Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Learning the Art of Bread Making

One of my long terms goals was always to make my own bread. I'm not sure where that came from, maybe it came from watching Little House on the Prairie as a child, maybe from my comfort food cooking genes or perhaps my fascination with everything vintage and made directly with the hands...
I'm a romantic when it comes to food...I like to bake from scratch. Beginning at the end of last year I began my journey in bread making, I started with my Granny's famous pan rolls. They were not perfect but close enough to build my confidence. Recently I stopped buying bread at the store and began making our everyday: sandwich, toast and general snack bread. I was nervous about this. Yeast is a tricky thing, so is kneading, letting it rise and perfecting the baking time. I can be a scatterbrain when it comes to cooking. I've never made a soup that I didn't scorch and I always over boil potatoes. Yeast bread always seemed so complicated and specific. But I did it. And I think I'm slowly getting the hang of it. A few weeks after my first attempt I read Amanda's post on bread at SouleMama. It was so inspiring. She expressed her emotional attachment to making bread so beautifully.
I've kept up on it and have found a recipe for brown molasses bread that is great. Some of my mishaps with how the bread turned out has been due to my penchant for changing the flours I use. I try to use whole grain, whole wheat and spelt flour and that doesn't always work with any old recipe. But as they say in the song: I did it my way. While perfecting this technique is a long way off, I do feel that I'm getting into a rhythm of working bread making into my weekly schedule. Learning the feel of the dough, learning the timing for rising and most of all developing a taste for fresh bread in which I know where all the ingredients came from. Not to mention the fabulous smell that fills the house while it's baking...can't beat that.

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