16 January 2008


A few weeks ago I stated that one of my New Year's goals was to spend less of our time and money in the grocery stores and instead use some of my time to prepare more of our own staple foods. In an ongoing quest to move away from mass-produced items, I decided a good place to start was with fresh home-made bread. After all what could possibly smell better than fresh baking bread, and what better reward for hard work than a fresh warm slice of buttered bread.

I probably could have picked a simpler project to start. Luckily though, my first couple attempts have been mostly successful. Not to say that there haven't been a few hiccups. For instance, I couldn't understand why my first 1/4 teaspoon of yeast wouldn't dissolve. After further invesitagation, I discovered I had actually added little tiny grains of quinoa to my water instead of yeast. Once I tossed the quinoa-not-yeast-water down the sink, things started looking up.

Happily, we ended up with two loaves of fresh white bread that day. And as hoped the smell was heavenly, and warm bread with melty butter was all we had for dinner that evening.

A week later I decided to redeem myself from a previous pizza dough making disaster. I mixed together my whole wheat dough ingredients but remained sceptical. I anticipated a monumental failure so decided to cover my butt and threw together a white dough recipe as well. To my surprise both worked and we actually had a choice of pizza crusts for dinner. It was a little crisper than pizzeria dough but that may have been due more the fact that I got so engrossed in Playstation that the pizza was in the oven longer than necessary. OOooooops.

That was an ambitious day. I also made rosemary-olive foccacia. I loved this. The way the dough puffed up out of the bowl was so exhilarating. And again, the end result was very tasty, though the loaf itself was a little unusual looking. Next time I will also be more liberal with the rosemary and the salt sprinkled on top.

Tomorrow I am going to try a whole wheat bread. This one scares me. I shouldn't just assume that I am going to fail miserably, but if I do, I can chalk it up to a learning experience.

The whole wheat bread turned out great! I even decided to try a few substitions in the recipe. I subbed some of the whole-wheat flour for spelt, and also add some wheat germ, ground flax, poppy- and sesame-seeds. It was so yummy! I think I may be getting the hang of this.

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