Going supermarket free presented me with several challenges, one of which was bread. It used to be so easy. The hubby would buy our organic bread at the supermarket and if we ran out, he’d go and buy us more. Going supermarket free changed that. Now, I had to go to the bakery (a 50 minutes ride on my Spazmobile) and hope they had enough brown bread left for me to feed my family for a week.
Sometimes, I didn’t make it to the bakery and had to buy my bread at the market, which I didn’t really like, as I never really trusted the ingredients that went into those loaves.
I began to toy with the idea of baking my own bread. I’d done it before, occasionally, but I just wasn’t sure that I could do it regularly – as in: daily or almost daily.
I don’t own a bread maker, and neither do I want to have one. Having a bread maker just doesn’t fit in with my views on minimalism. I don’t need it, so why have it taking up space in my kitchen? Making your own bread the old-fashioned way isn’t all that hard. And even better, it’s very rewarding.
So I took the plunge, and started baking my own bread. What’s more, I’m determined to continue baking my own daily bread. Because I think it’s the right thing for me to do. And because nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread.
I tried out several recipes, and so far the bread in four easy steps from the BBC website came out as the winner. It’s an easy and practically foolproof recipe.
Having said that, I did change a couple of things to the recipe. I doubled the amounts of salt (I use coarse Celtic sea salt, which I grind finely using mortar and pestle) and honey. But maybe even more importantly, I place my dough in a lightly oiled bowl for its first rise, and after it has doubled in volume, I tip it out on a lightly floured table, punch it down, knead it lightly and shape my loaf. I place it in a lightly oiled tin, slice the top with a sharp knife, cover it with a tea towel and leave it to rise until it has once again doubled in volume. I place it in the oven (no need for me to preheat as I’ve got a fan oven), and bake for 30 minutes until it’s done.
Like I said, baking bread is easy. Honestly. The hardest part is the planning.