Saturday, January 30, 2010

A promise to bake more bread

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!


  1. Boy does that look good! Bring on the warm bread, butter, and maybe some strawberry jam next to a fireplace, roaring fire and cold winter outside.

    What could be better?

    Here's hoping your bread always rises!

  2. I've made bread and actually like the kneading; however, I got a bread machine which makes it easier and not time consuming. :D I cannot make it too often because bread and butter is a weakness as well as disappearing faster.

  3. I use to make bread all the time and did it without a breadmaker too. Not only did it taste good, it was a satisfying experience mixing, kneading, watching it rise, etc. And no preservatives. Yours looks delicious. Sounds really good right now with some vegetable soup on a cold day like this.

  4. Hmmm that looks soooo yummy Kate, well done! I can live by bread alone, even without any filling. I just make sure that my coffee is beside me.

    Like you I have tried a lot of bread recipes and it was well but the hardest part for me is the kneading, but of course nothing can beat the freshness of home baked bread.


  5. Oh,yes, my mom used to make bread when we were toddlers. We knew it was different than the store bought stuff. We used to call it "homade" bread.

  6. Homemade bread and yogurt are two of our staples. I keep trying to add hummus to the mix but haven't done it yet. Perhaps this will inspire me.

  7. I used to make bread, too, without a machine. I loved the kneading part, and I will always remember knowing when you had kneaded it enough: when it feels like a little baby's bottom! I don't make it any more because, although the smells would be delicious, I'm just down the street from the Great Harvest Bread Company!

  8. I can practically smell it. Tastes best when it's fresh out of the oven. For some reason, while I detest the ends of a commercial loaf, the end pieces of homemade bread are my favorite.

  9. TC: you're making me wish I had a fireplace! :)

    Lynn: I have a bread machine too, it lives in my attic, there's something not right about a perfectly square loaf of bread. But the kitchen aid mixer does save time when you're chasing a toddler :) And it lets me make more bread, yummy! I'm glad I have my pregnancy as an excuse to fill up on bread and butter, I'm going to pay for it in a few months thought :)

    Rae: Veggie soup is on the stove for dinner!

    AL: I think we could live on bread too, and coffee, gotta have the coffee!

    Steve: I think we'll be having a lot of "homade" bread since my toddler loved it!

    Beej: we should have a hummus-making party! it's super easy and we have all the ingredients, just need to get off our butts and do it!

    DJan: I envy you! our Great Harvest Bread CO. closed, my old roommate used to work there in the late 90s and I ate a LOT of free samples!

    RT: I'm with you, the ends of fresh bread are the best, but not from the store, strange but it's so true!

  10. Your bread is beautiful! Love that deep golden crust. I just baked three loaves of sandwich bread last night and can't wait to slice into it today. Things always feel better when there's plenty of homemade bread in the house. :)

  11. Kate, Can you share some bread recipes with us ? I have decided to start making my own bread. Thanks.

  12. Farmgirl: you're right, things ARE always better when there's fresh bread in the house :)

    Nedine: I will get on that, what a wonderful idea for my next post! thanks for following, your blog is hilarious!! I have some free time tonight and hope to read through it some more.


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