Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bread

When Kelly and I were deciding where we would live when we left Oklahoma we considered two areas - the mountains of Utah, and the Pacific northwest.  After narrowing down this far we took two trips, spending 10 days in both Utah and Washington/Oregon, looking at homes, cities, mountains, just generally trying to see where we would next call home.

Being hypoglycemic, I need to eat on a fairly regular basis.  Eating complex carbs gives me the energy I need to keep on keeping on.  So, when traveling I often buy a loaf of a very grainy bread and munch on it pretty much all day.  Every day.

When we were in Utah I had my bread with me while touring homes with a realtor.  This lead to a discussion on making bread ( which she did) and how much she loved her Bosch mixer.

Fast forward 3 days, and I am setting up a clock for a lovely lady in Salt Lake City - one of my dearest customers.  Get done and she invites us to join her and her husband for fruit and, well, you guessed it, home made bread.  Made with a Bosch mixer.

Turns out one of the biggest Bosch kitchen appliance stores in the US is in Salt Lake City.  While we did not have the time to visit the store, I did proceed to order one a couple of weeks later.

And so began the era of bread making.

And please, don’t get me wrong, there are many many nice mixers that do a great job of kneading bread, I just thought it was funny how specifically a Bosch mixer was so much a part of my getting started in bread making.  Oh, and Kelly and I often joke - we will have paid off the mixer and the grain grinder we got with the savings from making our own bread in just another 479 loaves!

The first step in a new venture for an engineer like me is to read up on the how to’s and the why’s behind it.  Three books later and I had the fundamentals all summarized in an Excel spreadsheet and was ready to get started.

What I learned as I went through my research phase was that bread making is really not as complex, or as much of a black art as I had once thought.  In fact, given that yeast is actually alive, and given that I had done a bit of development work in the bio-remediation field, I was right at home talking about feeding bugs and growing bugs (Don’t worry - baking bread kills the little buggers!).

Which brings me to making bread.  My way.  With lots and lots of whole grains and cut grains and other good stuff.

But, before we talk about the stuff to add to bread, we first need to understand what the basic ingredients are and a little about what each ingredient does.  This will be the subject of my posting tomorrow!

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