Our connivence laden lifestyle is serving us up cheap imitations of the good things people used to enjoy regularly, like fresh bread. And we're buying...in bulk.
In the last few weeks I have made:
bread jam tortillas red pasta sauce pesto biscuits hummus pizza dough waffles and ice cream
All from scratch using easy recipes.
Who wants to eat at my house? I do! Not too long ago this wouldn't have sounded special at all. People actually made food. If they wanted to eat something, they made it. From ingredients. That they measured. Following a recipe. Please excuse my poor writing here, I just wanted to slow the ideas down because they might sound foreign.
Is it strange to think about how advanced we are as a society but we choose to eat food substitutes while generations before us got to eat the real thing? Is that really progress? Weird.
I am striving to shop for ingredients rather than 'food.' When I get home I turn those ingredients into food (with the help of my modern kitchen). I guess I have crazy ideas. I recognize that I have certain tools and technology that make the task of making something (like bread) easier. So I am trying to use those tools to our advantage rather than substituting the good stuff.
I am all for modern conveniences, of course (you won't find me down by the river beating the laundry against a rock), but only when they enhance the quality of my life. For me, fresh bread stays (at least for now). The fact that I have a standing mixer helps my willingness to make bread. Kneading by hand sounds rough.
I am not trying to trek back into the olden days and hunker down there. I am merely suggesting that our 'modern' be called into question when it comes to quality. Sometimes speed isn't everything. The best things sometimes take extra time and effort. But really, compared to the effort people used to make, can we really say making a loaf of bread is hard?
Maybe making bread isn't your thing. That's ok. For you, bread that's pre-sliced and bagged is a good thing (I might suggest supporting a local bakery and buying fresh bread.). Maybe you have a DVR. Those things are awesome! Easy to program and now you don't worry about missing shows. You have a new worry. Getting behind on your shows! Those shows are in that little box demanding your time like homework. Time that you don't have and homework that isn't likely to make you any smarter.
I guess the point that I am trying to make is that simple is great (I am all for simple), but make sure it's helping you go in the direction you want to go. Sometimes simple, ok a lot of times simple, doesn't get you where you want to be. Where I want to be is smelling and eating fresh warm bread!
Ingredients: 1 (1/4oz 7g) package of dry active yeast 1/4c hot water 1 tbls sugar 2 1/2c flour 1 tsp salt 1 1/2 tbls melted butter 3/4c milk
1. Heat up your bowl with hot water. When the bowl is warm, dump the water add the yeast, sugar, and hot water. Stir to dissolve and then let stand for 10mins. 2. While the yeast reacts mix the flour, salt, and sugar. 3. Add the milk and melted butter to the yeast. 4. Stir in the dry ingredients till all wet. 5. Knead the dough (I have a mixer with a dough hook) for about 5 mins. Have another 1/2 cup of flour on hand to add while kneading if needed. It will look like this:
6. Let it rise in a warm place covered with a towel. 1hour to look like this:
7. Flatten the dough out into a rectangle and then roll it into a loaf. Put it into a greased loaf pan :
8. Cover and rise for another hour:
9. Bake at 400 for 20mins:
This recipe was adapted from one found on a blog I love called Simple Dollar. Check it out here.