Saturday, December 4, 2010

What Started My Bread Baking Journey

I'm a practical person.  I don't do things by scratch unless it is cheaper and produces a better product than store bought.  However a lot of things in life fall into that category ;).  Baking bread is one of the ultimate domestic skills that most of us long to learn but never quite find the time for.  I think all women fantasize about turning out golden topped loaves of airy perfection at least once in their lifetimes.  The common view is that bread baking is time consuming, fiddly, and not worth the effort.  After all you can just run down to the store and buy a cheap loaf for $1.00 ( remember when it was 49 cents) that is perfect.

I pretty much thought those things even as I longed to master the skill of baking bread.  Fast forward to after we had moved to Wyoming.  We lived in a farmhouse about 15 min. driving time from town out in the middle of farm land.  I had 3 little ones and hated packing them all up in the van to go get one loaf of bread. So I decided to try baking my own.

This began my love affair with bread baking.  After trying out several recipes I have finally found one that is fool proof and also keeps for a few days without going stale.  It's my Old Fashioned Potato Bread recipe which is also in another post.  Learning this skill has saved me trips to the store on many occasions, including when getting to the store was impossible due to blizzards.  My next skill to learn is how to turn out perfect bread in a wood cook stove oven.

 Store bought bread may be convenient, but it is also full of preservatives and the companies use the cheapest ingredients.  Instead of milk - milk by products, instead of butter - hydrogenated oils, instead of quality flour and eggs - the cheapest they can get.

I don't blame the companies, people want cheap food and they get what they pay for.  And my family cannot afford buying 4 dollar a loaf organic breads.  Instead I bake my own for less than the cheapest loaf.  Most of the time it takes is rising time, and I can do other things then.  I actually enjoy kneading and shaping doe, it makes one feel useful and proficient.  My family loves home baked breads, and on baking day the children beg to help.  It's something I definitely want to pass down to them and I pray they have good memories of baking with Mamma.

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