Monday, 8 July 2013

Making Bread - A Lesson in Patience

I didn't have the self control to wait until I had taken a
picture before having a slice.  Hence the loaf in the
back right corner.  
Ever since my university years I've been experimenting with making my own bread.  I've done sour dough, white sandwich bread, and my current favourite whole wheat sandwich bread.  In fact this weekend I took the opportunity and ended up baking 6 loaves of bread.  (5 of which promptly got stuck in the freezer.)  During my baking spree I came to the following conclusion.  Everybody on the planet should make bread from scratch (with out a bread maker) at least once in their lives.


First off it will give you an appreciation for the dying art and an understanding of where your bread comes from.  The same way that cooking from scratch and growing your own vegetables are beneficial making your own bread brings you back into touch with that you are putting in your mouth.

Secondly, the taste of fresh home made bread is heavenly.  If you make it and taste it just once you may never want to go back to the store bought loaves that don't go mouldy.  (Seriously, are you going to trust something that doesn't rot?)

Finally, and most importantly, making bread is a lesson in patience.  If you hurry through a step your bread may not rise and you'll end up with a brick instead of bread.  If your concentration is elsewhere you could very well end up killing your yeast and wrecking the dough.  I am not the most patient person on the planet, truth be told I hate waiting for things to happen.  I'm going to assume that a fair portion of the planet is with me on this as the human race continues to come up with more and more sophisticated ways to make our world go faster.  When it comes to bread though, you simply have to accept that it will rise when it rises.  It will not follow your schedule and if you try and change it's schedule you'll end up with a mess.

Like so many things on the planet there are no short cuts, just the prudent use of time spent waiting.


  1. I used to bake home made bread in high school and absolutely loved it!! Hawaiian bread was probably my favorite (and likely because of all the sugary sweetness) followed closely by sour dough and then home-made bagels. The problem I ran into was evenly slicing the bread loaves without completely squashing it. Do you run into the same problem?

    1. I did run into this problem with a couple types of bread. (Mostly the white breads.) I find that you need a bread with a nice solid crust in order to prevent squishing. Getting a good crust seems to be a combination of finding a good recipe and leaving it in the oven long enough. I've not had a squashing problem with my whole wheat recipe.

    2. The squashing problem might be caused if you don't let the baked loaf cool long enough.

      My problem is evenly slicing the loaf period!

    3. Possible. I have trouble with waiting to taste my creations, lets just say that I need to keep baking bread in order to practice my patience =D