Many of my regular readers will know that over the years I’ve baked the odd loaf. My love affair with bread started when I was about five and our school teacher taught us the magic of yeast in bread and we made two tiny rolls each to take home. Now from what I remember the bread dough was pretty grey – all those grubby little hands taking their turn at squishing the dough – but the smell of the freshly baked bread and the taste of the crust, I was hooked!
It was only when I left home was I able to cater to this side of my personality and tastebuds, often finding obscure little bakeries in odd little places. One likes to romanticise bread, but it’s an every day staple, and I’ve often found very good family run bakeries in really run down areas. One memorable really tough winter where the house I shared was so cold the shower clogged up with ice for weeks, a tin of Heinz cream of tomato soup and a whole meal loaf that I could purchase by the quarter literally kept the wolf from the door.
When the boys were little I made bread as and when I had the time, when they were older I could never keep up with demand. In London I was just too busy and there were too many tempting bakeries to try at every turn in the road. But recently I noticed we had run out of bread, and I was in our local high end supermarket and I just didn’t fancy any of it. And then I realised, I haven’t bought any bread for over a year, we truly are self sufficient.
I rarely make fancy loaves, I do like to play with sourdough, but am equally happy to play with commercial yeast. Often and I do mean often, it’s a white bread flour, salt and water combo, which I’m very happy with. Occasionally I follow a recipe, most of the time I wing it.
And today’s was no exception, no scales involved, commercial yeast brought alive, flour, water, salt. I think my bread today was equal in stature to anything I could buy in a bakery, and most definitely fresher!
And I made a couple of spares for the freezer.