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Re: Re: Breads

Well, Melody, I've missed most of this thread, but go for it!  

For many years, I made bread; did not buy it.   Made it in 4 loaf
batches about every week....then, life got in the way and I found I
did not have the time needed to do it properly.

 Used a great recipe from this little (now very dog-eared and flour
splattered) book, The Tassajara Bread Book, written by Edward Espe
Brown, a monk at the Zen Buddhist monastery there in the mountains of
Monterey CA.  It was published in 1970 by Shambala Publications in
Berkeley, CA...if you can get your hands on a copy, do....not only is
it full of good recipes, but the approach to bread making takes all
the worry out of it.  There's also a great recipe for bran muffins...

The one I made was a whole wheat, not dissimilar to Branola (but
quite a bit better IMO).  Very simple ingredients.

Making bread is an organic experience IMO.  If you are not in the
proper frame of mind, your bread won't rise as it should;-)  Also, it
helps a lot if the room you're working in is warm - if it isn't, set
your loaves in an oven that was turned on and warmed up and then
turned off or over the pilot light if you've got one or on a shelf
over a hot water heater...someplace about 80F.  It will rise in
cooler temperatures, but at a much slower rate.

Kneading is much easier if you have a surface that is at the same
height as your hands when they are hanging loosely from your
sides...too high a work surface makes hard work of kneading. 
Kneading is all about getting into a rhythm and once you hit it,
you'll know it and you can just go on kneading for ages without
tiring...the sponge is living and responds under your hands...hard to
explain in words.

Try not to bake on a day when you're running ragged - you need to be
there for your dough when it needs punching down and kneading and
other steps in the process.

NOTHING smells or tastes like fresh baked bread, hot out of the

Unless you manage to leave it in the oven overnight, turning it into
an interesting but inedible carbon affair that continues to crackle
softly internally for some considerable time (been there; done that)
anything you turn out is going to be yummy:-)

My Mom found a lovely wooden bread dough trough and sent it to me not
long ago....makes me wish I had a life that would let me bake bread
again...maybe someday.

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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> From: Melody <mhobertm@excite.com>
>  Kitty: Have always used either a bread machine or there is one
store in town that sells the frozen loaves of whole wheat bread (most
carry only white or wheat which is not whole grain.)  But while I'm
at home for the next couple of weeks, I am going to give a try at
making it completely from scratch.  My bread machine seems to work
better for things like cinnamon raisin bread than for regular
sandwich bread. 

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