Gracie is now 13 years old!

For nine years she's eaten REAL, HOMEMADE FOOD, NOT commercial dog food. This blog shows how easy it is to be a DOGGIE CHEF and how healthy a home-fed dog can be.

October 20, 2009

Homemade Doggie Chef Bread

I like to make homemade bread for Gracie. A bread machine with a dough cycle is very helpful if you make homemade bread frequently. I hardly ever bake bread in my bread machine. I mostly use the bread machine to mix up and raise the dough.
Here's the recipe I use to make Gracie's Doggie Bread:

1 1/3 cups warm water
1 Tablespoon brown sugar or honey
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast (Fleischmann's Rapid Rise or Bread Machine Yeast works best)

Place all ingredients in the bread machine, in the above order. If baking in the bread machine, choose the basic, white bread, light crust or similar setting. If you want to bake the bread in your oven, just choose the dough cycle. Check dough about 5 minutes after it starts kneading. It should be smooth. Add a little water if it appears too dry. Let dough rise in the bread machine.
Remove dough from bread machine. Shape into a loaf and let rise in a lightly greased loaf pan until it crowns about 1-inch above the pan's rim. Or shape dough into a large baguette or two small baguettes and let rise on a baking sheet until almost double in size.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven about 30 minutes or until done.

Here's a loaf  I baked in the bread machine:

Here's my favorite way to bake Gracie's bread --- shaped like a big baguette. It
provides more chewy surface area baked this way.

Here's a loaf I baked in a loaf pan:

I don't like feeding Gracie too much doughy bread so I often leave a fresh baked loaf of bread out on the counter overnight to dry out a little before packing it away for future Doggie meals. Or I'll cut it up and toast it in the oven to dry it out.

This bread recipe is very forgiving. You can use less or more salt, sugar/honey and rolled oats. You can replace a small portion (1/4 or 1/3 cup) of either flour with oat flour (made from grinding up additional rolled oats). You can replace some, or all, of the rolled oats with whole wheat berries, or rye or wheat flakes. You can also use more wheat flour (just use that much less white flour). Using a higher percentage of wheat flour will require a little more water when making the dough and a longer rising time.

Most of the time I use store-bought whole wheat bread in Gracie's meals. Click here to see which kind I use.

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