There is something very simple one can do in the kitchen that I'm going to make a very good effort to do more of: bake my own bread.
We go through a lot of whole wheat bread in this house. I love toast, my toddler loves to share my toast, I love to make French toast and my husband loves an evening snack of bread and butter and hummus (especially if I make his snack FOR him :) We usually go through two loaves a week.
I did a quick calculation and that's about $250 to $300 a year in bread, if not more. If I make it at home it would only be about $50 a year in ingredients. Not to mention by making it here I can control what goes in it, substituting local honey for the processed cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup and a myriad of preservatives I can't pronounce. I always believed that a simple loaf of bread should only consist of flour, yeast, water, milk, honey, salt and butter. Maybe some oats on top to make it look pretty.
So while my bread is rising (hopefully, I can't seem to find a warm spot in the house on this cold New England day) I thought I'd write a little bit about why I love the process of making bread. The yeasty smell of the sponge, the warm sticky dough in your hands, the whir of my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer (without which I'd probably have stronger arms but would make less bread), that fun moment when you get to punch the dough, and finally the amazingly rich and comforting odor of it baking after all the rising and shaping and kneading. There's nothing quite like it....
And, now four hours later, I wish I could send you all some of the final product through the interweb but you'll have to settle for the picture above of it cooling on my counter and imagine the sensation of eating a warm piece with melted butter. Yum. I will most definitely do this more often! I'm going to have to since we ate half of one of the loaves already!
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