There is something about the sense of smell that creates powerful emotions. It’s beautiful thing really.
Close your eyes and think of a favorite smell.
Is there a special memory tied to it?
Can you recall a specific event?
Maybe a Thanksgiving meal?
How about coffee brewing, brownies baking, bread rising?
(Notice my associations all go to food).
To me, the rousing aroma of freshly baked bread soothes my soul in a simple way.
It reminds me of days gone by, a simpler life, a time when families connected over the breaking of bread.
For most people, the thought of baking bread terrifies them.
” It takes too much time, it’s so much effort,
and I can’t even cook dinner for my family.”
Please don’t go running for the hills, it’s easier than you think. This isn’t a full scale tutorial…just some pictures to inspire you. Maybe this will be the week where you will rekindle your family’s senses and soothe them with the sumptuous smell.
For you city folk…this is whole wheat grain.
Remember “for amber waves of grain”…it’s really amber,
and that’s not just because of a bad camera.
When those “granola-y” types say they are grinding their own grain, don’t be too impressed.
I do too and it’s as easy as plugging in the curling iron. Just pour the amber waves of grain into the hopper and….
VOILA!!! Freshly milled, highly nutritious whole wheat flour.
Did you know that all flour loses the majority of its vitamins within hours of milling it?
Isn’t that a bummer since we buy it off the grocery shelves…oh well.
But have no fear….
you don’t really think I would go without the good old white flour.
No way…I am not always that healthy. Yes, I buy in bulk(those bags are 25 lbs).
When I bake, I bake for an army and freeze extras.
After you have easily mixed all the ingredients together, the dough will look like this.
Like I said, definitely not a complete tutorial. You are going to cover it and let it rise for about 30-40 minutes.
Yeast is a living thing, so it breathes (rises) all on its own…so puffy…I love that.
But then the part I love even more – punching it down.
A great aggression getter outter. See how it leaves my fist print – it feels great!
I take it out of the bowl and flatten it all out. The kids love this part because it feels neat. Then I divide it equally between loaves, rolls etc and shape them.
I will let it rise one more time. There are quick rise ways of making bread, but I didn’t have anywhere to be, so I opted for a 2nd rise.
AFTER (about 30-60 minutes depending on how hot your kitchen is)
Bake and TA-DAAA!! Can’t you smell it?
Pass the butter, please..now the cinnamon and sugar (my fav).
It’s typically a little lighter in color but I yelled to my son to turn the oven off.
He did (but the bread stayed in…oops)
Carrying through on my daily theme of balancing the beauty and bedlam, I need to be real here. I took a long sabbatical from my weekly bread making tradition. For years, I would make 4-6 loaves of bread every week. It was easy. I could do it in my sleep (although the bread never turns out the same…go figure). My sister in love and I organized an order with other ladies from our food co-op. Montana Wheat brought a semi all the way to NC back in Y2K. Well, I have a closet full of various grains (yikes, even lentils)…so I better get grinding and baking.
My husband is highly encouraging it…in a sweet kind of “the dry ice is only good for 10 years, honey” kind of way. I would love to share some of my bounty if any one is in the area. Come use my grinder and we’ll break bread over some freshly brewed coffee and cinnamon rolls.
Bedlam I tell you…SHEER BEDLAM!