In Bread We Trust

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I’ve found that making the best bread requires a little time and a little mess — two requirements that took me many years to come to terms with.

It was only very recently that I began trying my hand at bread baking, and it has been a very  interesting process. It began with me buying frozen bread dough, then expanded to include experimentation with a bread machine, and finally ended with marathon kneading sessions and actual flour in the hair. Now, instead of being afraid of yeast, I embrace it and buy it by the jar.

I suppose I got my bread making gene from my mother. There’s one book in her cookbook collection that I’ve been trying to sneak out of her house and onto my shelf for years. It’s the amazing “Baking with Julia” cookbook, which features a chapter on batters and doughs. It’s packed with great information, including  copious notes and detailed techniques for creating extravagant delicacies such as flaky pie dough, choux paste, brioche, puff pastry, danish pastry, and croissant dough. I know from first-hand experience that the croissant recipe is epic, in both word count and taste.  I’m also dying to try my hand at Julia’s brioche. So, mom, if you’re reading this, may I pretty please have the book? Or at least borrow it?

Of course not everyone has the time required to pull off a homemade Julia Child inspired bread masterpiece.

To the harried men and women of the world who can’t be bothered by kneading, shaping and the ensuing kitchen mess, I wholeheartedly encourage you to try a bread machine.

I went through a phase when I practically fell in love with my bread machine. Once upon a time, these contraptions used to churn out bizarre round loaves that looked like alien pods.  But the tech has thankfully evolved to the point where piping hot, actual loaf- shaped loaves appear ready to be sliced and eagerly devoured — all done with very little effort on your part. If you can wield a measuring cup,  you can have fresh made bread in your home.

Why not start simple with a basic loaf of Whole Wheat Bread recipe courtesy of BakeSpace member Krashed24.

Or if you’re feeling a little more ambitious, why not tackle a sweet twist on the classic Brioche recipe? BakeSpace member Piday offers readers a Chocolate Chip Brioche that looks like it will knock your socks off. But be sure to put your socks back on and lace up your sneakers too. After eating all of this homemade bread, you’re going to need a serious trip to the gym.

Find more great bread recipes from members at BakeSpace!

A self-proclaimed chick-lit, wine, and cookie baking enthusiast, who resides in Boston and writes frequently detailing the adventures I have with my pink KitchenAid mixer and two unruly kittens (Watson & Dexter), while attempting to reign in a rather precarious shopping addiction. It’s a “tough job” but someone has to do it. You can find me at ERINCOOKS.COM, XOXOERIN.COM, YUMMERY.COM & on @GIRLIEERIN.