“Like all areas of cooking, bread making engages all of your senses, but it is a particularly soulful pursuit. The bouncy, silky feel of the soft, elastic dough, the hollow thump of a crusty brown loaf, the earthy flavor of slowly fermented wheat flour all contribute to the experience, but what’s most captivating is the blessed smell of the loaf of bread as it bakes in your own kitchen.”
Jerry Traunfeld The Herbfarm Cookbook
Here at Chiot’s Run baking bread is a weekly occurrence. The oven is on all the time, especially in winter, producing loaves of all shapes, sized, colors and flavors, many are tucked away in the freezer for summer eating to save time during that busy gardening season. In the summer the oven is on less often, usually on once or twice a month, producing enough bread to last for 2-3 weeks and a batch or two of scones, biscuits or zucchini bread for quick breakfasts and of course some hamburger buns for those summer cookouts.
It doesn’t get much better than the smell of freshly baking bread, scones, or biscuits in your own oven. We haven’t bought store bought bread or baked goods in many, many years.
Here at Unearthing This Life, cooking runs in our blood. Both Hubby and I spent time working in restaraunts on the prep side, grill side, and saute areas of the kitchen. We both took our respective turns behind the bar and out on the floor as well. Neither of us spent much time baking (even though I enjoyed a short stint in a bagel bakery). It took going through the Real Food Challenge for me to finally understand baking from scratch. So, it may be surprising for some of you to know that bread is relatively new to me.
Now that I finally “get” bread making, I have to prepare it about twice a week. Since there’s three of us, and we’re homeschooling, we go through our loaves rather quickly. And one loaf of bread is always cinnamon cranberry swirl, with extra honey. That is our breakfast bread. It makes fine french toast and an excellent dessert bread as well.
Other than bread, a regular treat for us is pizza. Every Friday night is pizza night. Even if delivery did travel this far out in the Boonies, I don’t think I’d opt for that choice considering the taste of the pizza we prepare. I did grow up 25 miles outside of Chicago after all – and I know what pizza is supposed to taste like.
Since Hubby was ordered on a low triglyceride diet almost three years ago, we severely limit our other sources of simple carbs. Carbs in our house serve a purpose – to introduce healthy grains, extra fiber, and fermented foods into our food source. Our dough always includes whole wheat flour, with whole grains added, and fermented with sourdough starter. Having too many family members with gut problems forces my recipes to consider their needs first and foremost. Using sourdough and organic flours seems to help reduce tummy issues. Hubby also weighs in on average 25 pounds less than normal now that we’re concious of the types of carbohydrates he consumes.
I think that goes to show that you can eat your carbs and have your health too, as long as you limit yourself and make sure you’re consuming quality grains.
What do you bake that fills your spirit or mends your body?