Bread Making – Surprisingly Exciting!

Surprisingly exciting?! You may be looking at this post title and thinking one of two things: either 1) Why is it exciting? Making bread is so boring, or 2) What?!? Why would the excitement be surprising?!? Surely the whole process is a guaranteed excitement?? So I’ll let you in on a little secret …

I have made bread countless times since I was 12 … everyday wholemeal bread … white bread for special picnics when we had guests visiting … special bread for Jewish Holidays … gluten-free bread for some of my family (the two members of my family that couldn’t eat gluten didn’t always appreciate my experimental approach, but hey, yes, the egg and cornmeal bread was beyond-gross, but the barley bread?! As a gluten-eater, I loved it!!! 😛 Poor guys! :D), sweet and savoury Chelsea/bath buns (someday I’ll post the recipe, cause I made that one up – much to my ego’s deflation, when I discovered a few years after that it was an already published recipe!! :P) and numerous batches of gluten-free drop-scones …

So when I moved out on my own, bread-making was a well-known – and yes, honestly: slightly despised! – accomplishment. I moved into the world of bargin-buying-at-all-costs; if-it’s-on-sale-it’s-got-to-be-good; it’s-reduced=I-buy; make-from-scratch?!-Where-did-I-ever-find-the-time?!? Having grown up with the privilege of home-cooked food, as a just-moved-out-y, there was nothing wrong with store-bought food in general and in particular – store-bought bread.

The truth? All of us that move out go through that drastic – and often extreme – re-evaluation process, right?!? Whether it’s before or after we get married, questioning the beliefs, values, standards and life-style choices of our parents is a natural and healthy process of becoming an adult. And that includes what we eat.

I have gone from being a vegetarian to an all-out meat-eater! Yup, I was brought up (from the age of 9) eating no meat and only occasional fish, but now I will try just about anything (I’ve tried lamb’s liver and haggis and the fish that is cooked whole, bones and guts inclusive, but no-way will you get me taking a bite of tripe, snake or pig-trotters – gag!)! I very much enjoy cooking with meat and experimenting with how to combine the nutrition-focoused ideas of a vegetarian diet with the meat-centered approach to a meat-eating diet – it’s lots of fun, and I’m learning much about the disadvantages to both! Sorry to both of you guys but, yes – you’re often pretty bland veggies and you sometimes don’t think beyond the meat non-veggie! 😀

Ahh, but bread … I don’t eat hardly any bread, so L. is the bread-consumer in this house. On the mission for money-saving grocery shopping, I started buying the store’s-own-brand-basic bread. After all, what could be wrong with it?! It was still made with flour, yeast, salt and water, right? It was just 65-80 pence cheaper. Puffffttt.

Once again – the truth? You buy it dry, you freeze it dry, you defrost it day-by-day to be even-drier and besides, there’s all-white or all-brown – no happy-medium. My hubby didn’t like it much. I swap to nice brand-made bread. Yup, it tastes much nicer, and you can get that nice compromise between wholemeal and white … but either it’s just as dry when frozen-and-toasted or it goes whiney-smelling and mouldy when L’s only got half-way through the loaf!

So then I find out at a restaurant that the hubby really like fresh olive and tomato bread, and the hubby finds out that I know how to make bread!!!

Ta-da!!! Maybe bread-making isn’t as stereotyping an idea as I was thinking … especially if L. would really like yummy home-made bread … oh yes, and it would be much cheaper, right? I could make half-quantities that he could eat before it went bad, and wouldn’t have to worry about the lack of room in a titchy rented freezer.

And that is when I re-discovered the excitement of bread-making! 🙂 I love making things, from little thing to big things, and I had forgotten the pleasure to be found in mixing, proving and creating a loaf (or in my case, four little rolls) of lovingly created and personalized (olives and sun-dried tomatoes!! :P) fresh-baked bread, that has brought lunch-time-contentment for L! 😀

Now, lets just see if I can keep this bread-making malarkey up …

 

Gathering the ingredients

In on the action of kneading the dough ...

The bread dough left to rise/prove in my warm, but not so tidy, airing-cupboard

Olives and tomatoes all ready to go ...

Ooh! It's doubled in size!!

The process of kneading the olives and dried-tomatoes into the dough was not a pretty one and besides, my hands were so covered in doughy-oily-goo, that made my dry-skinned-hands itch, that I decided that that step in the process would have to be skipped photo-wise …

 

The shaped rolls ready to rise, complete with Italian additions ... that made 40 minutes of kneading in total - who needs weight-lifting when there's bread-kneading to be done?!? 😛

Whoopadoo!!! Mixed, baked and cooling - and not burned!!! ;P

Have you ever made your own bread? What’s the story?!

What’s your favourite kind of bread – store-bought or home-made?

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One thought on “Bread Making – Surprisingly Exciting!

  1. I can’t believe you eat “fish that is cooked whole, bones and guts inclusive”, after all those years of sitting at the kitchen table making rude comments about tuna and how all fish smell no matter what you do to it! 🙂 And if I might remind you, you didn’t eat fish “occasionally” – it was a more “over my dead body” attitude!!! :-b xxx

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