem prior to my shoulder surgery, and even now, my arthritis in the thumbs can make it a tad painful. There are a couple suggestions--1. Can you get a teen to help you mix? 2. Have you tried any quickbreads instead? They are more liquidy and you pour them into a pan to bake.



Lastly, here is the recipe I use most. I got it from another MrsS'er, Biscuitmaker. I find I can stir it enough with a wooden spoon, to then turn it out and knead in the rest of the flour. It calls for 10c+ of ww flour.

Start in a large bowl with:

6c ww flour

2T yeast

2T dough enhancer

1/2c vital gluten

4c hot (115-120deg F) water


Mix that up and rest about 5min. Add 1/2c honey, 1T salt, 1/2c oil. Mix that all in. Now start adding the remaining 4c flour, 2c at a time and stir...and stir...and stir some more. Turn it out on the floured surface and begin to knead. Keep adding flour until the dough reaches that "right texture". Rest a couple min. Rinse out the big bowl & put dough into lightly greased bowl. I use pan spray for that. Cover and let rise 30min in a warm oven. Punch down and knead briefly to divide into 3 equal amounts for your regular sized bread pans. Grease the pans lightly, shape the loaves & place in baking pans. Cover & let rise in pans 30 min. in the warm oven again. Uncover and bake at 350 for an hour or until done.

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Thanks, Vic! I will definitely try that recipe! I'll let everyone know how it goes, after I use up the bread we have.


Nope, no teenagers yet. I would have already passed that task on if I did. ;) My husband can do it, but even he finds it hard, and I'm usually making bread when he's at work. I might try to find a mixer on craigslist this week. I just want to make sure we get a good one that can handle all that bread mixing, and after the week we've had, I don't know if we'll have enough for a really good one, even used. Although I know over time, with all the bread making, we'll save more than the mixer cost. The kids eat a LOT less food when we serve a small slice of that bread to them. One of the many reasons why I do all whole wheat.


Thank you for the recipe. :yum3:

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I have picked up bread machines for about $3-$5 at a thrift store. I just use it to make the dough then bake in the oven. If you need to make more than one loaf at a time, it might be worth it to have more than one bread machine. You can measure ingredients, set the dough cycle and let it go to mix and 1st rise. Then shape into a loaf and let rise again, then bake. If you don't have any good thrift stores nearby, maybe put something on Craigslist that you're looking for one, or try freecycle.

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