Monday, 17 November 2008

Home Baked Bread Day

It’s not long since it was Canned Pineapple Anniversary Day and now it’s Home Baked Bread Day so c’mon people, get the flour and yeast out and get baking. You know there’s no bread quite as good as home baked bread.

I’m lucky enough to have a bread machine that my mum bought for me about 6 months ago. I don’t have the strength in my wrists for all that kneading anymore so I use the machine to do that part and then usually bake it in the oven rather than in the bread machine. It’s probably me that’s doing something wrong but I’m never entirely satisfied with bread out of the machine whereas the same dough comes out beautiful when it’s done in the oven, either as a loaf or as rolls.

We vary our breads between granary with extra seeds (LM likes her bread really seedy), plain white bread and wholemeal. Sometimes I do a mix of granary and wholemeal, and sometimes I add herbs and stuff to white bread. It all depends on what I fancy at the time.

What I really love about home baked bread is that you know exactly what’s going in it. Well, apart from the times when I use bread mixes for quickness, because they have a few things I’m not sure about in them too, but still they’re not as bad as commercially made shop bought bread that have all sorts of chemicals added to make the dough rise quicker and go further. And the taste just can’t be compared, of course.

If you have kids, today might be a good time to introduce them to the art of bread making. My mum never baked anything other than apple pie so I learned about bread making late in life - my own kids used to love baking bread with me, though. They always had their own roll each in the oven along with the main loaf.

I’m going to be making granary rolls today and will have one with lettuce, ham, cheese & red pepper later. Scrummy!

Sharon J


Image Credit: z-b


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Kat said...

We used our breadmaker last night, put it on a long timer...this morning I woke up to the most BEAUTIFUL smell....mmmmmmmm.......

K x

Becky said...

That's such a coincidence! I LOVE to cook and when I am home in England I cook from fresh almost every evening (most Friday and Saturday nights we have a break!) but I have never made my own bread - I had some delicious home made buns yesterday at the home of one of my Norwegian friends so I decided then and there I would start to make my own (I don't have a bread machine so looking forward to getting my hands dirty!)

Do you have any tips / recipes? do you know the standard measurements (i.e 9 parts flour to ...?)

Enjoy the bread!

shabby chic said...

Hi Sharon
Breadmakers are brilliant, i dont know how I managed without one now. I love the fact you can do cake and jam in them too.
I have been catching up with all your posts and really liked the one about schools , another brick in a wall one. Hope you are keeping well , wetaher is a bit overcast today, sun come back ,take care x

Chris said...

Hi! It sounds lovely! Often people ask me if I miss eating and I say no but strangley if there is a smell of bread or toast then the answer is yes! Weird as I rarely ate it unless on night duty when white bread toast used to keep me going! Filled up on junk food to keep going ( and yes I know that was the wrong thing to do but it was the only way sometimes to cope with situ of a busy paediatric ICU !)

Enjoy your bread! Both my Sisters use their machines a lot.

How are you feeling in general?


Anonymous said...

I always find home baked bread hugely disappointing. A bit like fresh ground coffee it never tastes quite what it promises to be. I made some home baked whole-grain rolls the other night and they were, to be honest, quite boring and my wife's home baked bread is awful, just like the rest of her cooking. Prefer Asda's bakery. They do a square sandwich loaf that's gorgeous and it doesn't have a bloody great hole in the bottom.

Sharon J said...

@ Kat. The long timer's so useful, isn't it? If I'm baking bread on a Sunday morning, I put the ingredients in the evening before and put it on a timer to have it risen and ready for the oven by morning.

@ Becky. If you mean a recipe for 'rosiner boller' I'll ask my daughter. I had a wonderful recipe once but sadly I lost it. I know she's made some good ones, though :)

@ Shabby Chic. I was planning to make some jam in mine this year but it never materialised. Next year, definitely.

@ Chris. It's funny how you miss the little things you once took for granted isn't it? Although I can still eat, other aspects of my condition have taught me to savour everything I can (as long as I like it, obviously), because NOTHING should be taken for granted.

Anonymous said...

And, curiously I don't understand your advocacy of home bread makers. Environmentally they're a disaster. Bread baked in bulk is far more environmentally sound than using all that energy to make one loaf a night.

Sharon J said...

@ Anonymous. You must have been posting your comment at the same time as me. I'm not keen on the hole in the bottom (or the shape) either, but I find it useful for mixing, kneading and rising. I think you probably need to experiment a bit - try putting different seeds in, perhaps flavoured olive oil, some herbs etc. Once you find the right bread, you'll never look back.

I do agree that Asda's bread tastes nice, but I don't like the idea of what goes in it. That isn't to say I never have it, but I prefer home-baked bread.

Sharon J said...

@ anonymous (again). Interesting point. Do you know this to definitely be the case? I'd certainly like to look at the facts and figures on it.

Anonymous said...

