Our Daily Bread

There is definitely something heart-warming about the smell of freshly-baked bread, especially when it’s emanating from your own kitchen. I’m a long way from being a master-baker, but I’ve certainly learned a few things in my search to produce a good, all-round loaf. Something the children like … something that slices well to make sandwiches … something that’s large enough to sustain the hoards without being so large that the ducks are constantly suffering from the stale remains.

I now understand more than I did before about how gluten resembles muscles … how the dough should be stretched but not torn … how salt and draughts kill the yeast. Perhaps the most heart-warming part of my bread-making activities is the idea that my children have stickied their hands in the “gluey” dough and then ravenously devoured the best part of each loaf we have baked together.

My thanks go again to Rose Levy Beranbaum for providing our perfect recipe.

Bread

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5 Comments

  1. Jeannette

     /  October 12, 2007

    It’s me again! Hope you’ve got time to answer my query, I know how busy you must be with your young family, I had 3 children myself within 3 years, 2 of them were twins! Actually my daughter lives in Ottery-St-Mary, is it near you? My question is, what flour did you use for your bread, Rose advises an American flour, I usually use strong bread flour and I use a bread making machine but I’m keen to start making bread using my own hands, so to speak. I have done it in the past but have had failures as well as successes. Now that I’m retired I have more time and inclination and would like to try different types of doughs,ie. sourdough and such like. I’ve just taken Andrew Whitley’s , Bread Matters, out of the library, have you read it? We were up in the Lake District last week and visited his bakery, I would love to attend one of his courses. Sorry to go on , I’m sure you have much to do, answer in your own time, best regards ,Jeannette from N.Wales.

    Reply
  2. amerrierworld

     /  October 13, 2007

    Hi Jeanette – it’s lovely to hear from you again 🙂
    I use Dove’s Farm strong plain white flour, which I found initially only at Dart’s Farm and Waitrose but can now find at most Tesco and Sainsbury supermarkets. I also use wholemeal flour from Otterton Mill (very near to both myself and your daughter!).

    I’ve been making the dough with my own hands. It can often turn into quite a sticky business, but I’ve discovered that the loaves turn out best when I resist the urge to pile in more flour. I also weigh rather than measure the water, which seems to help the results to be more reliable too. Another thing – I’ve been adding the optional 1/4 cup olive oil in all the bread I’ve made so far. We like the crust this gives and it seems to help prevent the dough from drying out on the top.

    I haven’t read Andrew Whitley’s book, but it’s one that’s on my wish list. However, my husband isn’t very keen to eat “bread with bits in”, so I need to find a keen munching audience before I can branch out into different varieties of bread!

    Reply
  3. Jeannette

     /  October 13, 2007

    Thanks for taking the time to reply, Kate, I just wondered if you used strong bread flour, as I am used to doing, because the US recipes don’t, they seem to use flours that are not available here. It all gets very confusing doesn’t it? I shall have a go at the bread you have been making, I like the look of it. I have visited Dart’s Farm quite often and Otterton Mill, in fact my daughter,Anne, and her family had lunch there last weekend.

    Reply
  4. susaninfrance

     /  November 13, 2007

    have you tried the no knead recipe from RLB? I love it, so easy and yummy!

    Reply
  5. I haven’t tried that one yet – I’ll look it up 🙂

    Reply

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