Bread, bread, bread

Okay,

it’s this time of the month again.  The time when I bake a big batch of delicious bread for my family.

While I’ve been trying to bake my own bread for years, It’s only this year that I can say I truly succeeded. Bread being on the the most common food staple in the modern world, you’d think it’s easy to bake.  But it isn’t.

My mother and grand-mother both baked bread.  It was the most delicious thing in the world and I remember eating the best Nutela toast during week-ends spent at my grandparents’ house, and the best homemade pizza at home.  My mother tried to pass along her technique, and even though I was sooo willing to learn, I failed.  Multiple times.  I watched her, amazed, but when I tried to repeat her process using her advice, it never turned out like her. Bread is so unique.  Multiple attempts, classes and years later, I finally found my own way of baking bread.

The recipe I use comes from one of my favourite bread baking books.  You can find it here.  Most of the time I’ll use the classic french bread recipe, and then add my own twist, whether it is herbs, grains, nuts, cheese, or other types of flour.

Here’s what the process looks like:

1 – I make the starter the day before I really want to bake bread.

2 – The next day, I mix in all the ingredients, as per the recipe.  When mixing up, I often add my own touch to the basic recipe I use.

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Bread 01

3 – I knead for about 10 minutes per batch.  I will on most occasions bake 4 batches at a time, all kneaded by hands (I don’t have a mixer).  This is the most time-consuming portion of the recipe, but ensuring a well-knead bread makes for a great rising loaf.

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4 – After kneading, I let the bread rise in a greased bowl, and then follow the instructions in the book.  Sometimes I’ll let the bread rise more often than indicated, although usually I allow it to rise as per the time indicated.

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