Monday, 2 June 2014

Bread


I have been eating bread for my entire life. Mankind has been eating bread of one kind or another since before recorded history. I can’t say for sure if all of those ancient peoples enjoyed their bread like I did with peanut butter and jam, but they certainly should have.
 
Most people buy bread from the big grocery stores like we do, because it is easy and goes good with peanut butter. From time to time, Louise and I (mainly Louise) have made bread with mixed success. It seems that bread is subject to the whims of the Gods, or perhaps old yeast. Whatever the reason, bread can be and often is hard work.

Part of what made a woman’s life drudgery in days gone by was that bread would need to be made every day if she had a large family or every second day with a smallish family. The bread just didn’t last long without going bad. The modern breads last a long time but I suspect there are a lot of unnatural ingredients that keep it fresh for so long. Louise will always make a special sweet bread at Easter and we all look forwards to eating it. In times past, I suggested that we should have this bread more often and from the look Louise gave me I understood that it is far too much work to do on a regular basis.
 
A few years ago, we bought ourselves a bread machine. This modern day miracle machine does all of the hard work for you, all in one pan. You can make hundreds of varieties, but most of those take about four hours and that’s just too long to wait for a loaf of bread. We will generally use the “rapid white” recipe which is complete in less than two hours. That’s just over two hours from flour to tummy. The problem with this bread is that it doesn’t last very long. We have never had a loaf go mouldy on us; we eat it a little too quickly. Unfortunately for me, I am fat, and eating one or two loaves a day doesn’t help the situation at all. Now the bread machine resides in the basement where it can do no harm.We have gone back to store bought bread.

There was this guy I used to work with whose wife made bread from scratch every day. She worked at home and this is something she liked to do. Oh, did I mention that she ground the flour for the bread as well as make it? It turns out that they make personal electric wheat grinders now which takes the ugly job of grinding and makes it easy…ish. I had a chance to taste this bread and it was delicious! Much heavier than store bought, and from what I was told it is much more filling. The only draw back (not counting the grinding) is that home ground flour goes bad very quickly so you need to use what you grind. That is too much work for the staff of life.
 
Today, I made a loaf of bread that is ridiculously easy to make. The actual “hands on the dough” time is probably less than five minutes all told. In fact, with this bread, less is definitely more. It is called 24 hour bread and I will put a link at the bottom of the blog for the recipe I used. Make this bread! If only to take to someone’s house so that they will think you are an idiot-savant chef. It is deeeelicious.


It may actually be too good and the recipe will end up spending time in the basement with the bread machine. Well, I am pretty much done for tonight and I have a slice of heaven waiting for me.


http://www.astackofdishes.com/the-famous-ny-times-no-knead-bread/ 

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