Friday, April 16, 2010
Homemade Bread: A question for all you experts
My ward Relief Society had a "service auction" last month and I was lucky enough to win some homemade bread (see picture above) from my friend Katie. (Yes, there are at least 3 Katies in my ward right now; my friend who makes really good bread, the relief society president, and myself. At least once I've gotten a call from somebody who thought I was the Relief Society president. Anyway...) Well, actually, the bread wasn't ready that night, so I guess I what I really won was the promise of some homemade bread. Boy did she deliver on making all of my hopes and dreams about homemade bread come true. I didn't know exactly when the said bread would be made and delivered, so I was very pleasantly surprised when Katie knocked on my door a couple of nights ago with two loaves of homemade bread in her hands. One was unwrapped, sitting on a plate, the other was in a bag. I thought that one was for me and one was for some other lucky person. But they were both for me! Oh, happy day. I am a bread lover and I think we all know that homemade is the best. Anyway, one loaf was bagged because it had been made previously and the other was on the plate because it had just come out of the oven and was still warm. Be still my heart. Katie gave me some brief instructions on how best to enjoy it, made sure I knew how to cut bread so I wouldn't smoosh the whole loaf, and went on her way, leaving me with two lovely, lovely loaves. Mmmm. I was already buttering my first two pieces of the fresh, warm bread when Katie called to say she had forgotten to tell me, but they usually freeze the second loaf so it doesn't go bad. Uhh... go bad? I told her I was already buttering my first two pieces and that if the first loaf wasn't gone that night then maybe we'd freeze the second loaf. Well, I practiced some serious self-restraint and did not eat the entire loaf that night... even though I really wanted to. But we finished off that first loaf today, so I guess I didn't restrain myself too much.
So here's the thing. The moment that wonderful, homemade bread came in the door I started thinking really ambitious thoughts like, "Oooh! I should bake all our bread! It would be so healthy and so much better than store-bought bread. And la la la..." Bryan's mom made homemade bread all the time when he was growing up and he got really excited when I mentioned my bread-making ambitions to him later that night. But, for better or worse, Bryan happens to have a pretty good memory and pretty soon instead of day dreaming with me he was bringing up the fact that every time we've made bread before it always comes out really deflated and sad-looking. Hmm... So true.
So, here are my questions for those of you who bake your own bread:
1. Do you use a bread maker or do it the old school way?
2. How long does it take you to do that?
3. What are your feelings on the other method (i.e. how do you feel about using a bread maker if you usually do it old school and visa versa)?
4. And, if you use a bread maker and you don't mind sharing, what kind do you use and how much did it cost?
P.S. Don't go crazy. The winner of the free custom photo shoot from Marcie Jessee Photography will be announced a little later on today.