Monday, 18 February 2013
No, your eyes do not deceive you. This is not a cake related posting. Please try your best to remain calm.
Several factors have come together at once and convinced me to attempt to bake my own bread. The main two in play are that Percy won't do it anymore and that I was seduced by a packet of flour in a farm shop.
I can rarely resist the lure of a good farm shop, but I always seem lost for what to buy in them (apart from eggs and cheese, obviously). I skip over the cakes, because, well, come on... Why would I of all people buy a cake? I have a reputation to consider.
Then there are the jars of jam and chutney. They look pretty, but I make my own. I stock up on local greens and whatever I think Beyoncé would put in her basket, then ultimately end up by the flours. Then it is time to consider how many varieties Perce will allow me to purchase and how much space there is in the cupboard. This time, there was room for some strong wholemeal. Fate you may say.
For this loaf, I followed the (very) straightforward method and recipe (halved) given in Bread: River Cottage Handbook No. 3and rather than give you a re-hash here, I'll just give you my thoughts on the whole enterprise.
So get ready for them because here they come...
It was a very long winded way to end up with a sandwich. I don't deny that the results were excellent; better than anything I can buy, and I live around the corner from here. (Please don't tell them I said that!!) But, just as when I realised that bought blocks of paneer were actually perfectly acceptable and I didn't need to make my own I pretty much stopped doing so, I feel this bread making may end when I finish the packet of flour. I mean, I embrace home made. Truly I do. Have you seen these? But what next? Am I going to start making my own shoes?
That said, I can see that there's a process involved here that many people will enjoy. It is also cheaper to make your own bread than it is to buy it, although process-led types need no such financial endorsement. Do you think it's cheaper to knit a sweater than it is to buy one? Dream on, dreamer.
If you want to get loafy, you could do a lot worse than starting here. I'll see how the rest of the wholemeal goes before I commit to anything else...
Do you make your own bread?