28 January 2008

Staff of life

BreadIt's taken a month or so of experimentation, but I think I've finally worked out the best way of making bread. I left my old breadmaking machine in the UK, as it wouldn't have worked on the voltage here. After a bit of research I decided that I'd invest in a Bosch Universal Plus machine. It isn't a breadmaker as such - just a powerful motor that you can plug various attachments into. Its main appeal for me was the quantity of dough it could handle (up to 15 pounds). I rarely used the breadmaker I had before to actually cook the bread, just to knead the dough (I was always irritated with the hole left in the loaf if it was cooked in the machine and kneading the dough by hand literally irritates my wrists). The Bosch kneads the dough in ten minutes, which is a lot faster than my old machine.

I've worked out that 3kg (7lb) of bread flour (half wholewheat, half white) will make three satisfyingly large loaves. I've adapted a recipe I found at the Milk and Honey Farm site (I use sugar rather than honey and don't bother with the Vitamin C or whey powder). I freeze the spare loaves and this quantity keeps us going for a week or so. The shop-bought wholemeal loaves here seem a lot sweeter to me than the UK equivalents, so it's nice to be able to make something that tastes the way I think it should. Child #1 even eats the crusts of my bread, which is quite an achievement. I haven't worked out yet how much each loaf costs to make (or how many hundreds I need to make in order to make the Bosch pay for itself!).

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