In the immortal words of Mr. Willie Nelson - you gotta know when to fold them, and know when to walk away.
This could be the second time in as many weeks that I have referenced Mr. Nelson. You're welcome. Handmade Bread: 4, Lindsey: 0
I can't make bread.
I mean, I could, if I wanted to devote hours and hours to it, possibly take a class and be willing to fail lot's more times.
I've even made "No Knead" bread to absolute failure. It's NO KNEAD BREAD. And I FAILED. TWICE.
I am good at some things. I am an excellent wife, a pretty fantastic mother, a top notch daughter and at times an incredibly insightful therapist. (I'm also really super humble).
But I am no bread maker.
I know when it's beyond me. Like sewing. I know that sewing is beyond me. And knitting. As much as I would like to go Bruce Lee all over that shit, it ain't gonna happen.
My personal thesis is that I will attempt a new thing usually 4-5 times before I decide to either A) give it up or B) find another way to do that task that is easier. If I really LOVE what I'm doing, then I will stick with it longer. Soap making is an example of that.
I have got the basics of bread making down and can make a passable loaf, but the emotional expenditure and actual time involved thinking about it (time capital?) make this activity more of a chore than I want it to be. I think the occasional special loaf will still come piping hot out of my oven, but for daily use, Trenta is where it's at.
Life is what we make it, right? We get to decide which homesteady things we are going to really invest our time and energy in. There is this nice middle ground that we can exist in that says we can still buy boxed cereal if we want, yet make all our own soap and cook exclusively at home from whole ingredients. We can hang our clothes outside to dry, use all natural cleaners and still get our hair colored after going through the Starbucks for a mocha. No self-sufficiency police are going to come out and smack us around if we don't spend a whole Saturday morning making bread for the week.
Having a bread machine has always enabled me to throw a loaf in whenever I want and then go do other things that are more fun. I like that shortcut. I also like making homemade bread. Our big giant brains made that shortcut possible and I'm gonna ride that sucka till the end.
Here's a great recipe that I found in an ancient book called "Electric Bread" and I have modified it over the years to suit my tastes. This makes a killer BLT.
1/2 C Water
1 C Wheat Flour
1 C White Flour
1 Tbsp Dry Milk (Or regular milk - add with the water)
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 C Cottage Cheese (can also use Sour Cream, or Marscopone)
3/4 Tbsp Dried Dill
1/2 Tbsp Dried Onion
2 tsp active dry yeast.
Add ingredients in the order listed - wet first, then dry, then put the herbs around the perimeter and make a little divot in the flour and add the yeast to it - make sure it doesn't touch the water.
Choose your setting and run it. Good to go.
*$15 bucks on Craigslist. Done.