Brooding On

Handmade Bread: Day 1

Okay, I'm opting to call this handmade bread rather than just homemade.  Since I make all of our bread on a regular basis using our bread maker, I'd say I've been going "homemade" for quite awhile.  Still, in the "bread community," if bread was popped out of a bread maker then it is not real bread.  While I'm not prepared to buy into such food snobbery, when I saw the subtitle for this 3-page-long recipe in my most recent Mother Earth News, I thought maybe it was time to try handmade bread.

Honestly, the impetus for taking on such a lofty project was two-fold:
1. As a wanna-be homesteader, how could I never have made real bread?
2. While my white breads and oatmeal bread almost always turn out great, my whole wheat breads are often bricks.  I suspect that I've got less-than-ideal flour and yeast.  Still, I thought it would be interesting to try this new recipe with the flour and yeast I always use and see whether I get better results this way.

The recipe called for things I pretty much always have on hand, so that made it easy. 
(Pictured here: whole wheat flour, instant yeast, an orange, yogurt, and kosher salt)

I learned that breadmaking involves creating a "soaker" and a "sponge" that are eventually combined with a few other ingredients to create the final product.  So, Day 1 of breadmaking involved creating the soaker and the sponge and allowing them to culture for the rest of the day.  The sponge is refrigerated while the soaker sits out on the countertop.  This first day really didn't involve much effort.  I'm hopeful!

For the entire recipe, click here.