What do you love most about fresh bread? The taste, smell, texture, shape, or what you can put between two slices of it? I must admit, I love all of these. But smell is my favorite – that sweet, yeasty aroma. And, I certainly love the taste of fresh home-made bread – with butter and jam, toasted or as sandwiches.
The other major reason for making home-made bread is that I know that the ingredients that I choose are natural and healthy for me.
Making bread the easy way
My memory of making bread when I was young was that it was a lot of work. I remember when my mother baked bread, it took a long time and that kneading bread was a real work-out for the upper arms.
Then my daughter introduced me to a bread-making machine. She said it was effortless and she was right.
We bought our first bread-maker in 2009 when we were traveling around North America full-time in a 38-foot motor-home. I wanted the convenience of always having fresh bread even if I couldn’t find a local bakery. So I made room in the cupboard for my new purchase and filled the bins with flour. Now I am on my second one. After traveling with us through more than two dozen states and provinces, the first one was so over-worked that it “quit” on us.
So easy a child could do it
One of the other reasons that I love my bread maker is that my grandchildren love making bread too. So it has become one of those things that we do – together. We make “bread memories”.
My four year old granddaughter is the biggest fan. She comes home from day-care and heads straight for the cupboard where we keep the measuring cups and spoons and gets them ready. While she cannot yet reach the top cupboards where all the flours are kept, she moves the step-stool over so that I can. As I assemble the ingredients on the kitchen counter, she measures and dumps them in the loaf-pan. She loves repeating the ingredients as I read them – especially “bread machine yeast”. It has a fun sound to it. Then she carries the pan over to the machine, inserts it and presses the menu buttons until I tell her to stop. Sometimes she stays a while to watch the dough go round and round before she gets bored and finds some toys to play with.
Once she has gone to bed, I remove the fresh-baked bread to a cooling rack. And before I go to bed, I deposit it in my plastic bread bin. Dead easy! Easy enough for a child to do.
The next morning, I enjoy toast or a sandwich knowing that it’s full of healthy goodness!!! And my granddaughter pops by for her share.
“With a piece of bread in your hand you’ll find paradise under a pine tree.” Russian Proverb.
For 23 more wise sayings about: Wonderful bread – 24 sayings about our favourite staple food
How to do it for yourself
From time to time I will share my favorite bread recipes. If you cannot wait for me to post them, you might get yourself a copy of my favorite book to get you started.
There are two versions of this book, by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt:
TIP: Canadian, American and European flours are different and the outcomes may vary. Make sure the recipes that you are using are consistent with the type of flour (location of where it is milled). I discovered that these differences were true while we were traveling across North America in the RV. Some places also specifically sell “bread” flour which will give you a slightly better texture. Generally “all-purpose” flour works fine. While “quick-rise” instant yeast will work, “bread machine” yeast is best.
There are many bread-makers on the market that will do everything that you need.
If you love bread as much as I do, you should give it a try. Or if your children love to help, this is a great activity for the whole family to enjoy.
In closing, I think this Swiss Proverb says it all: “Avoid those who don’t like bread and children.”
Do you make bread? By hand or machine? What are your favorite reasons for making bread? Who do you make bread with?