About 28 years ago, I remember taking some Saturday cooking classes with my Mom. We played around learning to make pastry with techniques and recipes that I still use today, and also played around with a little bit of bread making, something that didn’t really stick with me, not because I don’t love bread, but because of the not-so-realistic time factor for a busy working mother.
Dial ahead a bunch of years, and I’ve had some fun rekindling some of that learning this week. It started when I heard a CBC news reporter commenting on the fact that he was enjoying Michael Pollin’s documentary series called Cooked, about the evolution of our need and ability to cook. The announcer mentioned how this had led him to experiment with some bread making (the slow cooking version for him – I’m not there yet!) and he had me at….bread. I love bread. I remember learning with students about breads from around the world and learning all about the processes: from growing the wheat to milling, to baking, and all the different kinds of bread that result from all different cultures. It’s pretty amazing when you think about the invention of bread. There’s a great picture book by Ann Morris if this is something your students might like:
I quickly devoured the Netflix episodes: Fire, Water, Air and Earth and then purchased his book as well. I decided I’d like an easier version and would indeed use a yeast additive for this first go.
Here’s my process in order, below. It takes time overnight and a couple of hours of rising time, but not much kneading or work in the kitchen beyond keeping an eye on the time. The result was delicous!
Are you a bread maker? How did you learn? What are your favourite recipes?