No, I don’t bake every day. Yes, we do eat my home-baked bread every day. It’s delicious!
For the past 27 years I have made all our own bread. The ‘recipe’ has evolved over the years. Just over two years ago I made my own sourdough starter (I’d tried it before and failed miserably), and I’ve managed to keep it going ever since.
I was planning to write up the recipe, but when I started to do it I realised that I have no idea how much flour I use. So I’ll have to check it out another time and then I can write it up.
I bake 4 large loaves (or equivalent in rolls) at a time, and freeze all but one loaf. That means I don’t use the oven more than necessary. When the boys were at home I baked several times a week. Now it’s more like once a week, with maybe an extra batch for something different or if we have visitors.
There are some rituals I enjoy around baking my bread – the beaded cover I used for two decades while the dough was rising; the vintage tea towel I use now that the beaded cover has disintegrated from years of use and washing. The large old-fashioned bowl I use to mix the dough in. The old (1960s?) Tupperware jug I inherited when we cleared out my mother-in-law’s flat after her stroke – now used to house my sourdough starter.
And then of course there’s the wonderful smell of fresh bread baking, and that first slice of newly baked bread.
With butter, and homemade jam. Heavenly!
How do you like your bread?
Please tell me how! I have used a bread maker for 11 years, but have failed to make my own from scratch and now the bread pan is losing its non-stick I would love to. I think I am probably getting the temperature of the water wrong, but any advice would be great!
Thanks for such an interesting post.
Hi Jo, Thank you so much for your comment, and I’m really glad you enjoyed the post.
I’ve never used a bread maker, so can’t really comment on that. I do use bread pans to bake my everyday loaves, and I do use non-stick pans, which I tend to need to replace every 5 years or so. I bought the last lot from Lakeland and went for their heaviest duty ones. I also brush them with oil before use, and the loaves normally slip out easily enough once baked.
You’re right that you don’t want to have the water temperature too hot, because this will probably kill the yeast. I have to admit though that I’m a pretty lazy baker, and the only things I measure are the quantity of water, salt, sugar and oil. Everything else is a bit hit and miss – but the proof is in the pudding as they say, and it usually comes out pretty good! I test the water temperature by dipping my finger in, just to check it’s luke warm.
I’ll write up a proper recipe in a post soon, promise! but in the meantime, confidence, trial and error and practice all help.
All good wishes
Thank you I look forward to it!….and I’ll keep trying.
Hi Jo, I’ve finally got round to writing up my ‘recipe’ for bread. First time I’ve done one, so I hope it’s clear enough. If you get a chance to use it, let me know how it turns out (especially if I need to edit the instructions at all!).