Saturday, March 7, 2009

Weekend Baking

Several weeks ago I read Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto.  Wow! It blew me away and helped me recommit to the avoidance of processed foods.  I vowed to only eat food I could make or trace (which is virtually impossible) and have had a grand time trying to stick with that pledge!  While I have eased back a bit, I do still strive to bake all of the bread that I eat.  This is something I'm certainly capable of doing, and I believe there are several benefits:
  1. I know exactly what is in every piece of bread that I eat, and I know what isn't in there --- no preservatives, chemicals, or high fructose corn syrup.   Have you read the ingredient list for commercial bread lately?  It's appalling.
  2. It's cheaper than buying bread.
  3. By making my own bread I appreciate every little bite that much more.  I thought for awhile that I would eat less bread if I made my own, but now I'm not sure that's true.
  4. There is no packaging to dispose of, which is better for the environment.
  5. It tastes better than store-bought bread.  (This excludes bread purchased from bakeries -- especially Alon's Bakery down the street!  I'm really talking about mass-produced bread that is sold in grocery stores.)
  6. I love to bake, so why not do so every time I have the chance!
Since today is Saturday I will be baking for the week.  I have on my list: Focaccia, Rosemary Bread, Honey-Wheat Sandwich Loaves, and Baguettes.  The rosemary bread and honey-wheat loaves are old tricks that always please me, but the focaccia and baguettes are new.  I have a recipe for focaccia that I've used for years with wonderful results, but today I will be trying a recipe from Baking at Home with the Culinary Institute of America.  I have found this to be a very reliable book, and all of the bread I am baking today comes from it.  I've never used a sponge to make focaccia, so that's exciting!  Also, the baguette recipe comes from the same source.  I'm a little wary of the recipe because it seems too simple.  I've always been under the impression that baguettes are very tricky.  Of course, I haven't made them yet so we shall see what happens!

No comments:

Post a Comment