For Christmas my lovely man added to my growing collection of river cottage handbooks, with 'vol 3 : bread'. When Milo first starting eating real food, and I was being a precious first time mother all concerned about what I gave him, I started making my own bread, I got ok at it but never brilliant, and it took up a lot of my day, so we purchased a bread machine. I've never regretted it, there isn't much better than waking up to the smell of fresh bread, especially when all you've had to do is measure out some ingredients pop them in a tin and press some buttons.
But with the addition of this book to my library I thought I'd have a go at doing it by hand again. The introduction to this book is fabulous, it's amazing to learn so much of the science behind bread, it's crazy how much goes in to making something we so often take for granted and which consists of so few ingredients.
I had a shot at making my own sourdough starter and consequently sourdough bread. But it was a bit hit and miss, the starter seemed pretty active to me (not that I know a lot about such things) but the bread never seemed to rise very much, I still quite enjoyed it, but Johnny wasn't a big fan of the taste.
I turned my attentions to using reliable, shop purchased yeast and regular bread. I was so surprised at how well the first few loaves came out. All white to begin with, using yoghurt as the recipe suggested, and they were all amazing! Great crust, lovely light middle's and incredibly moreish, seriously this bread baking business is not good for my health (well my waistline at least!).
I'm becoming obsessed now, I literally had to stop myself making more this morning, when I already have some left over from yesterday and no one home to feed!
If you've never tried I encourage you to give it a go, it's so rewarding doing it all yourself, and truly there is something quite magical about turning 3 simple ingredients (plus a few yummy extras if you want them) in to something wonderful.