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"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)


Sunday, 24 January 2010

blessed are the Bread Makers

ST ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY: The Patron Saint of Hungary, Bakers and Bread Makers.
ST. NICHOLAS OF MYRA: the Patron Saint of Bakers.
ST. PETER: Patron Saint of Bakers...

I need them all, I need all the help I can get in the art of making of bread..

a week or so ago, dutch husband bought me a bread maker (and a coffee maker, but that in itself is a whole other story!). he bought it so that I could satisfy my whim of making the home-made bread that I craved after staying at the haunted farmhouse, while visiting my son.


I usually buy organic spelt bread from an Artisan bread shop in Springwood..

the bread making machine sat in all its glory on my bench until I found the courage to at least go and buy a pkt of pre-mix to get me started and I quickly read through the instructions.. thinking to myself that this cannot be too hard. everyone bakes bread, don't they? I mean it is not rocket science and you don't need a University degree do you?

friends were telling me they had a loaf baking at that very minute. their homes smelling delicious with the smell of home made bread.. I carefully, oh so carefully measured the water and pre-mixed flour. adding the yeast in the little pocket as instructed. pressing the start button four times for the french bread setting as suggested. and it started.. whirring and clicking happily away. while I envisioned fresh bread, organic butter and sylvanberry jam.

peering periodically into the little window on the bread maker. I could see it rising and rising.. until it started escaping over the edge of the bread pan, acting very much like a Triffid. I quickly grabbed the instruction manual as I raced up the hallway thinking I was being chased by a triffid or even worse, The Blob and it was clearly stated that 'anyone baking in 'high altitudes' above 700ft, should use less yeast.' You see, yeast rises faster at those altitudes. and surprisingly, Woodford is in a high altitude.. I was thinking more along the lines of the Swiss Alps or Mt.Everest.. not simple little Woodford.

the bread came out looking about as lopsided as the Pisa muffins... I am not a bread-maker and I think the bread makers should be deemed Blessed.. are you a bread-maker or a bread-eater?

15 comments:

Janet said...

I am a bread eater and occasionally a bread maker. I've managed to make focaccia bread on my own and I also have a bread machine. Unfortunately I've misplaced the manual for the bread machine so I can't use it now.

I had a good chuckle about you and the rising bread chasing you up the stairway!! Hang in there! You'll get it.

Pam said...

Robyn I love you because you are not Nigella Lawson, Martha Stewart and all those perfectos!! Can't help with the bread- but love your experiments.You, dear friend, are FUN.All of the saints of breadmaking must smile and think "this lovely lady is a keeper,for we truly despaireth of, and giveth up all hope with Baker's Delight and the fearful abominations of Woolworths white."xx

Fire Byrd said...

Oh eater definately. I couldn't make bread, cause otherwise I'd have to eat it all when it was warm out of the oven, and then I'd be the size of a house with high colesterol with all the butter on said bread!!! Cake is the same, do make an exception for mince pies at Christmasd though, just make them last over a few days!
Do make my own pizza dough though, but then I make that for youngest as I'm not that fussed about pizza.

xx

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I only make bread occasionally (and then only if it's a no-knead, pan bread) but I love, love, LOVE to eat bread! Hang in there with the breadmaker; you'll learn all its little tricks eventually and then it will be YUM forever!

gemma said...

Bread eater here.
Regardless of your lopsided loaf I'll bet it tasted great!

A bird in the hand said...

I am both. I only make one kind of bread, though, an Irish soda bread that is so good I have to be careful I don't eat too much!
If your bread is lopsided but tastes good, it's fine (it's the taste that counts)! Keep on baking. xoxo

Ruth said...

That was what happened when we made bread in my daughter's bread maker too. It was over risen and tasted yeasty.

Rapunzel said...

I *can* make bread but it never quite measures up to the bakery stuff! :/

Searching For My Willoughby said...

I am a bread eater, and I pretend to be a bread baker. I have a bread machine; I use it to make the dough, then usually shape the loaf myself and bake in the oven. I'm tempted, but scared, to try artisan breads. There's some book called Artisan Bread in 5 min. a Day or something like that that I keep hearing about. Maybe with those patron saints looking over my shoulder, it might work.

Pearl said...

I've been making our bread since the early '70's using the Tassajara recipe which makes 4 loaves at a time. I didn't read the ingredients list closely the first time I made this recipe just put the first stage ingredients into a mixing bowl. Like your experience pretty soon there was a soft dough creeping over the edge of the bowl and across the counter. I was frantically scooping the stuff up and tossing it into any bowl I could find. Since that experience I always used a washing up bowl that I designate for bread making. The Tassajara breads keeps well and freezes well and is much better than even the expensive shop breads. Moral here? Keep at it and expect a few funny looking loaves - the taste is what matters.
Pearl

~Sheila~ said...

I'm both. When my children were little and I was a stay at home Mum, I made all our baked goods from scratch including bread. Now that I have time again i find I don't have the strength in my hands and wrists necessary for kneading the dough. (Probably carpal tunnel from all the blogging..!)Unknowingly we seem to have bought our bread makers around the same time. I love mine and each loaf, so far, has been successful.

Von said...

Wore out my bread-maker and haven't replaced it so 'eater' now, sometimes.Good luck,you'll get it sorted.

Serena said...

Bread eater raising her hand here ~ :)

Imogen said...

I'm a "both"-er, but do the baking the old-fashioned way; no machine... That said, the last seven weeks it's been pre-sliced shop bread since kneading is impossible one-handed. But baking will make for great wrist-strengthening exercise once the cast comes off...

linda may said...

My bread maker machine doesn't get used that often but when it does I like to set it on number 7 which allows me to remove the dough, let it rise a 2nd time and then bake it in the tin of my choosing. But I am not so adventurous as to try mixing other types of bread in it.I tend to have fads with the machine and make few loaves then sit it in the cupboard again. If I divide the dough into 2 bits and press it into Swiss roll tins and let it rise again I top it with pizza toppings, and it is a cross between focaccia and pizza, that is yummy.Or I make the dough into cinnamon snails.