Homemade bread baking in the oven. Another favourite smell on my 'Top 3 Favourite Smells' list.
I have a great bread recipe, given to me by my cousin Marcus. It is simple and simple is good. You can make any bread with this recipe, as long as you maintain the ratio of wet to dry. I occasionally add an egg or some milk powder, which makes for a great sandwich loaf.
Almost everybody's mother baked bread back in the day. A lot of it. My Mom used a 7 lb bag of flour whenever she made bread. I am not that... tough. I make 3 loaves at a time which requires just over 2.5 pounds of flour. Wimp. And, my Kitchenaide does all the kneading. Wimp. But I do most of the eating!
I can be a bit of a stick-in-the-mud when it comes to cooking and baking. Although I do really, really like simple I don't tend to like shortcuts...convenience...making life easier. What the shag? Who doesn't want to make life easier? Me. That's who.
Let me explain. I am dubious about anything labelled "Instant" or "Quick". I am of the mindset that we pay a price for instant. On some level, somewhere, a price is paid.
But fortunately, sometimes I am wrong! Instant quick-rise yeast. No price to be paid! Yay!
I shied away from it because it had both "Instant" AND "Quick" on the label...both! . I said to myself, "that can't be good". But it is!
I always used the traditional active dry yeast. The stuff I saw my Mom use. The stuff you proof in warm water and then add to your flour. Instant yeast is simply stirred into the dry flour; it does not need to be proofed. Brilliant. The ingredient list on the jar of instant yeast indicates it has only one ingredient more than the traditional yeast and that ingredient is ascorbic acid. No price to pay! Ascorbic acid is vitamin C...naturally occurring with antioxidant properties. Bonus.
I must admit that I want to dabble a bit more with making bread using methods that go back even further than my Mom's day, even before the traditional active dry yeast existed. Ones that used wild yeast and starters like poolish and biga.
But I am definitely not there yet. Maybe when I get my Big Green Egg :-)
And, in the meantime, instant yeast is a much appreciated addition to my kitchen.
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