Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Making Bread

Tis the season ☺ Bread making season that is ☺
that is a pic of myself & my Gramma Grace punching down the dough together
That is also the bread making bowl my mother gifted me with last yr. Yes it is an authentic Medicine Hat bowl ☺ and no I will not keep it up on a shelf collecting dust !
I in fact have even made bread with my own grandson using this bowl ☺
I'd been out of bread making for awhile but then my sil has been making that Artisan Bread
which is not artisian bread by the way lol . Yes I called it artisian bread ☺
First off everyone will have their own technique of making bread. Everyone will have their own types of bread they love to make & eat . You certainly do not need be a bread expert and know how to make all types of bread in order to become a skilled bread maker !
I will tell you the most important secret to a great loaf of bread patience love &the perseverance  keep going ☺
My two grandmothers both were known for their bread making . yet both made  totally different types of  bread . Gramma  Grace always made hearty heavy healthy  loaves just like her wool quilts were heavy and functional not fancy full of beautiful designs ☺
 Gramma Sharpe was known for her light and fluffy buns & her beautifully embroidered quilts  . She baked alot having the huge family she had plus she worked in the bush camps & had borders from the mill so she was a very skilled and efficient baker .
 When I was a young gal of 17 soon to be a new Momma I had it in my head I should learn this domestic art of bread making ☺
 I paid a visit to my gramma sharpe and asked her how to make her beautifully delicious buns.
 I still have her recipe it goes something like this
 warm milk butter , yeast mix flour
Lol ! well at 17 yo you can imagine I looked at that recipe and didn't try to attempt a bun making task for 6 more yrs ! I am impressed with myself that I did in fact save the recipe .I guess it just is such a novelty ☺
 she was not really one to show & teach as gramma grace was but even so that is exactly the recipe I'd probably give my own dd today☺
 So what inspired me to begin the bread making adventure all those yrs ago was in fact one of my mothering buddies Karen. She was a born and raised farm country girl and when our ds Chayote was born she sent over a loaf of the most bestest tasting raisin bread ever ☺
 What a wonderful gift for a family by the way.
 Her bread was so good and she gave me some great bread making tips too.
Her first advice was find one simple bread recipe . try it over and over . It will then become your own .
 She was so right ☺
 so my first attempt at the bread was from this recipe book my gramma grace had given my mum .

Food that really schemcks is a wonderful Mennonite book from the Pennsylvania ditch type of cooking such as my gramma's family are .
I did as Karen suggested and I found and used the everyday bread recipe at the beginning of the bread section .
 I learned kneading properly by trial and error . How to use traditional yeast vs quick yeast .
I will say I am not a bread machine person . Kneading bread is like hand sewing to me .It is wonderful & spiritually therapeutic so I do not wish to miss the step of kneading bread ☺
You can quote me on this as it came to me during meditation while kneading
kneading bread is like prayer just when you think you are done or you wish to be done , work on it just a little more and it will be perfect . It is true often I knead my dough up to 20min .
So from that original recipe I can now make my whole wheat bread , cinnamon buns , egg bread etc.
as far as other recipes go there are a zillion blogs out there and websites which you can find your own favs .
 I will however promote my all time fav blog and her breads are delicious .Is Jaz over at Octoberfarm makes wonderful breads .
So I have been venturing out lately as I said inspired by my sil Summer ☺
Ok I have a confession I am not a huge bread fan ! I rarely eat the stuff . I tend to like rice cakes and crackers  however my dh is a huge huge bread fanatic ! He is a meat , potatoes & bread man ( although he also adds curry & peanut butter to every dish ☺ )
 So I make bread for him . He eats close to 1 loaf per day only because he substitutes bread with crackers lol
 So I've been trying out a few new books and recipes

I heard great things about Laurel's Bread book and since her Kitchen book is so good and such a classic so is the bread book. The buttermilk bread is wonderful recipe ☺

This is a book I treated myself to this Christmas ☺
 I love this lady's Christmas recipe book and this book has not disappointed me ! I am in fact going to order two more for mother's day ☺
 so far I have made granny's best bread recipe and it is my new fav recipe I make it almost everyday ☺

The next book I cannot say enough about is this one
Baking Bread with Children is so inspiring for the whole family ! I'm not kidding . The author is a bread maker Waldorf teacher ☺
My ds 15 was so inspired he even tried the making of a clay oven ☺
We tried the bannock recipe last yr for spring equinox and the recipe is so good. It is really great cooked on the fire ☺
 I like Jaz at Octoberfarm have been now making my own sourdough bread !
I made my own starter using this book . It is a great experience for the kids to watch it grow. We also read about sourdough and salt rising bread in the Little House Cookbook
Now I will say some of my loaves have been very hard and really could only be eaten as toast lol and also this is why it is good to always be feeding the birds and the squirrels ☺
However some of the loaves are nice and spongy and light . I find if you cook them on a flat sheet they will turn out harder if you use a pot or loaf pan it will be more soft .
My next attempt at bread is to make a loaf with ground wheat berries and sunflower seeds etc. I do not have a grain mill nor will I be able to afford one soon . However I do have an old time coffee grinder and they claim if I use that it will do small amounts which I can add to my dough . They give the tip to feed old bread through your grinder first to collect any coffee grinds that may have been left behind ☺
Of course You know me , my ultimate dream is to have my wood cook stove and bake bread that way ☺
Happy Bread making to You & Yours
 Blessed Be

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