Bread Lesson

Posting will be light this week. In exchange for last week's leisure, I have experiments every day this week.

So today I got home early (4:30ish) and decided I could still make split pea soup and fresh bread for dinner, even though I was tired and both of these items take multiple hours to complete.

Turns out, it takes much less time to bake bread if you don't spend any time hand wringing over how it's already too late to bake bread.

Remembering something my mom mentioned months ago, I asked GeekBaby if he wanted to learn to bake bread. The answer, a resounding yes.

I did all the measuring and mixing (I'm not insane, also I bake by weight), and talked him through everything I did. Once the basic dough was together, I cut him off a chunk, and showed him how to knead.

He had almost no help kneading this, although he needed some demonstration on how hard to push down when kneading.

I warmed up the oven a little, since it's so cold today, and popped the bowls inside to proof. They rose nicely, and when they were ready, we shaped our loaves and preheated the oven while they proofed again.

Isn't his result lovely? I let him wield the bakery's lame himself, so his cross is a bit wobbly, but not that bad.

This was an unexpected lot of fun. Baking bread through his eyes renewed a lot of its charm for me, to whom it's long been a chore.


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4 Responses to Bread Lesson

  1. melaniebett says:

    I’ve discovered recently how to be much more efficient in my bread baking. Now it feels like something I can do between doing other things rather than this arduous process that will take a long time and a lot of energy. Just having my recipe memorized so I don’t have to stop to look it up, having a process that I’ve revised until it uses as few steps as possible (I feel a bit like I belong in Cheaper by the Dozen when I’m baking bread.) I used to think of bread as something that took most of a morning. Now I can whip up a loaf in the time after we come home from morning outings and have it done by dinner time easy with minimal interruptions to making lunch and getting Anthony down for his nap. I know it will become a little more complicated with a nursing baby; but I really hope I can continue to whip out loaves with minimal fuss.

    Oh and I really love your tile topped table. I want one just like it that seats eight or ten people.

    • GeekLady says:

      🙂 Its more a laziness issue than anything. This is my mom’s recipe, and I feel like I’ve always had it memorized. I’ve increased everything by 50%, since I can’t bake every day. I also started using bread flour and measuring it by weight, because it produces a more consistent result. But I’ve been baking the base recipe since I was ten or so. Not often until I got my own kitchen, but I could.

      Part of the problem is that any little disruption in the kitchen disrupts potential bread, and right now our kitchen is one ginormous disruption. It worked out yesterday because the table was clean, and there’s no long counter space for David to stand next to me and knead.

      The tile topped table has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s heavy, and a pain to clean, and the white caulking is pulling away from the wood ever so slightly. And it only seats 8. My friend Mad Mo actually gave me the idea, but she has just topped her table with a custom cut pane of glass, and I think gets a better effect. Less wee crevices to clean.

  2. Mad Auntie Mo says:

    Mad Mo says, ” Arrr….Homemade bread be a good thing! Glad your wee matey there be gettin’ the trainin’ to make it. Makin’ me own bread’s a mite harrrrder now that I’ve got one hand and one hook. Keep pokin’ holes in me dough…”

  3. Pingback: Homeschooling, So Far… | On the Care and Feeding of Geeks

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