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What is it about bread?

I do not know what drives me to bake bread. Not just bread, but a different loaf each time. While I would like to have an everyday loaf of bread recipe, so far it continues to allude me. Bread in this house is sturdy and brown. Made with whole grains, milled right in the kitchen.

It is not beautiful and billowy, bread with a crust that crackles and splits when you cut into it! It is not bakery bread, which I also love by the way. My absolute favorite part of buying a loaf of beautiful bread from the bakery is the sameness of their product. I can count on it, always. But I do seem to have the need to make bread differently each time.

I can tell you right now, I would not be able to test recipes for a living. Making/cooking/baking the same recipe again and again to guaranteed perfection. No, not me. Possibly there is a connection between my creative side that can take just about anything and make it better and the need to use a different grain or technique when I bake bread.

While I have a generous basic recipe that makes 4 loaves, which I have not perfected. I have not started playing with it with different grains. Last nights list of grains included steel cut oats that were soaked, milled lentils and for good measure, milled barley. That along with honey and freshly milled whole wheat flour were made into the 4 loaves sitting on the counter this morning, ready to be bagged up for the freezer.

I can tall immediately that this bread will have a sturdy texture. I am sure that the gluten content was affected from the milled barley and from the amount of rising. It barely doubled in bulk. But it will if nothing else make wonderful and healthy toast for my morning commute. Due to the late hour it was pulled from the oven (11:00 PM) I did not get to enjoy my usual treat, the first slice, still warm with butter. This ritual by the way is the ultimate test of a new recipe for bread....

And so I shall continue to make bread.

I shall write about it and post photos. Yes, even though it is not a perfected recipe. Because that is the way home cooking works. Home cooking, where you cook with what you have and then eat what is cooked. When I think about it, this same thing happens with most of the ingredients in the kitchen. So possibly there is nothing about bread after all, except my enjoyment of baking it.

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  1. I love your bread posts and it is obvious that you enjoy the process. Every single post, I feel inspired to bake a loaf or two, but so far that project has eluded me. Sadly, it has been a while since I have baked bread. Maybe tomorrow? Love, Rocquie

  2. Actually, my opinion is that you may just need a warm surface for the butter. It's the butter that's drawing you. And the smell of the yeasted dough. And the feel of kneading the bread (you do knead it yourself, don't you?). Bread is primal. Making it is primal. Your post is a delight to read. Thanks so much for letting us look at you while you look at bread! Hugs!


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