Of course it's the case! It's called economy of scale. Why put an oven on twice to cook two loaves when you can cook two in the same oven for a fraction more energy? OK, it's not as convenient or as trendy chic but it's actually why, loathe them as you probably do, supermarkets or any operation that can bulk produce, are efficient. I notice from your blog you've saved an area of rainforest the size of a small bathroom just from tiny actions. Use your home breadmaker every day for a year and you've probably killed that off several fold.

Sharon J said...

You may well be right, I couldn't say. But whether you are or not, this is why I prefer home-baked bread.

Ecologist Special Report: Supermarket Bread

Becky said...

no I meant any kind of home made bread! but rosiner boller would be a start! i have just remembered my fiances auntie sent me a norwegian cookbook (well 2 actually) 'tradisjonsmat' and also a home baking one - I succesfully made mormor kringle which is basically bread but sweetened and with cinnamon so I am sure I could pick it up!

Thanks ever so much :)


ps - for me its also a health / personal economy issue - I am always concious of what I eat & additives in food and making your own bread has davntages in that area - also, you get alot more for your money, its much cheaper

Sharon J said...

Becky. If you email me on dioritt @ yahoo (dot) co (dot) uk, I'll send you some easy bread recipes.

I agree on the health aspect of home-made bread. Everything has to be weighed up against the other and personal decisions have to be made. You can't please all of the people all of the time :)

Anonymous said...

Blimey, that was old - 24p for a loaf? I don't just mean supermarket bread, you know. But a lot of supermarket bread is very sound, look around. Even local bakeries have the economy of scale that would make baking more environmentally sound. The trouble is with most people is that their environmental principles get chucked out with the recycling once you put "home-made" in front of anything.

Grow Ur Own said...

I absolutely love home made bread, and the breadmaker is a fantastic appliance to have in the kitchen for us who love the bread but don't have the time to do everything by hand.

Not only bread, but jams, cakes and if you have a posh one, pasta too.

By the way anonymous, if you buy the ingredients in bulk it costs considerably cheaper (approx 70p per loaf) and knowing what goes into your food is, in my opinion priceless. I know someone who has worked in an Asda bakery and after what they told me I wouldn't touch them for the world.

No only that, but with the amount of other things you can use it for, it does cut down on other jobs as well.

Also, you have to consider the amount of bread packaging that generally goes into landfills, then there is also the manufacturing costs, travel miles for shipping and finally if you buy organic local ingredients helps sustain the environment and local producers.

If you multiply this by how many loaves are sold a day, and the fact that if you use it for jams, cakes and pasta then you are cutting down on all that as well.

ramtops said...

We have a Panachronic breadmaker, but it's in the loft. We don't eat much bread, and I don't like the stuff that the machine makes.

My wrists aren't great either, but I use the dough hook on my Kitchenaid mixer for making bread, and it does a great job.

Sharon J said...

@ Anonymous. It isn't that long since you could buy a cut loaf in Asda for 24p - the value stuff that tasted like cardboard. Also, I didn't realise we were discussing independent bakers being as you only mentioned Asda.

As with anything else, and as I mentioned on my comment to Becky. things have to be weighed up against each other. There's no perfect solution, each of us have to do what we believe is most important. For me, feeding my family good, wholesome food comes first. And as Grow Ur Own said, there's hardly any packaging compared to shop bought bread, and certainly not plastic.

@ Grow Ur Own. Mine doesn't do pasta :(

@ Ramtops. They're not everybody's cup of tea, I'll give you that. I don't have a mixer with a dough attachment (just a little mixer - very basic) so the bread machine works fine for me. Luckily, there are no rules about how we make bread or whether or not we should :)

neimanmarxist said...

you know, a lot of people are often shocked that i am willing to take the "time" to bake my own bread, but i see it as a very easy thing to do!!! we alternate between two easy bread recipes (whole wheat and oat) and it costs 1/30 of what a shop loaf of equivalent quality does, and it's tasty, and makes our house smell wonderful! i am with you on the virtues of homemade bread. it also just makes me feel really good to bake bread.... i don't know why!

Gavin said...

Sharon, we make bread in the breadmaker every single day, however we only use it for making the dough. We turn the dough out into bread tins and bake in the oven. It gets rid of the hole in the bottom problem, and I reckon it looks and tastes better.

BTW, I just presented you with an award.

You deserve it!


Sharon J said...

@ Neimanmarxist. I used to bake regularly without a breadmaker when I was younger and fitter as part of an economy drive so that we could save to build our own house. Unless you compare it to the cheapo bread you can get in most supermarkets, it really does save quite a bit of money, yes.

@ Gavin. That's the same reason I don't actually bake the bread in the machine.

I'm excited about the award now so I'm on my way over :)

Anonymous said...

I am a different anonymous! The Self Sufficientish Bible says on page 52 "The Bread-maker is one of the few electrical gadgets that is more economical than its more traditional counterpart.Essentially, it is a mini bread oven the perfect size for a loaf. There is no area of the oven that is being heated up unnecessarily and even if you take into account the kneading action it requires less energy than an oven." This is the reason I bought my bread-maker.

Sharon J said...

Anonymous. That's really interesting. Now I have absolutely no reason to feel guilty about using my bread maker :)