The Story of Our Home Made Bread|
A couple of years ago my brother and his wife bought us a bread making machine. They know we like quality food, and home made is often the best. I followed the instructions, and managed to produce one cube shaped loaf which was a little heavy, with a strange looking crust which didn't look fully baked, but it tasted OK. I kept experimenting with different flour, and varying the proportions of the ingredients. Each loaf took several hours to produce, and the best plan was to leave the machine to bake overnight. Over a period of a few months, I reached a plateau level at which the loaves were alright, but not wonderful, and it was also rather frustrating, and seemed very wasteful to have the machine running for so long to produce just one single loaf. A friend offered me an old fashioned food mixer which had a dough mixing attachment. I decided to try it out and got four small loaf tins. Using the same recipe and ingredients as I had been using for the most recent bread machine loaves, the result was really good, and we got four very nice looking loaves, with excellent texture and flavour. Since then the bread making machine has been consigned to the garage. The turn around time for fresh bread is half that for the machine. Making four loaves at a time is more efficient than one. We often freeze two or three of them, and they defrost very well. It's great to have freshly made bread which tastes like real bread, and which also has an excellent texture. I was amazed to discover that this bread also keeps very well indeed. Although there are no preservatives, it will keep for up to about a week, and stay fresh. Shop bread, loaded with preservatives, excess salt, and flour improvers goes stale and dry or mouldy after a few days.