Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Bread Making Mission 3 weeks and counting

Three weeks have passed and still we have not touched the cheap back up bread located in my freezer.  Mew ha ha ha ha (insert evil laugh here).  I feel like some sort of superhuman hero.  I know, I know, its only bread but I think deep down inside my hunter gatherer needs are satisfied by being able to supply my family with something so basic all by myself (insert goofy smiley face here).  If you ever see me in the supermarket  you might think I am a little crazy.  Not only do I talk constantly to my kids, but whenever I go past the bread isle I have a crazy satisfied little smile on my face.  When I go past the nappy isle and don't have to buy any (due to using reusable apart from night time) it is just about too much for me to take lol.

So I am on track to make my four weekly target.  It may be a little extra work, but seeing my kids munching down on fresh bread and totally loving it is enough to make it worth it.  Not to mention that this mornings toast was THE BEST mmmmmmmmm fresh bread.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sour Dough Day 3 and 4 - Houston we have a problem

Well it seems Sour Dough Bread is not fool proof, aka me proof.  I let it rise for 24 hours, ever the hopeful am I.  Yet my Sour Dough is just a hefty solid block of dough. 

So hefty I wondered how to dispose of it...................... Didn't want to look all dodgy carrying a big black bag to the car and dumping it in a bin somewhere in an isolated park.

I thought of the waste disposer, mmmmm nope it isn't that tough.   One blob of the Sour Dough brick and that disposer would be jammed up big time.

"Compost heap", I said to myself, mmm maybe not, it is a growing thing that would mould up and be all smelly and gross.  Plus if some poor bird got hold of that it would loose its ability to fly instantly held back by the Sour Dough weighing down its little intestines.

The only other option I had was the rubbish bin.  This worries me, as our bin is black heat seeking oven like contraption, that only gets picked up once every two weeks.  I am worried that my dough will join up with the kitty litter poop, expand and grow into a 'Sour Kitty Poop Dough Monster' and will come alive and try to take over the world.  Mmmmm think I should stop watching so many kids cartoons.  I did put it in the bin and am hoping for more rain and dull cloudy weather, I have to say the sunshine today is worrying me.

Am I giving up.... NO WAY I shall try again to make my Sour Dough Starter and try again to make my bread again (after I build up the courage).

I am still all go on my Bread making challenge, even with the Sour Dough Bread failure, I had back up loafs that I had made (kinda expecting this outcome).  Even though last night I was about to give up and let us run out of my beautiful bread, I didn't.  Personally the thought of eating our cheap brought bread from the freezer grossed me out.  So I pulled up my sleeves and kneaded that dough baby, at this very moment I have two fresh loafs cooking in the oven.

Sour Dough you may freak me out with your hideous smell and your blob brick like appearance but I will not be defeated.  I will conquer you dam it!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sour Dough Day 2

Ahhhhh I am not sure I can do this.  Uncle Fester (my pet name for my Sour Dough Starter) well, he STINKS, and not just a little bit but he is RANK. Ew ew ew ew ew suffice to say I think Uncle Fester is alive as they say when he stinks its all go.

So I have started to make my first Sour Dough bread.  Have told Hubby that if we don't like it we are staying with yeast.  I have put a bit of starter with a cup of four and a cup of warm water for Unlce Fester to reproduce and make a Sponge (thats what they call the intial part of Sour Dough Bread making.

Just went into the kitchen yucky Uncle Fester and his kids are stinking out this house.  So apparently Sour Dough Bread making is not for the faint hearted.

To be continued......

Sour Dough Day 1

Mmmmmm had what could be considered a dubious start to my Sour Dough making experience.  I forgot to feed it, it was only born yesterday and already I forgot to feed it, my bad.  Good thing my kids can tell me they are hungry otherwise there might be trouble. 

On the bright side the dough is bubbly and is starting to smell a little nasty.  Just fed it and hope it will forgive me and grow grow grow.

