I’ve been meaning to bake bread for ages. I got lazy over the summer and bought bread from the little organic bakery not far from us or sometimes from the grocery store (although I made sure it had no trans-fats or HFCS). Still, neither of these options are as satisfying as my own homemade bread. I’m determined to get back into the habit of baking all of our bread.
Bread baking is a somewhat messy task and while the process doesn’t take continuous hands-on attention, it does require a couple of hours total. I decided that as long as I was going to be tied up that long, I might as well work in some other kitchen tasks as well.
I started by making a pitcher of iced tea. I’ve heard that people in other parts of the country do not *get* the concept of iced tea during cool weather but here in the South, it’s a year-round thing.
Then I started a batch of yogurt. I make all of our yogurt. It’s so easy with a yogurt maker:
Next up: Laundry soap. I pour boiling water over several soap nuts and allow to soak several hours. I then strain out the nuts and pour the liquid in an old Perrier bottle which I then keep in the fridge.
Below is a picture of my bread-making equipment. I grind wheat into fresh flour and then use the Bosch to mix up enough dough for 5 large loaves of bread. Oh, by the way, it’s VERY important to make sure that the lid is securely fastened on the container which receives the flour via the grinder. Very important. And it’s also important not to turn off the grinder with wheat still in it because you’ve failed to fasten the lid and flour is going everywhere. This will jam the grinder and trip the little breaker-thingy thus shutting off the machine and making one think that an expensive piece of equipment may be ruined. Fortunately, after 10 minutes or so of digging out impacted flour and restarting several times, it finally cleared and began to work properly again. Whew!
I keep my bread recipes handy by taping them inside one of the cabinets in the baking center. The one on the left is my regular wheat bread recipe like I made today. The one on the right is for sourdough. However, I let my sourdough starter dry up in the refrigerator so I’ll have to start a new one.
While the bread was rising I made chocolate chip cookies:
And then baked the bread:
You have no idea how marvelous my house smelled! For dinner I steamed artichokes as a first course and then we had bowls of fresh green beans and new potatoes. Then we each had a slice of the fresh bread with butter and some of my strawberry preserves. It was all so delicious.
But there were a few dishes:
And that’s why we deserved cookies and hot tea after the kitchen was clean.