Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Breadmaking

Just attended another course in breadmaking and find that it is really simple to do. As compared to cake making, there is much less equipment to wash.

Bread making is an age-old tradition. It has remained largely unchanged over the centuries. In the last few years bread making has become more popular with more and more of us enjoying the quality of real homemade bread. We all know that there is nothing like the satisfaction of baking from your own specially chosen ingredients and being creative in the choice of ingredients.


The smell of freshly baked bread is something that I love. It brings back fond memories of my childhood visits to the bakeries with their huge ovens and I will patiently wait for the bread to be taken out from the oven. Yummy...

Once you have all the ingredients, voila!!! Just put them into the machine, if you have one with the dough hook, and it does all the kneading for you. If you do not have a machine, you can still knead the dough by hand. Of course, this will require a little more effort on your part. However, this is not impossible and many actually knead the dough manually.


Dough hook


As long as you measure the ingredients accurately, breadmaking can be fun and is simple enough to be done by anyone. Do give sufficient time for the dough to rise. If working in a warm environment, that might take about one hour. If the temperature is cold, it might take double that time for the dough to rise. Best if you could place the dough near a sunny draught free window or a shelf above a warm oven.

Breadbaking is in fact a hobby that anyone can take up easily. There is nothing intricate or complicated about breadbaking. In fact, I personally find that breadbaking can be a stress reducer and I can be as creative as I want to be. There is no limit to creativity.

An example of what I have done:- buns filled with pineapple jam. Have not seen this in the shops yet. ; ) I shall be experimenting with buns filled with durian paste and maybe even pistachio paste soon.

I used to be afraid of breadbaking as I thought that it would be very difficult. I was intimidated by the very thought of the process of breadbaking and did not realise that it really is easy to bake bread. Of course, you need to get the ingredients which are readily available at shops selling baking items and supermarkets. This goes for the yeast as well, which is a staple in breadbaking.

Baker's yeast is the common name for the strains of yeast commonly used as a leavening agent in baking bread. Basically, yeast allows the resulting bread to be lighter and more tasty than the normal flat, hard cake.

I not only enjoy being creative in coming up with new creations of bread, but find that homemade bread is fun to make and eat as well. There are so many types of bread that you can make as in rye, wholemeal, corn, cinnamon, multi-grain, etc... Then you have red bean, mung bean, tuna, sardine, curry, chicken floss, cheese, ham, hot dog, otak, kaya, raisin, etc... The varieties are endless.


The best part in homemade bread is to be able to eat freshly baked bread that is chemical and preservative free. In today's world, this means a lot to me especially in the recent cases where tons of food had to be recalled due to improper ingredients discovered. So baking and eating your own bread ensures that all is safe and that the best ingredients are used.

Look out for a basic bread recipe that will be posted soon...

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