Overcoming the breadmaking challenge

by Farmer Liz
As much as I try to include real food in our life, we keep buying bread from the supermarket.  Every time I buy bread I think "I should really be making this", but still nothing changes.

The main problem with bread from the supermarket is all the unnecessary ingredients.  The only bread that we ever buy is a decent brand, but it often contains soy flour and a huge list of ingrediants.  And now the govt has legislated that all bread must contain folic acid.  While I think we should all get our vitamins, I would prefer to get mine from natural sources, rather than so called "fortification" of other foods.

For a long time I had this idea that if I was going to make bread myself, I should make the best possible bread. I felt bad using bread mix, white wheat flour, bakers yeast or a bread maker with a teflon bread tin, as I wasn't producing the best possible bread for our health.  But this has caused a state of paralysis where I just keep buying bread because I can't make perfect bread.

Just recently I realised that anything I make is going to be better than what I can buy.  OK, not quite anything, because there's nearly as much crap in bread mix as there is in bought bread (especially as bread improver contains sodium metabisulphate - which we use to clean the beer fermenters), but if I start with flour and yeast in the breadmaker, its not as good as proper hand made sourdough, but its better than what we are doing now!

To make myself commit to this new idea, I bought a bag of (local-ish) Kialla Pure Foods Organic Wholemeal Spelt flour.  It wasn't cheap!  So now I HAVE to make bread with it!  To start it will just be breadmaker bread with real ingredients, with bakers yeast, not sourdough, and that will help me to get into the habit of making bread regularly and fitting it into my working-full-time and farming-part-time schedule!

Kialla Pure Foods Organic Wholemeal Spelt Flour
 - got to love the reusable cloth bag!!!
I based my recipe on the breadmaker book recipe ratios, but modified it to use real ingredients as follows:
  • water
  • instead of margarine I used olive oil
  • for salt I used Himalayan sea salt
  • instead of brown sugar I used local raw honey
  • instead of skim milk powder I used fresh raw milk
  • instead of bread improver I used an egg
  • for the flour I used my Kialla organic wholemeal spelt flour
  • and bakers yeast.

It tastes alright.......

the bottom looks ok.....

....but the top sank!

Think I need to reduce yeast so it doesn't collapse in future (see here).

Eventually I really really want to learn how to make nice sourdough and bake it in our woodstove over winter.  I'm doing a course in late April, so that may be the final inspiration I need.  There are some great recipes in Nourishing Traditions that I'm yet to try.

Do you make bread and how on earth do you find the time??  All recipe recommendations will be appreciated, especially if they don't contain "bread improver" or vegetable oil! 

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