I love fresh-from-the-oven bread! I think my brain is hard-wired to respond to that rich yeasty smell. The problem is I have never been good at baking bread for myself or my family.
Like many people I simply bought bagged bread from the grocery store, often regretting the lack of flavor and the terrible texture. For special dinners I would go to a bakery, drink in that amazing yeasty smell, and go home with real, crusty, wonderful bread. Occasionally, I would try again to make my own, disappointed that it never rose and was always too dense to be truly enjoyable.
Enter Spring Break.
Prior to the school holiday, I spent two days filling in as a receptionist at a local IT office where I occasionally work. Normally, I spend these days very busy with filling, data entry, and any number of office activities. These two days, however, were very quiet and there was very little to fill that time. I spent the greater portion of the time surfing the internet. I can’t tell you what searches I ran, because I truly don’t recall, but I ended up reading several articles on grinding your own wheat. I was deeply fascinated.
The next day I spoke to a very good friend and she found my enthusiasm somewhat humorous. I couldn’t disagree with her, after all I know my history with bread making, even if she has never sampled my attempts. I spoke to my husband, and he was not enthusiastic about the thought, again because of my track record.
I made the decision that I would learn to bake bread before I pushed to consider grinding our own grains. (If I really commit to this, I will eventually want to grow my own grains, perhaps explore grinding nuts, etc.) This is why the internet is such an amazing tool. I spent time watching videos and reading “fool proof” recipes. I made a no-knead bread that was pretty tasty-kind of a sour dough type.
It was Spring Break and I had all four kids home all day long. This led to an unexpected dilemma. My children and my husband prefer the soft sandwich style bread that we have bought for years-the kind I don’t care for. Ok, I can adapt. I found a recipe for that and gave it a try. It was a success! I even got brave enough to try making some beautiful (and custom-sized) hamburger buns for our favorite Sloppy Joes.
It has now been 3 weeks plus since I have purchased bread. I don’t feel I have overcome all of my terrible bread history, but I feel I am on a positive path. Perhaps someday I will buy whole wheat berries and a wheat grinder….