Monday, May 28, 2007

How I came to bake bread

I've always loved bread --- it really is one of my favourite foods: and on moving here ten years ago I searched for a good local bakery. At that point in time, I believe that there was exactly one independent bakery within a ten or fifteen mile radius, together with several grocery stores with in-store baking: none of them, not one, made good bread. Determined to learn, I bought a copy of "Baking With Julia", a heavy duty stand mixer, and set to learning. Over the years I have picked up tricks and tips, books of recipes and books of stories about bread, and have experimented a lot: adding milk, milk powder, malt, molasses, citrus juice of various types, etc. I've taught dozens of people to make various kinds of bread: baguettes, focaccia, pizza, wholewheat, etc: the main lesson being that they don't have to be afraid of the yeast. I'm currently trying to learn that lesson myself: to not be afraid of the next step --- since I can't get access to fresh yeast, I'm planning to try maintaining a sourdough mother. Why exactly this is so intimidating, I don't really know.

Wish me luck!


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