As you can see by the photo, I have begun my second goal. I am cheating a little though, because of having osteoarthritis I am unable to knead the dough to make my own home-made loaves and rolls, etc., so I purchased a bread maker machine.
I bought an Oster 2LB. Expressbake Breadmaker machine to help me in my quest.
I procrastinated for about a week before breaking in the bread maker, but I finally set my course to bake a loaf of Country French white bread. It was an interesting venture, but I have to admit that I honestly believe kneading the dough is probably a real key element in feeling that you are truly a baker. I actually did attempt to make bread some years ago, but for the life of me I cannot remember how it turned out. I am sure I gave it a good go. My family preferred home-made biscuits though, so I worked at perfecting that type of bread. I make a pretty good tortilla also. The thing is, though, there is no aroma like the aroma of fresh bread baking (biscuits, tortilla’s and the like do not have that aroma wafting through the air during their cooking process).
Using a bread maker machine is actually quite interesting, as you observe the various stages it goes through. I actually pictured a multitude of teeny tiny elves inside that bread maker, kneading and punching, and kneading some more. A little humor infused in one’s writing never hurts, don’t you think?
The time it takes to bake bread in a bread maker, from the moment you place the ingredients into the machine, until the bread is actually ready to be eaten, will vary; although, it took a little more than 3 hours for me to be able to cut a slice of the Country French white bread I baked. I’ll have to remember this because other than holiday dinners I usually prepare foods that take less than an hour to cook. I can tell you though, it is worth the wait. The aroma, the taste, the texture and the pureness of freshly baked bread is everything I hoped it would be.
While I may not be getting up at 4:00 o’clock in the morning, as most bakers do, I will be testing recipes and perfecting my very own bread; albeit I will be using modern technology. I will, however, step back in time and adapt as many ‘old’ recipes, like those found in Uncle John’s Original Bread Book, and hope to make an attempt at using one or two of Nancy Silverton’s recipes from her book Breads from the La Brea Bakery.
You’ll know if I succeed or not because this is all part of my becoming a master baker (I didn’t say professional, but certainly a person who knows how to bake bread).