Monday, June 23, 2008

Hey There White Bread, mein weissbrot ist sehr gut

Ever since I learned to make bread a few weeks back I've been making a loaf of bread for every day of the week. No, I haven't been making bread every day. I've been making four loaves at a time about twice a week.

Normally I make a combination of whole wheat and white, but I ran low on whole wheat, so this batch is 1/4 white bread.

Here's the thing about making bread. It's much much easier than you might think, and not that time consuming. And if you're on a budget, this kind of bread is excellent. For about 80 cents a loaf, at 1200 calories per loaf, you can make a delicious bread that fulfills about 1/4 of of the daily caloric needs for a family of four assuming you don't have any teenagers in the house. If you want to go with cheap white wheat, you can probably get the price per loaf down to about fourty cents if you're buying small bags of wheat at a low cost store like Aldi or whatever.

The thing about this bread's delicious. So rather than using it exclusively as a buffer to hold mustard against sandwich meat, you find yourself slicing off big chunks of it and eating it by itself, or with butter, or with honey, a favorite of Oscar's. We easily blow through a loaf in a day.

The recipe is found in The Joy of Cooking. The standard white bread. I generally make two batches at a time and use 50% whole wheat, and add an extra 1/2 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar. I don't use entirely whole wheat because that makes for a very dense, kind of unpleasant bread texture in my opinion. And if you're using the whole wheat I'm using, a 100% whole wheat loaf tastes uncannily like Wheaties. Not BAD. Just.........strange.

I normally use bread pans. This shapes the bread in sandwich shaped pieces, so we can use it for sandwiches. If I'm feeling artsy and gourmet, I just chuck a wad of dough onto a cookie pan and bake it.

For the gourmet looking stuff I dust it with flour before throwing it into the oven. For the usual bread I mix egg and milk and brush it onto the loaves before putting them into the oven, to give them a shiny, anime look when they're done.

For about 40 minutes of work per week and $6.40, I end up with 8 loaves of bread, at about 10,000 calories total.

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