As Michael Pollan said in the series “Cooked”, bread baking also for me has been one of the most intimidating things in the kitchen. So simple and yet so incredibly complex.
All you really need is water and flour, some air and yeasts flying about to start the fermentation. I think it is really one of the most beautiful, tasty and nutritious human made products reflecting our culture and history IF THE INGREDIENTS and THE PROCESS of making it have been kept traditional.
No refined white flour, long fermentations to develop incredible flavour and make it most nutritious. Full in fiber and vitamins, again, only if we are talking about a wholesome whole flour bread.
Bread has become somewhat of a taboo or a product to be scared of. I mean I do understand why and I do understand it for industrially made bread, fast fermentation, refined white flour, maybe some margarine or some extra gluten or whatever it may be to make it more fluffy. But you shouldn’t demonise a wholesome product, especially if it is something you can make with your own hands to enrich your diet.
This is my favourite bread baking book , “ Flour Water Salt Yeast“, it has an easy explanation for all the tools you will need, most can be easily ordered online on Amazon, for example, and the book is full of fantastic recipes to experiment at home. Maybe even try making mother yeast at home!
It is true that it takes some time and patience but you should really try it. It really is one of the most satisfying things you will make. This one came out after 5 hours of fermentation and 50 min cooking in the Dutch over, worth the wait and effort!
Do you have any bread baking recipes or favourite books?