Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bread. Real Bread. Well, at Least the Start...

So, for the last four or five months, I've been thinking I was all fancy and awesome because I've been making homemade bread for everything.  The kids beg for store bought bread, but I ignore them and smugly think that they'll thank me someday for being made to suffer through healthy foods as children.  I remember feeling the same way as a kid, but I'm also thankful as an adult that I would never dream of buying or eating Wonder bread.  My plan is to also torture my children into being health-conscious adults through homemade bread, granola, whatever.

Separate, but related story.  My husband is a Mother Earth News lover.  He has gotten a subscription for the last two years as a Christmas present because it makes him that happy.  He's always reading those things and getting apocalyptic homesteading ideas.  That's how he tortures me.  But, it must be wearing off.  Because the other day, I opened up to the bread article in this month's issue.  And I felt so pitiful.  This bread makes my bread machine dough look like Wonder bread...  It's so complicated and scientific!  I never knew.

As I'm reading, I'm envisioning people actually cutting up a sponge and putting it in with the dough.  Why?  I couldn't figure it out.  So, then, I had to read the whole entire article to figure out why they would do such a crazy thing.  Well, I was totally wrong.  And, once I know something so fantastic, and I have a day off of work, and I have all the ingredients... I might as well see if I can pull it off.  I didn't want to fold laundry or clean out our den from hell office anyway.

So, it began.  And, just so you know.  I never follow recipes, and most things I make never taste exactly the same twice.

Here's all my stuff on the counter.  I'm such a messy cook.

For the "sponge", I used unbleached flour, yeast and whey (instead of water).  We had a gallon left over from our second mozzarella making attempt (which turned out MUCH better than the first), and I was planning to use it in bread anyway.  The first sponge was too gooey, and I was a sticky mess.  Leilee plopped herself next to me and volunteered to be the taste tester.

The second sponge turned out a little better.  I stirred it more before I got my hands in there to knead it together, so the flour had absorbed more of the goo.

Here they are, resting in the fridge.  I knew I wouldn't have time to actually bake the bread that night, so I followed the instructions and placed them in the refrigerator.

I made two different
"soakers". One with buttermilk and one with yogurt.
 Because I am so inconsistent and experimental of a cook, and because bread making is an exact science, I freaked out and made these very official and scientific sticky notes to keep track of what I was doing.  I was hoping the Spidey sense would heighten my baking ability...

I even cooked up the quinoa according to the instructions in the multigrain section of the article.  Since I didn't actually have wheat flour, I used my unbleached regular flour.  This is also the first time *gasp* that I am trying unbleached flour in bread instead of regular bleached.  I am SO bad!!  But I didn't know!  I swear, I didn't know.

Today, I have a sick kid at home, which means I get to bake this bread.  An apparently there is a whole separate and complex process involved in baking it.  Not even kidding.  I'm kind of freaking out.  So off I go, to finish my bread.

Consider this part one...



  1. I am a messy cook too! Doesn't help that my assistant is a 2 year old. I need to start baking bread :)

    1. Yeah. There is flour all over my whole entire kitchen at this point!