Bread, bread, bread

I love baking bread. I’m not the best bread maker out there but no one has ever refused my baking. I don’t have anything folk magic or occult-related to talk about, but I felt like blogging about bread. Here are a few things:

  • I prefer bread made from hard white wheat berries. This flour is much more common in Europe but it can be purchased in North America.
  • My second favourite flour is made from soft white wheat berries. Look for Italy 00 on Amazon. That’s the one I like to use.
  • Both of these flours are infinitely easier for our digestive systems to tolerate. The overwhelming majority of wheat grown in North America is hard red wheat berries. It’s more difficult to digest. North Americans who move to Europe are often surprised to find that they can load up on bread and pasta without any digestive distress. They also tend to lose weight without trying.
  • If you’re oven-proofing your first rise, turn your oven on to the LOWEST temperature setting when you first make your water/yeast mix. When it beeps ready, turn it off. You’ll probably be ready to mix your dough. Knead for 10 minutes or however long it takes to pass the window test and then put your dough into the oven to rise. The dough won’t bake and it’ll rise furiously. It might have a skin on it. Just punch it down like normal and it’ll be fine.
  • If you do the first rise too long or the dough rises too quickly and you’ve turned your back on it, bigger and bulkier dough doesn’t necessarily mean better. It just means more. Fermentation creates flavour and when the bread over-ferments, it can be tasteless. It may also flop and spread, and turn into flatbread on its second rising. You can remedy this by putting your dough in the fridge to rise. It’ll rise, but more slowly.
  • The window test: when you’re sick of kneading, pinch off a small ball of dough. Flatten it with your fingers and slowly press it thinner and thinner until you can hold it up in front of a window and see the light pass through the dough. If you can do that, it’s ready. If it tears, get your kneading arms ready for more hand on dough action. Think of the workout you’ll get!
  • Make your loaves tighter than you think they need to be before putting them in the loaf pans. This, especially if you feel like your dough rose but it rose a lot, and quickly.
  • Have you ever seen the movie Like Water For Chocolate? Happy thoughts! Don’t be a miserable turd when preparing food unless that’s what you want to pass onto the people who eat it.
  • If you’re a heathen or anyone else that believes all things have their own energy and consciousness, then don’t forget to tell the ingredients what you want them to do, both magical and mundane, while you’re mixing up that dough.

And that’s all I got for tonight!

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