Saturday, February 21, 2009


I baked bread today.

Oh, I did it the "quick" way - I have a bread machine. (Once in a while, when I have the free time and the inclination, I like to make bread the "real" way, with kneading and having to check on it as it rises. Plus, there are a couple recipes I have that just don't turn out in the bread machine). I made a buttermilk white bread, using a recipe in one of the bread machine books I have.

Earlier this week we had "departmental lunch" and even though I was slowly being driven crazy by busy-ness, I decided to offer to make Texas sheet cake. Because I like to bake, and I hardly ever bake except when I can take it and share it, because most cake recipes make way too much for me. (The cake was well-received; I have to copy out the recipe for at least one person).

I didn't want the leftover buttermilk to go to waste, so I found a bread recipe for it.

It came out a few minutes ago.

I love making bread; it is a kind of magic. Oh, I know how it works biochemically - the yeast both ferment and metabolize (I've been told by homebrewers that even bread yeast in bread are actually doing fermentation as much as they're doing aerobic metabolism*) and produce gas bubbles that raise the bread. And the wheat gluten protein forms big chains that make the dough elastic so it stretches and gets the texture of bread. And when it bakes the sugars and stuff on the outside caramelize a bit to give the crust. (Did you know that bread crusts have antioxidants in them? No kidding. So everyone who told their kids "eat the crusts, they're good for you" was right).

(*including the pesky Krebs cycle, which made a little appearance on this week's FFOT).

So now I have a nice loaf of homemade bread sitting cooling in my dining room. I'm going to have that and a big salad for dinner, and maybe if the salami I have in the fridge is still good, a couple pieces of salami.

I could pretty happily live on a combination of salad, bread, and soup, with maybe a few other tidbits like cheese and salami thrown in once in a while.

Making bread feels like a way I can take care of myself.


The Fifth String said...

Bread is good.

I'm too lazy to make my own EXCEPT in a bread machine, but I haven't done even that for a long time.


I really should.

WV: gathe - the word that comes to mind when I think about kneading and all else involved in making bread without a machine.

Mr. Bingley said...

I have a bread machine that i've never used; might be time to get it out. I used to make bread fairly often the 'old fashioned' way.

wv: "mindi"

where's mork?

Cullen said...

We used to make bread in our machine pretty frequently. J-Mom makes it the old fashioned way sometimes, but still usually uses the bread machine or the Kitchen aid to do the kneading.