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Homemade, Personalized Breads Please

Times like this when you just can't get satisfied with the breads you buy in the groceries and you suddenly get the urge to eat something different? Well, good thing i know how to make my own bread. Not just any kind of bread, or bread recipe that i have to follow step by step from a baking book, but my version of a healthier and more satisfying loaf of bread.

So just what kind of breads do i bake? For my baking class, we bake all sorts, from the humble Pandesal to that glorious buttery sweet Ensaimadas. These are not the stuff my sister and i eat anymore. My breads are usually made from ingredients that i have in the kitchen, sweet potatoes, nuts, coconut, bananas, yams, fresh herbs and even chilis!

The past few weeks, i made several batches of Walnut studded loaves, half of which will go to my sister. Last week, she took me to Starbucks and made me taste the toasted fruit and nut so i did, but took only two bites and that was it. It tasted good, but just not my kind of bread, too sweet and high in fat, of which i can tell because of its softness. Not saying that it is bad but i had to tell her why it was softer than the breads i make which is soft but chewier since i reduce the fat content and use more Corn oil as its tenderizer, not the usual shortening and margarine these bakeries use.

My breads are a 2 day process. I make the sponge on day 1, night before, mix it the morning after and rest the whole dough inside the chiller for another day, then bake it on Day 2. It is a tricky technique so i don't recommend it for beginners, but worth the wait. I also do not use too much yeast, i like the dough to proof longer, slower which gives it that unbelievable texture and flavor you do not get from commercially bought breads.

Believe you me, if you love breads then this is the way to do it. You have never eaten bread this good unless you have tried doing it the old fashioned way, the way our ancestors do their bread.

My basic recipe is made with bread flour, and i add about 10% oats to it, or whatever ancient grains i have on hand, sometimes buckwheat, bulgur wheat, barley, rye etc.... You can get some of these at Healthy Options. Then i use 6% dark brown sugar, and 6% honey, 6% corn oil, 4% butter (better butter than trans fat), 1.7% salt, and that's it. You can add 4 to 6% eggyolks for softness if you like but i don't unless my sister asks for it, and also 5% milk powder. This bread will not be sweet and if you buy a lot of breads from the Panaderias, this will taste bland but not for me. Store bought breads use from 25 to 26% sugar, so no thank you.


Wanuts, Raisins and Banana Loaves
Sinful but i will take it, i eat 5 slices of this bread everyday.



A much leaner version of the loaves on top, this batch does not have bananas to sweeten the dough naturally. All the same though, they disappeared fast in my tummy.


It has sweet potatoes, yellow and purple which are leftover from the kitchen.

I also do the same when i bake my own pizzas, the crust was never 100% bread flour, but has all sorts of grains and seeds, spices such as garlic with some herbs from the garden.

So bake your own bread and customize it, be different and creative. Don't be a slave to grocery additive loaded breads. You will never go back to buying them once you taste how good homemade really is. Promise.

For the latest baking class schedule, please visit www.breadmakinglessons.com or send me a message at www.facebook.com/cshirleyvillafranca.

Next baking class will be on August 17 20 23. Text 09495705091 to make a reservation.







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DO NOT FORGET TO GREASE THE BAKING DISH OR THE PUDDING WILL STICK A LITTLE, YOU WANT NICE CLEAN CUTS...


THE PUDDING PLACED ON A SQUARE DISH, PAT SOME BUTTER OR MARGARINE ON TOP IF YOU LIKE. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO STEAM BAKE RIGHT AWAY, YOU CAN ALLOW THE RAISINS TO SOAK FOR AN HOUR TO SOFTEN THEM.

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