Boyfriend Bread

bread

I realize this doesn’t have much to do with the environment, but I just made a loaf of Meghan’s breadless bread and it turned out so well, I had to post it. I’ve always been kind of weirded out by the whole bread-making process on account of the yeast requirements. The idea of having a live, bubbling starter festering in a petri dish in my kitchen really gives me the creeps (I know, I just have to get over it).

And yet, and yet… as it turns out, the boy in my life really likes bread. Like, REALLY likes it. So for our one-year anniversary I decided to try and bake a loaf just for him, and when I realized Meghan’s recipe called for tons of healthy ingredients like ground almonds, arrowroot starch and pumpkin seeds but DIDN’T call for any yeast, I got excited.

Anyway, the finished product was pretty awesome — although it has a bit of a muffin-like consistency, it’s still good with both sweet and savoury toppings. Plus, it only took 45 minutes to bake and made the house smell yummers. I highly recommend trying this out on a weekend afternoon, when you have a bit of extra time for cooking, eating and perhaps a spontaneous flour-fight with a loved one.

In the mean time, does anyone have any other favourite bread recipes? Are there bread-oriented blogs out there worth reading? Is it wise to invest in a bread-maker or are those things sort of useless?

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19 Responses to Boyfriend Bread

  1. Shannon says:

    I use a breadmaker, and it was definitely a good investment. It means our everyday bread is homemade, instead of store bought, which is tastier, cheaper, and without creepy preservatives. It’s not quite a sublime as homemade bread from the oven, but it’s a good way to get homemade bread with minimal time and effort invested. Oh, and not all bread requires a yeast starter fermenting in your kitchen. Sometimes, particularly with bread I’ve made in the bread machine, you just add the yeast when you’re ready to cook — no days-long or even minutes-long fermenting at all. :)

  2. Kara says:

    I have to admit I mostly use my bread maker for the rising/punching down cycles, and actually bake the bread in the oven. My bread maker has a timer and a hold cycle so I can set it up to have the dough ready to pop in the oven when I get up.

    You might like a sourdough type starter, soda bread, or potato bread better than regular yeast bread. Of course the sourdough starter still has those cute little microbes growing in it…

  3. Lauren says:

    I cannot say enough good things about Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. You can buy the book, or just look it up on the web. It is beautiful and brainless! You just mix up a wet mess of flour, salt, yeast and water, let it sit out for a couple of hours to rise, then stash it in the fridge. When you want some bread, cut off a hunk and bake it.

    I have a write-up with some links, if you like:

    http://lloydandlauren.com/2008/02/01/pain-depi/

    P.S. – love your site! It has encouraged me in my ‘eco-freakiness’, as I call it.

  4. Meredith says:

    A bread maker is totally worth it.

    As Shannon said, you get fresh, good, like-homemade bread everyday, which is cheaper than store bought bread (especially if you like real, good bread!)

    Also, I suspect that it is uses less energy. Instead of heating up the entire large oven, you only heat up the small bread machine size oven.

    If you make multiple loaves (an oven full) at once, this wouldn’t be an issue, but then you need to find freezer space to make sure the bread is still fresh when you get to eat it.

  5. Meredith says:

    http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/beginnersbread.htm

    The hillbilly housewife has a beginner bread recipe, which I have made and is good. It is a basic yeast bread, which can be made with white or whole wheat flour, or both. Great if you have never cooked with yeast before.

    She also has a list of bread machine recipes, which I had not tried, but are probably good!

    http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/breadmachinerecipes.htm

  6. I did it Vanessa. I had the bubbling starter. No yeast packets- just the natural yeasts that float around my Parkdale neighbourhood. This is amazingly simple! I even have some started frozen in my freezer from this batch… you want it?

    http://meghantelpnerblog.com/2008/09/21/from-starter-to-finish/

  7. Kat says:

    If you want yeast-free, there’s a great oat bread recipe in How it All Vegan. Smitten Kitchen (my fave food blog) has some good bread stuff up too.

