DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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22 May 2007

Bread routine



I used to hate being organised, I saw it as rigid and oppressive. Now I realise that being organised actually helps me live the life I want to live. It gives me more time in my day because I’m not looking for things or wondering what I’m supposed to be doing. You only waste time on purpose when you're organised. Now I like having a routine.

Bread is baked at our home almost every day. My husband and I eat it fresh for lunch, the chooks have some soaked in powdered milk and warm water on a cold morning to warm their tiny bellies and the dogs gulp it down when we give them the chance. I don’t rely on clocks or watches any more, I never wear a watch now, and rarely look at the clocks in the house. I just do things when it’s their time, and I know that time by the light and by my routine.

Baking fresh bread is a focal point in my day – it’s how I measure the end of the early hours and the beginning of the morning. I suppose it happens around 9am but in my “time” it comes after making the bed and washing up and before going to the garden. I wonder sometimes if it’s common to bake bread. I know a lot of people have bread makers and make bread by hand, but is it common place or do most of us buy bread? If you buy bread, you may like to try this easy recipe. It works with hand kneading or in a machine, it contains no preservatives, it’s easily modified with different flours and it tastes divine.


THE RECIPE
1½ teaspoons dried yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
65 mls warm water

3¾ cups baker's flour (plain flour)
3 teaspoons gluten flour
1 tablespoon butter/margarine (softened)
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon milk powder
250 mls warm water + more if necessary

Just a word about flour. Bread mix, which is commonly used in bread machines, is flour with bread improver and flavour enhancers added. We are NOT using bread mix. By adding the ingredients above, we're adding natural flavour to the bread as well as giving it a lift, that as an inexperienced baker, you won't get without the gluten flour.

Another thing you need to know about flour is that it's different all over the country. When baking with the various flours, they take different amounts of water, because of the differing amount of humidity in the air. And even if you use the same bag of flour at different times of the year, you'll probably use slightly more or less water, according to the weather conditions. This is not a problem, it just means you have to know what your dough should look and feel like before going to the next step. Bread making is very tactile, even when making the dough in a bread machine, I feel it to make sure I have enough moisture in the dough. This recipe generally uses 315mls of water, but when I made this loaf yesterday I used about 40mls more. Sometimes the difference will be one spoon full, sometimes it will be almost a cup.

7 comments:

  1. I never meaure anything when making bread ~ I do it all by feel. We have strong flour here for bread which means it's basically flour, water & yeast.

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  2. I don't think making bread is too common. People always seem amazed that ever since my husband and I got married we have only bought bread 3 times. Now we don't like store bought bread. Home made is soo much better!

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  3. Hi! Greetings from Wyoming, USA.

    I love making bread! I love how it fills the whole house with an aroma!

    Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    Have you tried grinding up oatmeal to add to your flour? We love oatmeal bread! It comes out so moist!

    When my kitchen is finished (http://howsthehouse.blogspot.com), I plan to totally make all my bread for the family!

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  4. I also make my own bread but in a machine. I use spelt flour as too much wheat gives me rising acid.
    I mix half and half plain and wholemeal and I add sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, linseeds and rolled oats.
    Everybody loves it.
    Dayla

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  5. Can you post this bread recipe using measures that are not metric? I try to make our bread every day too but would like to use this recipe. Thanks.

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  6. Ive set myself a goal of making my own bread/rolls etc for a week (with the intention to carry on) really wish I had read this first-might have saved me from some very heavy loaves, but Im so grateful to have read it now, looking forward to better loaves :-) Kate

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  7. Thank you for the recipe. I buy two loaves of bread everyday and I'd like to stop buying, so I can reduce my food bill.

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