Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Joys of Homemade Bread

With dozens of varieties of bread readily available in the supermarket, why on earth would anyone want to slave over homemade bread? My personal reasons, not in any particular order, include:

1. I made a birthday resolution to try at least one new recipe per week.

2. My toddler loves bread and can easily devour enough so that there is not enough to make sandwiches the next day.

3. The cost of a loaf just keeps rising.

4. Just about every commercially made bread out there – even the “natural whole wheat” varieties – contains high fructose corn syrup and preservatives with suspicious-sounding names.

My first attempt was a semi-success. We used a recipe calling for fast-acting yeast. The dough was supposed to double in volume. We put it in the garage, which was the warmest room in the house during the evening. The kids thought it was really “cool” how “huge” the dough got – but it did not even rise a third. It was also “doughy”, according to my husband. I thought that if it had risen enough it might be lighter – and perhaps large enough to make an actual sandwich.

So we repeated our attempt. I let my two older daughters have a hand at following the recipe themselves. This particular recipe (from The New Joy of Cooking) was “Fast White Bread”, which can easily be made into whole wheat bread simply by substituting whole wheat flour. This time we let the dough rise out in the sun, with spectacular results. The first loaf was gone by dinner (during which my husband ate a piece and did not complain;) the second by breakfast the next day.

“I want to eat this kind of bread for the rest of my life!” my daughters declared.

Of course, we ran out of flour, and are back to eating store-bought bread until we have the resources of both time and ingredients.

I think the best reason of all to make homemade bread is that it is an awesome experience!

1 comment:

Loren Christie said...

Homemade bread requires a special degree of culinary bravery. Good job! -Loren