In case you are wondering I am using the following website for instructions to grow my little Sour Dough baby. http://www.bakesourdough.com/making_sourdough_starter

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sour Dough

In continuation to my bread making mission, I am now trying to make my own Sour Dough starter.  Why you ask would you do that (well thats what I asked when I heard about it), well well well its CHEAP.  The only expensive part of making bread is buying yeast.  I figure if I am making bread each day then why not create my own little live starter instead of buying yeast.

So this morning I put equal parts of flour and warm water in a container and left it in the nice warm sun to 'fester' OK thats not the proper word for it but it is growing its alive I tell you ALIVE.  Crazy much, why yes I am surprised you didn't realise already.

I seem to be getting way to excited about this, I am thinking I may have been born in the wrong century.  I also think that if mixing flour and water gets me so excited I may want to try and get out more lol.  I don't know if other people get it, but making things from scratch is really satisfying.  Yes I could buy bread from the supermarket but that, well it doesn't spin my wheels, making bread on the other hand does.

I am getting so much satisfaction out of it, even I am surprised.

I will update you in a few days as to wether my Sour Dough Starter has started.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Bread making mission

For the last few months I have been making bread on a regular basis.  Well in the last week I have made a new mission for myself (and by no means is it mission impossible).  I aim to not buy any bread for the next month.  Now I have 2 loafs in the freezer 'just in case' but will try not to use that either.  So far I have made 2 weeks without using any brought bread.  That is saying something as I go through the bread.  We have it for breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner.

I am making bread from scratch, no bread maker or anything. I feel like such a domestic goddess. OK not so much of a goddess but very domestic. I have to say, I am loving it, it is so easy and not at all time consuming. I simply spend 5 mins getting the bread started in the morning, then let it rise, 5 more minutes spent with my bread at lunch time, then I leave it again till late afternoon to cook. OK I have some mishaps, yesterday it was a bit bigger than normal so I undercooked it a bit. But all in all it is brilliant, even the kids love eating it. I know exactly what I am feeding my family and we can chop and change to get different flavours.

The recipe I use is just the Edmonds cook book 'white bread'.  Although I just realised that for the last 20 times I have mis-read the recipe (DOH) instead of the 2 tablespoons of yeast they say to use, I have been using 2 teaspoons.  To be honest it seems to be one of those mistakes which works, not only do I like the non yeasty smelling bread, it's cheaper whoop whoop.  At the moment this recipe makes two little loaf tins of bread and lasts us two days.

White Bread (My version)
In a bowl mix
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Surebake yeast (if you like yeasty bread 2 tablespoons)
2 cups flour
add 3/4 cup cold tap water
immediately followed by 3/4 cup boiling water (I mix the two into a jug and add at once)
2 tablespoons of oil (you don't have to add but I like it)

Mix together into a paste, leave for 2-3mins while you put the washing out.

To the mix add 2 more cups of flour (have another cup of flour sitting on the side to use when kneading if needed.
Mix into a dough turn out onto the bench and knead until it springs back to the touch (about 4mins).
Clean the bowl you had the mix in, put a bit of oil in the bottom and wipe it around to cover sides (this lets the bread rise easily), pop your dough in and make sure you roll it around a bit so it is covered in oil as well.

Cover with a clean tea towel and put in a warm spot (no need to drive to Napier to do that just pop it somewhere warm (aka hot water cupboard if you have one, next to cooking crock pot, near oven).  I pop it in my bedroom sitting precariously on the window sill, where the sun shines through.

Leave it until it doubles in size or until you have another spare moment aka lunch time.

Pull dough out and knead for another 5 minutes, place in oiled tins (aka the ones you are going to cook them in) and then place in a warm place until it has puffed up again (another few hours).  I find that small loaf tins are best as it makes 2 loafs of bread and the bread fits in the toaster, unlike my bigger loafs.

Place in the oven at (recipe says 200 degrees) but I like it at 160 as I have a hot oven.  Leave it in there for about 30mins then let dry on a cooling rack.


Tip: If you don't want to make 2 loafs, you can make a loaf and buns or use the leftover as a pizza base or even a pizza bread just pop some relish etc on top with a bit of cheese and cook until puffed up.

NEXT.....
My next aim is to make sour dough (aka that fermenting stuff so that I don't need to buy yeast which is rather expensive.
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