Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The bread of life

IP Lesson XVI, XVII, XVIII- Breads

Baguettes, Lavosh, Ciabatta


The four ingredients needed to bake a basic white loaf.

I’m just constantly amazed at how a tasty loaf is created just by using such basic ingredients.

One other fact of bread is that it contains about fifty percent water. I figure if you can bake enough bread for a business, you would be really rich!

Classes this week focused on continental breads such as the Pagnotta (a wholemeal bread), Ciabatta (Italian ‘Slipper’ bread), Baguettes (Traditional French loaves), Baps (Scottish loaves) and Fruit loaves.

Breads are not only therapeutic to eat but also therapeutic to bake; the kneading of the dough in an almost rhythmic fashion; the feel of rounding the bread dough into smalls rolls with the palms of your hands; the smells of the freshly baked loaves that musk the kitchen; the crackling sounds of the bread loaves as you tap your fingers against it when it is out of the oven.

That’s the therapy in baking your own bread.

On a gloomy grey Friday morning, the Pagnotta dipped with a fruity extra virgin olive oil helped chase away the blues.
On a busy Friday afternoon, a slice of the warm baguette with a thick slab of butter (just like the French do) renewed my strength and perked up my senses for the day in the kitchen.
On Sunday morning, I discovered the joy of a warm fruit loaf with apricot jam.

That’s the therapy of eating the very bread you bake.

If you know what those store-bought breads contain, you will probably not want to eat them anymore. Think about it: they can last for quite a while and still retain its softness. Preservatives such as calcium propionate to inhibit mould growth as well as flour treatment agents, emulsifiers are added to the bread we buy from supermarkets. The list goes on. I dare not think about what I’ve been putting into my body.

I need to be baking my own breads soon when I get home.

Vegetable rolls

fruit loaf with apricot jam

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