New horizons

This was most definitely an adventure rather than a misadventure, and a successful one at that. But biking buddy (and part-time marmalade maker) allowed me to join her for a morning of bread making last weekend. Sure it took all morning, but it proved to me that making bread is not as complicated or as scary as it looks. She made four wholewheat loaves before I got there, and I did a supervised four oatmeal loaves after that. And then we ate half a loaf fresh from the oven, with home-made plum jam.

It helps that buddy has eight super-cool, industrial strength bread tins, and it also helps that she’s done all this many times before. I remember making bread a million years ago, and I had some success with the New York Times no-knead bread last year. But only recent attempt at start-from-scratch, knead-for-ages bread making ended a dismal failure as the chewy bread declined to bouce out of the tins and I was left with chunks that worked better in soup than for sandwiches. I now know I needed to grease the pan far better. Bread is sensitive stuff.

This time was different. We used fresh yeast, which smells (and works) completely differently from the granular dried stuff I used before, and we measured the ingredients to the gram on buddy’s cool electronic scale. (I now covet cool electronic scale as well as coveting industrial strength loaf pans).

And the results were awesome.  Light, tasty bread with a little hint of the fresh yeast, and oodles of  taste and character. My only complaint is that it didn’t have much of a crust, which makes it very little hard to cut, but the taste makes up for it.

Sandwich-sized packages are crowding the freezer, and I can see pan purchases and bread making Saturday mornings crowding my future. But not until we move, which is perhaps only a month away. Take a look at the home reno blog for the latest details.

And as we tried spreading fridge hard butter onto crumbly warm bread, I was reminded of a saying that my mother said her grandmother used to say: “May God punish you with soft bread and cold butter.”

There are worse curses out there, but this one makes me smile.

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1 Comment »

  1. mmm I can smell the loaves from here. Nothing better than fresh, warm bread with lashings of butter. Homemade plum jam would be gilding the lily, but bring it on!

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