Monday, October 5, 2009

Baking Homemade Bread

There's something about Autumn that turns the hearts of bakers to bread. In the past week I've heard from three people that they unaccountably feel like baking bread now, after taking time off from it over the summer. As Debbie pointed out in her post on living by the seasons, there are some thing that just fit the rhythm of Fall - root vegetables, apples, hearty stews, pulling out heavier clothes and blankets and baking homemade bread.

As you may know, the Farm produces certified organic grain (which you can purchase from the Farm Shop of course!) and Debbie is something of an expert in the art of grinding grain into flour and transforming it into delicious loaves of nutritious whole grain bread. Next time you're in the shop, be sure to ask her for some tips!

For the novice, baking yeast bread can be an overwhelming task. You might want to start small and build up some confidence before jumping in to a more complicated recipe. On the other hand there is something to be said for naivete if it keeps you from being intimidated by what other bakers might see as a daunting recipe!

The health benefits of using whole grains in bread are well documented and doubtless familiar to you. By baking your own whole grain bread rather that buying it in the store, you can get the added bonus of eliminating preservatives and additives. For families with wheat allergies or for those who just have a taste for variety, baking your own bread gives you the freedom to experiment with different grains or alternative flours.

Aside from purely nutritional benefits, I'm convinced that baking bread is good for the soul. Fitting the timetable of mixing, kneading, rising and baking bread into your day forces you to think about your schedule and maybe simplify your day a little. The rhythm of baking days helps set a productive but not frantic pace. Kneading dough, as even the newest baker can attest, is a marvelous stress reducer and a good upper body workout. And nothing beats the feeling of serving your family a slice of warm buttered bread fresh from the oven!

We're planning to do a few posts on grain grinding, different bread recipes, and general tips about bread. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and we'll be happy to address them!

1 comment:

  1. i have baked bread before but it has been a long time...i think i will take a look at the book you reccomended and think about it again...
    thanks for the inspiration.