  8. HoorayParade says:

    i’m sure http://www.tastespotting.com/ has tons of recipes for all different kinds of breads. i even found a sugarless, flour-less, chocolate-less cake on there once and i had given up hope that kind of cake existed

  9. Alison says:

    In our house we vote for no single use appliances and hence no bread maker. On one hand, if you don’t have experience making bread they are great, because they do the kneading for you; however, if you have a kitchen aid mixer and a dough hook the mixer can knead for you. Also, Kitchen Aid rebuilds mixers and you can get them repaired, something that cannot be said for your average appliance.

    I’ve been making a lot of bread lately VeganDad (just Google him) you can check his blog for recipes and my last post (I think) was also a bread recipe :) I also just made this Challah recipe (http://tinyurl.com/c2kcpb) and it was phenomenal — as good as from the bakery!

    Which takes me back to the bread maker — if you bake your bread in the oven you can shape it anyway you want: rolls, big loaf, little loaf, round loaf, oval loaf, braided loaf, wreath and so on. Bread is a bit of an art and so if you just want fast fresh bread, I’d buy it from the bakery, but if you want to learn how to make bread, I’d do it yourself, sans bread maker.

  10. Betsy says:

    The easiest bread recipe ever: No-Knead Bread from the NY Times – http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html?_r=1&ex=1163739600&en=18a972c6bc0db348&ei=5070&emc=eta1

    It’s infinitely variable, completely forgiving, and is among the best bread I’ve ever had.

  11. Rosa says:

    I’m not a fan of the breadmaker – we had one for a while, it was a gift. WHen it died we just didn’t replace it.

    I think it depends on your style as a cook – i’m not a huge fan of recipes, tending more to just throw in whatever I randomly have, so I like to do it by hand so I can tell how things are going. And I like to make bagels, rolls, or filled bread pasties more than I like to make square sandwich loaves, which makes the breadmaker less relevant. Also there are a lot of stale-bread recipes I love, so it’s OK if I guesstimate on Sunday how much bread we’ll eat all week, and am sometimes wrong.

    I started baking using the basic bread recipe in the Encyclopedia of Country living and I still go back to that one occasionally.

  12. pat says:

    I dont think there is any justification for adding appliances, especially when your arms work. Your bread looks a bit flat though. Nothing wrong with a bit of fungus in your pantry, though.

  13. Lisa says:

    I second the NYT No-Knead recipe. It’s really easy and very tasty. The only downside is that you have to let it sit for a long time (about 18 hours), but it’s definitely worth it!

  14. Hellcat13 says:

    I second the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book. It makes teeny loaves, but all you need for one meal. SO good. You make a batch and leave it in the fridge for up to two weeks, so it takes on sourdough qualities. You just cut off a wodge when you need it. I make it in my KitchenAid, but I think it’s probably easy enough by hand. No kneading.

    And from Farmgirl Fare, this: http://tiny.cc/QyDSy might be the best bread ever, especially when you throw in a swirl of cinnamon and sugar.

  15. Melissa says:

    A post to along with the one you did way back when on putting plants in the dishwasher…

    http://www.re-nest.com/re-nest/hot-or-not/hot-or-not-trio-dish-drier-by-jordan-bailey-081855

  16. erikka says:

    bread machines are SO EASY! little time or energy or thought goes into using them (well, besides all the home made love, attention goodness). And most recipes call for dry yeast which comes in a sanitary sealed little envelope.

    peace.

  17. Cavewoman says:

    For years I made bread the old fashioned way and thought that breadmaker machines were just another corporate way to getting us to buy something that we didn’t really need to do something that we could already do well, without those machines.

    Then I received a breadmachine as a gift.

    Here’s the thing: although I love my hand-kneaded, artisan breads—I find that I make bread much more frequently now that I have the machine.
    Because of that, I’m not buying store-bread (which means that I’m not buying any breads wrapped in plastic.)

    So, for us it has been a baby step toward a better green choice.

  18. Jacko says:

    Nice site – Wishing you and yours a very happy and prosperous new year !

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