Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Creation Day!

One part of Rosh Hashanah (head of the year, Jewish New Year) that not everyone remembers is that it commemorates the sixth day of Creation.  So Happy Creation day, all!

And for fun, here are some of the best the top eleven reasons to bake your own bread:

1.  Flour: 50 cents per pound.  Decent bread: $2/lb or more.

2.  The joy of seeing that flour come together under your hands to pass the windowpane test.

3.  The joy of realizing that, for about fifty cents per pound, you're beating Panera on taste.

4.  The fact that bread represents our daily need and also the body of Christ.

5.  Kneading is great exercise.

6.  The buttery smell of a pate' fermentee after it's risen, especially from sourdough/wild yeast.

7.  The whoosh of steam rising from the 12" iron skillet you put in the bottom of the oven to bake properly at 500F.

8.  The fun of trying out new grains and methods for squeezing the most out of that grain.

9.  Brioche!

10.  European friends asking you "where did you buy that?"

11.  Realizing that a key ingredient to good bread--diastatic malt--is also a key ingredient for brewing and wondering whether one ought to take up that hobby, too.


Joanna said...

Ha. Nice list. I should be so ambitious. Love to bake bread. But I'm busy. I stick with an easy, memorized, go-to recipe. Unless I have some time, then I break out my Bread Bakers Apprentice book and make something nice.

Gino said...

explain the use of the iron skillet. i must of missed something...

Bike Bubba said...

Gino: professional bread ovens have a steam feature that allows the bread to rise more. Home ovens do not, and a good workaround is to put large, heavy iron skillet in the bottom of the oven. The baker throws water on the bottom to generate the steam to allow the bread to bake well.

Joanna; yup, but the more often you try something new, the more old favorites you the blessing of that no nonsense man of yours. :^)

(actually, my kids are getting into it, too, which helps a LOT, even my 9 and 6 year olds)

Gino said...

french bread is baked with steam, giving it that trademark chewey crust.
i wasnt aware of other uses.

you got me interested in bread baking. not sure how it would work on my (ever expanding) waistline, as i would be the only one here to eat it.

Bike Bubba said...

I'm actually dropping weight for two reasons. First, I'm kneading it, and getting bread to a windowpane test takes a bit of effort. Second, eating bread (carbohydrate and protein; 4 kCal/gram) is a substitute for animal products (fat: 9kC/gram).

"your results may vary," but it's a great hobby. Wouldn't your wife partake?

Gino said...

she rarely lives with me anymore.

her dad is old and weak, cant be left alone... so, since his wife died he took mine. been like this for two yrs and then some.

shouldnt be much longer, i dont think.

Joanna said...

LOL, good point, Bike.

Bike Bubba said...

My condolences, Gino--make sure you spend some of those road trips on her, eh?

And the steam both creates the chewy crust, and also allows the bread to rise a little bit more than it otherwise would. So it's used for almost all truly good breads, even those with a bit more oil, like standard Italian breads and Vienna breads.