Thursday, January 16, 2014

adventures in breadmaking

When I was little, my mom used to make homemade bread. I loved watching knead the dough and was fascinated by the rising process. I'm quite sure this frustrated my mom as she would often have to tell me to stop looking at the dough. I loved (and still do) watching the dough double or triple in size. It's one of life's little pleasures that just fascinate me.

So when my brother and sister in law asked me what we (we!) wanted for Christmas, I immediately thought... I want a book on breadmaking. They humoured my request and sent me a book on breadmaking from England. (I know... a British breadmaking book, fancy)!

 So far I've made 3 breads from the book: a Bloomer loaf, baguettes, and pizza dough. I had a bit of a mishap with the first loaf (Bloomer) because I didn't realize that the baking temperature was in Celsius. Oops.

But the loaf was actually quite forgiving and worked out anyways.

 I've since gone back and made more baguettes. They're quite good and honestly, more fun to knead than the Bloomer loaf. I find there to be something really cathartic and soothing about kneading bread.

In fact, I quite enjoy the entire process of breadmaking, from proofing yeast to watching the bread rise to well, eating it when it's fresh out of the oven! One downfall seems to be that Quebec doesn't actually sell high quality bread flour. In the book I was given, the author mentions that the protein level in the bread needs to be high as the gluten from protein is what gives the bread it's elasticity. In Qc, all flour, even bread flour is listed as having 4gr of protein in it, thus negating the point of actually buying "bread" flour.

I don't know... call it one of Qc's weird quirks.

Anyways. Next up, adding in whole wheats and grains to make my white breads a little more "real" and nutritious.

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