Friday, January 14, 2011

Loafing Around

If there were a T-Shirt that said "Body by  Bread" on it, I would have to buy it.  After all, that is the food I have to thank for my (ahem) curvy curves.  Not chocolate, not cookies, not even pie (and that's a tough one to beat), but bread.  I think if I sat down to it, I could down half a loaf in one sitting.  Probably not something I should admit in public, but I'm a brave sort of girl.

Hi, my name is Jocelyn, and I am addicted to bread
With that off my chest, I should say that with this particular affliction comes the side effect of Supermarketblahitis.  That is, that no supermarket-found bread will ever appease the craving.  You know what I'm talking about.  Sometimes you just want a piece of nice, chewy, crusty bread, and that's all that will do it for you.  I don't believe that anyone ever craves a nice, fluffy piece of Wonder.  Do they?  No.  Absolutely not.

So what is one to do?  You can go to the supermarket any time and look at the breads there.  There are multi-grain, white, whole wheat, and rye.  Different names, mostly different ingredients.  What's the same?  The preservatives for one, high fructose corn syrup for another, and the fact that you can SQUISH them. You bite in, and it's like moisty-dry fluff.  Unless you come across a random "grain" they threw in, or a "nut", you almost don't need to chew.   And they pretty much all taste the same, don't they?  They do.

Ingredients are all assembled
This has been a bit of a thorn in my side for a while (can you tell?), so I decided to start to make my own bread.  There's more variety, I can control what goes in it, and it actually has a texture.  And flavor!  What a novelty.  I started out with the best of intentions on this, but it became pretty clear pretty quickly that I am not the kind of girl who's going to get up early in the morning and pop together a loaf of bread.  I'm not even the kind of girl who's going to pop together a loaf of bread in the afternoon, for cripes sake.  So that plan had some holes in it.  However, I do know that I am the type of girl who likes to squirrel food, and I am the type of girl who likes a project, and I can handle defrosting, so I devised a plan.

Coffee: very necessary for doing stuff

I discovered that if I make a loaf of bread and get it through to the first rising, I can freeze it and keep it frozen until needed.  Then I would complete the thaw and the second rising, then bake it, and it would come out just like a newly-made loaf.  This actually works.  So that's what I am doing.  For the last few days, really, because it looks like this outside:

And I can't dig right now (dammit), I am making lots of loaves of bread to freeze.  Wednesday, I made 3 loaves of Cinnamon Swirl and 2 loaves of Mom's White Bread--5 loaves in all.  We've already eaten one entire loaf of Cinnamon Swirl and half a loaf of the white--oops.  Yesterday I made 2 loaves of Buttermilk White and 2 loaves of Molasses Wheat. Today I will make more, probably more white and some more wheat.  I prefer the wheat, but I do have to cater to my audience.  And since they are mostly under 12, I have to abide by the "lighter the color, the better the bread" rule  for now. 
Just kneaded Buttermilk white.  It was like a cloud after the first rise.  Beautiful!
I am going to sneak in a loaf of orange wheat and a loaf of lemon bread, too, just because right now those things are fairly plentiful at the grocery store.  Plus, they're delicious!
Just kneaded Molasses Wheat.  Also beautiful after the first rise.
Oh yeah, and cheddar cheese bread too.  Have you ever had it?  Oh, you really should!

The part I don't like about baking:  the mess at the end
So I'd better get cooking today.  I've got miles of loaves to go before I sleep.  (ha ha) Stay tuned for the final tally!

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