I've been baking my own bread for many years now.
Following the traditional recipe : flour, water, some oil, yeast, a pinch of salt, and an even smaller pinch of sugar or honey. Giving the yeast something to chew on.
For the bread machine, 800 g of flour with 1/2 litre of water is a convenient quantity.
I use that machine for making dough only, a lot easier.
For baking, I prefer the oven. More possibilities. Different forms of bread. Flexible temperature, duration, crisp, turning the bread or not, etc. And you don't have those ugly holes of the dough-hooks in your bread.
The flour for my bread comes from our local windmill.
In the little shop, they sell a wide range of flours, and other ingredients. Like spices for cookies and pastry.
The main reason why I make my own bread is simply that it's so tasty.
Always different, as there are endless experimenting possibilities. Even for daily bread.
Playing with the ingredients. Combining wheat with rye, spelt, buckwheat, millet, corn, rice, etc.
Adding yoghurt, different curds.
Sometimes using sourdough, instead of yeast.
Variations with cumin, caraway, poppy seed, sesame, etc.
And there's the wide range of more festive bread. Raisin and currant loafs, sometimes with ginger or candied fruits. Or with nuts.
Buns in all forms and flavours.
Endless variations .......
The only problem I personally have with baking my own bread, is the temptation to eat too much of it.
So, I started baking little loafs, 250 grams of dough each. Ration for a day. Breakfast and lunch.
I try to stick to that.
Below a few images of these small loafs.
As you can see on the image left, I use a baking stone for bread. You can buy them for little money, with a matching metal baking tray. Practical.
I experienced that allowing the dough plenty of time to rise really does make a difference. About half a day at room temperature.
It gives a better structure and taste of the bread.
For the rising I use these two old enamel bowls. They come from the local recycled goods shop. Where I buy most of the kitchen articles, by the way. Give-away prices.
If you want to have a look on the windmill where I get the flour for my bread : here's a video clip.
Interested in more home cooking ? Let's do it !