Saturday, February 2, 2013

Baking Bread

We have an experiment here at the house.

About a year ago we started making our own bread. We have been able to use quality control, portions and other things to make our own bread and keep it relatively consistent.

We started with the easy stuff. Beer bread. We used light beer and the newer 64 calorie beer. Neither the cute one or I are into beer. We aren't that whipped about American beer...I have heard that European beer is MUCH better than the pale imitation we get over here.....but that is for another post.

Then I bought a bread machine. I had one YEARS ago and liked it but the cute one wasn't into it and I either gave it away or sold it. This new one is cool. I love it. We can make dough, bread, butter and all kinds of things. It is amazing.

Anyway, we started researching making bread.
This is like a really wild chemistry experiment. You have to put everything in the right order. Liquids first. Then the lighter powders then the flour then the yeast.....we have experimented with gluten. Gluten is a wheat product and there are people with allergies (celiac disease) to it. Removing it from the average American diet can be a challenge. Not so hard now as it was when the boy was young....

We use less gluten in our home made bread than the store bought bread. Most store boughts are about 10% of gluten per SLICE we use much less than that. We control the gluten by using regular flour (this has virtually NO gluten in comparison to bread flour)....then add a very small amount of gluten to the regular flour.

Here is a picture of a new loaf we made.....




adjusting the type of flour makes the bread LOOK like something it isn't (appears to be a light wheat bread doesn't it?)....

As I mentioned - this can be a chemistry experiment, a baking fun time or just a plain old nightmare. As with life, making your bread is what you put into it. Using a GOOD bread knife will help too- adjusting the SIZE of your slices....this size loaf you will only need ONE slice for sandwiches - unless you are super hungry....Cut the slice in half and you have the ability to make a jumbo sandwich with less carbs and less gluten than the regular 2 slice sandwich.

IT sounds like this takes a TON of time. To set up the bread in the machine it takes about 15-20 min. I take everything I need out of the cupboard then as I use it I put it away.....ergo clean up time is virtually zero. If I do this at night the bread bakes all night and by the AM it is ready to slice and serve.

We are finding that our bread consumption is DOWN. We aren't eating as much as we were. IT takes work to make the bread and we don't always have the time to make it. We have to plan it out. We run out more regularly, but we also have the capacity to make more....and we are going to be using soy flour next.....just to see what it does with the bread.

Inquiring minds need to know what the soy flour will do with the bread....and how we can use it to make our food consumption better and healthier.

We are finding that the boy doesn't badger us for more bread or crave it constantly. He is much more moderate in his intake.

Bear in mind each bread machine is different. We bought a cuisinart convection one that didn't work at all- the paddle got lost in a loaf we must have tossed or we never had the darn thing....anyway it was awful....The bread machine we have now that we love is a Corner Bakery one that is no longer sold.....you don't have to spend a fortune on these machines. We bought the Corner Bakery one for $2.00 at a church rummage sale.

Use what works for you. I know my sis-in-law makes bread and kneads it by hand- she is much more talented than I am....and more patient.

Or, you could always go back to beer bread. That is a quick, easy loaf that takes minutes to toss together and an hour to bake.

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