Archive for November, 2011

Part 2: Make your own: Bread

Posted: November 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

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This one has baffled me for years. Let me tell you, it is totally worth making bread at home if you go through a loaf bread a week or once every two weeks. Dont kid yourself by thinking you can make bread without a bread maker, invest in a breadmaker. It is totally worth it – IF you follow my instructions below 😉

You see we had a breadmaker in San Francisco, we never made bread successfully. I hear this from friends all the time. It is because we never knew about the magical ‘pre-mix bread flour’. Keep reading.

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Here is the ABCs all the way to Z about how you can make your own bread at home.

1. Invest in breadmaker. Honestly, i was getting sick of going out to get bread all the time that didn’t taste that great and cost more than $5 a loaf. So I went to my local David Jones store (a bit like Macys in the U.S) – went through their three breadmakers and picked one. I bought the Sunbeam Quantum.

2. Set up your bread station. This is important because the easier it is to do something, the more likely you are going to do it. Example, preparing your gym clothes the night before making it that much easier to get to the gym in the morning (if only this was enough to motivate me). SO my station shown above is basically a repurposed bed side table with our microwave on top and the breadmaker sitting on top of it. Next to it you can see a scale (really really really important for making good bread). I have a plastic container that is tarred on the scale ready to measure flour. The scale I got is just one I picked up from my local Kmart. It doesn’t have to be fancy.

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3. The above picture shows the flour tucked behind the breadmaker with measuring cups. The flour is in large containers so i dont have to keep refilling it every day.

4. Now you have the station, lets talk about ingredients.

Ingredients

My breadmaker’s recipe book showed recipes for how to make bread with the pre-mixed flour. You can get pre-mixed bread flour from any supermarket in the baking isle. You may have to look hard. I got the Laucke brand because it has the biggest quantity available – it was a 5 Kg paper sack. It also met my waste requirements.

Breadflour (preferably one that is listed in your breadmaker’s recipe book ) I use a 50% combination of  Laucke multigrain flour and Laucke wholemeal flour. 

 

Water

Yeast (provided in most pre-mixes)

That’s it!! That is all you need for making basic bread.

5. I will provide the recipe that I use but it does change based on your breadmaker and flour so FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS VERY VERY CAREFULLY.  I can’t emphasise this enough. The less instructions you have to follow the better, hence the advantage of using a pre-mixed flour.

Recipe (makes a 1 Kg loaf)

400 ml water – tap water, cold water is fine.

610 g flour – I used 50% multigrain, 50% wholemeal.

1.5 tsp yeast

Measure very very accurately all the ingredients. Place in the breadmaker tin in the order specified ONLY.  Do not mix, do not stir, just pour the water in, then pour the flour in, then pour the yeast in 🙂 Turn the machine on to the right settings, set a delay timer if you want your bread to be ready when you wake up first thing in the morning. Simple.

As a side note : I always select the lightest crust as I find that is more than enough.

6. I think it’s worth investing a electronic bread knife. I hated struggling with cutting bread with a traditional knife even with a slice guide. This is the knife we own. It is also handy for carving meat. We also have a breakfast station in the kitchen where the toaster, kettle, tea, jam etc is kept. The knife is permanently plugged in with the rest of the electrical things with a wooden chopping board. So we store the bread in a bread tin purchased from Kmart and cut slices when we want it as we find it goes dry otherwise.

There is nothing in life like waking up to the smell of freshly made hot bread. Trust me you will never go back.

Have you tried to make bread? or do you make it on a regular basis? Share your tips and stories!

 


Hello everyone!

We can reduce the amount of waste we generate by just thinking about it. That’s right, it is that simple. All you have to do is think about how much waste you generate and this process will automatically affect your decision making process. That’s about all I do these days. I tell people I am waste conscious if they ask about some of my strange decisions. Here are some funny examples (or you can scroll down to the peanut butter bit 😉

+ My colleagues thought it was funny that I didn’t go with them to get takeaway lunch because I preferred to eat in at the cafe so I could avoid the takeaway boxes.

+ It took some convincing of the fruit guy at the farmers market to take his strawberries out of his box and put it in my container. I sincerely hope he reuses those boxes. He tells me he will do it just for me !

Something I have been doing recently is discovering the joy of making from scratch the products I typically buy from a supermarket. Many good reasons to do this with the obvious being less waste. I aim for zero waste but that’s not always possible. The other day I made peanut butter. A great recipe with pictures is shown on this site –
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Peanut-Butter

What I did is to get roasted peanuts from my favorite bulk grocer – Flanneries and literally put it through my food processor (that we brought over from the U.S to avoid waste and plugged it into a transformer). I put a little bit of oil in to get it to mix properly and I used honey to sweeten. I had to do it in batches to make sure it ground properly but it taste SO much better that bought peanut butter.

Try it out next time you run out of peanut butter. You won’t be disappointed 🙂