(Please find to follow the full transcript from the main narrative in the middle of the movie – I have lots more lined up for you, all floating around on the cutting room floor so stay tuned this week!)
If you’d like to come to one of my bread making courses in Somerset, visit www.TheMagdalenProject.org.uk
5 Great Reasons to Bake Your Own Bread
- You know exactly what’s in it! You’re the boss and you are in charge of the extra bits and pieces that go into it and I’m not talking about additives, bleaching agents or preservatives. I mean things like pine nuts, sesame and poppy seeds, sunflower seeds are lovely too, or why not try raisins, cranberries or bananas or cherries, go with whatever fresh or dried fruits you fancy in your bread.
- It helps break the myth that all food comes from the shops! This is particularly empowering and whilst I’m not suggesting you knock a loaf up every day (although of course you can if you want to) if you replace 2 or 3 loaves a week by making your own, it might encourage you to start growing a few things in the garden too and before you know it, you’ll be well on the way to being a bit self-sufficient….well, self-sufficientish…
- The process is much easier than you think and you’ll impress yourself with your achievements! You might think you have to pound and knead the dough for ages, a few minutes is all it takes and if you’re pushed for time, knock it up in your food mixer while you’re filling the dishwasher and let the hook do all the hard work for you. If you’re not feeling very confident, take out a couple of books from the library, or book yourself on a local bread making course and get to grips with the basics.
- The convenience factor soon kicks in, then the fun begins! Once you realise how easy it is to fit a bit of bread making into your daily routine, you’ll soon be hooked. And just think of all those journeys to the expensive inconvenience shop on the corner that you’ll save yourself. New routines can take a while to get used to, but as an example, you could knock up a quick dough just before you head out to take the kids to school and by the time you get back, it could be ready to turn into flatbreads, or to put into it’s final destination – a loaf tin, a square cake tin or rolled into circles to make into rolls. You can use a basic bread recipe for just about everything. All you need is water, yeast, flour and salt. The most difficult thing about making bread is finding the time to turn it into a new habit, but once you’ve tasted the delicious results it shouldn’t take too long.
- You can make good of so many of your leftovers! If you have left over cooked and cooled rice or pasta, don’t throw it away, reserve it and put it into your next bread recipe. You don’t need to use as much flour if you’re substituting it with these ingredients and as they’re nice and starchy, they’ll give the dough an even better and quicker rise too, giving you a lighter bread that will stay fresh for a few days. Once you’ve grasped this concept, you’ll get started on the veg sitting around in the kitchen. Grate up a limp old carrot or a courgette that’s on the turn and was destined for the bin and mix that into the dough for textured, coloured bread with added flavour. You can also use the water you’ve just boiled up your vegetables in! Potato water is excellent, but any other veg will do, leaving you with almost zero waste from cooking up a Sunday lunch.
For more information on bread making and how good it is for you, your family, your purse and your bin, take a look at there great websites:
Sharpham Park grow and mill a range of Somerset grown organic spelt flour, which is much higher in protein than modern wheat varieties and is widely thought of to be of benefit to those suffering from IBS.
Shipton Mill produce a wonderfully diverse range of organic, wholemeal and speciality flours too.
Looking for recipes? Try the good old BBC.
The Shocking Truth About Bread – Andrew Whitley, a leading authority on organic baking and food issues.
Selfsufficientish – For a pool of knowledge that will help you become more self-sufficientish.