Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Give us this day our daily bread

I love homemade bread.  Who doesn't? 

I've been wanting to make my own bread for some time now, but a number of problems arise.  Namely, I don't have a lot of spare time on my hands since I work full time, and also I can tend to be rather lazy. 

My grandma used to make homemade bread every other day.  Then, in the 90's, she bought a bread machine.  My grandma thinks her bread machine is the bees knees.  She's gone through 3 of them since she uses them so much.  The only thing I'm not crazy about in the realm of bread machines is the shape of the loaf.  Who wants a loaf with a big hole in the middle of it?   My mom solves that problem by letting the bread machine work its magic by making the dough, then taking it out and baking it in her own pan in the oven.  Does anyone else do that? 

I happen to own a bread machine, but I really wanted to make bread the old fashioned way.  So, last Monday I found a relatively easy recipe that didn't seem too difficult and I set out to make my own bread.  I was pretty disappointed.  My bread did not rise well and I was left with a thick, heavy, and brick-like loaf. 

Yesterday, I decided I would try again, with one change- I used spring water in the place of tap water.  I read online that most town water nowadays has chlorine in it.  Chlorine kills yeast...which is (I believe) why my bread failed. 

So, I dug out the same recipe and tried over again- and success was my reward!  Woohoo!  I had a nice golden loaf of crusty bread.  Even though it wasn't perfect (my loaf pan appears to be a bit too large for this particular loaf of bread), it tasted wonderful, it puffed up like it should have, and it had a really nice texture.  I made toast out of a couple slices and it was heavenly. 

To add even more goodness, I spread on some pecan pumpkin butter (like apple butter, not the milk/cream kind of butter).  A-maz-ing!   You can buy the butter at a number of different Amish shops in the area.  However, if you are desperate to try a fruit butter but don't have a supplier nearby, you can buy online from this site

I would add a photo, but my bread is already about half gone...hubby seems to like it just as much as I did.  lol 

So, are you intimidated by the whole concept of bread making?  You really don't need to be. 

My bread called for minimal ingredients.  I only needed water, yeast, salt, sugar, crisco, milk, and flour.  The only thing that required a real quantity of anything was flour.  Here is the recipe I used.  Honestly, if you have considered making bread, but weren't sure, why not dive in and give it a try.  I think you'll enjoy the results and realize it's not so difficult or scary as you may think. 

If you have a bread machine, dig it out and re-read those instructions.  Fire it up and enjoy a warm, crusty loaf of deliciousness! 

God bless you, dear reader.  I pray that you are happy, healthy, and having an enjoyable day.  :) 

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