Friday, 25 May 2007

Baking Bread

About a year ago a friend recommended I get a breadmaker. I had made bread occasionally at weekends but hadn't ever got into a regular bread making habit. Since breadmaking machines seemed to be very popular, I was persuaded and bought a basic model. The bread it made was acceptable but I found that I used it mainly for mixing bread dough to bake bread rolls in the oven.

A couple of months ago it worked its way to the edge of the worktop while mixing and took a nose dive to the kitchen floor. A bit battered it worked for a while and then died.

I made some bread by hand . I had forgotten how much I enjoyed mixing and kneading the dough, finding a warm place for it to rise, before knocking it back and shaping the rolls or putting it in a tin. I also started to make changes to the recipe depending on how much time I had, a bit extra yeast and putting the dough in a covered bowl in the airing cupboard if I wanted to be quick, using less yeast and leaving it in a cool room if I was due to be out for a few hours.

I've been baking bread by hand now for several weeks and I won't be buying a new breadmaker. I like having more control over the process and varying it to suit me rather than following the precise instructions. The only thing I miss about the machine is that I can't program it to have bread ready for when I come home from work, it was nice opening the front door to the smell of fresh bread, if I worked full time I might reconsider. For now though I am enjoying the gentle quiet process of producing our bread without the whirring of the breadmaking machine.

1 comment:

e4 said...

It really is a better end result, isn't it? I think there's as much of a difference in quality between hand made and bread machine bread as there is between the bread machine and the mass-produced loaves. We didn't replace our bread machine with a new one either...