Use Your Words - Our Daily Bread πŸ™πŸ»



Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once, and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:

collapse ~ foam ~ fungus ~ sample ~ integrity ~ railroad

They were submitted by: Climaxed - Thank you, Jenniy!

I wanted to write about so many things, but these words just scream bread dough!

I mean, for real! 

Yeast is nothing else than a fungus microorganism. Put some dried yeast into lukewarm water, add a little sugar, stir and let it sit for a couple of minutes. It'll start to foam and bubble, and that's how you know it's time to add it into your flour. Mix, add salt (yes, add salt later as it slows down the magic the yeast is about to create) knead, cover and let proof for an hour - or several hours if you have more time. The longer, the better, actually. 

The dough will at least double in size and you'll see many tiny air pockets - that's great. 

Turn out your dough on a floured surface, and you'll notice that it delates and collapses. That's OK. The carbon dioxide that the yeast, along with the sugar and starches from the flour, has produced - the process is called fermentation - is not lost.

Shape your round loafs, put them on a tray, let proof for another 30 - 45 minutes and score them. (Bad example, I scored them before proofing. That's why the cut is somewhat distorted.





This has the following purpose: It guides your loaf to rise in a consistent, controlled and optimal manner. In other words, your loaf gets to keep its integrity. 

After baking you need to be patient. Your kitchen will smell amazing, but you can't cut your bread as it's still hot. Let it cool, and soon enough you'll be able to sample a slice. 

I have been baking bread for about ten years, and what I have learned so far is that it's less about recipes and measurements than it is about the process and the experience. 

A recipe may tell you to use that many cups of flour and water, but depending on the age of your flour, the air moisture on the very day you're baking, as well as the fact that you may live near a railroad track, you may end up with a terribly sticky (or crumbly) dough. 

OK, I made the train thing up, just needed to use the word.

Unless you're in a rush and need to be ready within three hours from taking out your ingredients until slicing the freshly baked bread, it doesn't even matter exactly how much yeast you are using. A little yeast and a couple of hours of proofing will give you the same (if not a better) result than the recommended amount of yeast and a minimum of rising your dough. 

The only ratio that is crucial is salt and flour, which is 1.8 - 2.2%. Example: For 4.5 cups of flour use 2 teaspoons of salt. 

I encourage you to give making your own bread a try. It's so versatile, you may experiment with adding spices like rosemary, bacon, honey, yogurt, nuts, seeds, dried tomatoes, or beer (which you may use entirely if you ran out of yeast, just let it rise for a really long time!) or potatoes (or both)

What's also somewhat crucial is the baking. Here's a post I published a couple of years ago. I used two different baking methods: 

Regular baking tray (left) vs cast iron pot.





The pot made the bread extra crunchy on the outside and airy on the inside.

Today I made my bread on my new pizza stone. The family kind of complained about my making pizza every couple of days. Actually only the husband made a comment, Colin would be on board with pizza every day. 

So using the pizza stone for bread baking has taught me the following lessons:
  • Don't walk away from the oven
  • Turn your loaf halfway through otherwise the top will burn, while the bottom is still slightly underbaked.
I will keep trying.






What I originally wanted to write about is something that has been weighing heavy on my heart. 


In our village a young man ended his life. He was 16 or 17 years old. 


When Colin started elementary school, this boy and his mates had their classroom right next to the new first graders, and on many occasions, they, and especially this boy, helped out the little ones. 


When he moved on to high school I didn't see him much anymore. I heard while his friends moved on to college or apprenticeship, he was having a hard time deciding what to do after school and more or less hung out at home.

He was into arts and played in a theater play.
 

And then there was a rumor that one day he called for help. He was sitting outside our town, with a weapon in his hand. The last I heard was that he got the help he needed, but now it looks like he was serious about leaving this world, and this time it worked.

I am so lost. I know his mother, she is an awesome lady, They have two more kids, both older. How do you deal with a loss like this? How can you ever move on?



Please don't leave before checking out my blogger friends' posts:   
                                                                                                                                                                                     


Comments

  1. Yeast and I have been in a long time war, yeast is winning.
    I'm so sorry about the loss of that young man, it breaks my heart and brings up difficult memories.

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  2. I love to bake bread. I have a stone loaf pan and it works great. They are pricey of course. Keep trying, maybe lay a sheet of foil over the top for 1/2 the time.

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  3. With the pandemic here in the U.S., it was really hard to come by flour for a long time. It seems, like toilet paper, everyone was scared it would run out. I've always used bread pans to make my bread, but I'm going to try the cast iron pot AND the pizza stone. Both of your loaves turned out beautifully!. I'm so sorry to read about the young man in your town. He must have been drowning in a pain others couldn't see. Remember the bouncy house? That's how I felt for the longest time. Some people can't be reached. I know it sounds awful. All you can do is pour love on his mom. Let her know there's a purpose for her to be in the world. <3

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  4. My favourite thing in the whole world is fresh baked bread!
    When all the kids were home, I baked bread twice a week. Six loaves each time. Now Husby has taken it over in his breakmaker. One loaf. Once a week. And most of that gets frozen.
    I miss bread baking days.
    I sometimes feel like that bread dough. Life punches you down and you rise a little higher. Then it does it again, and again you rise.
    Each time a little better than you were before.
    What a sad story about that young man. One of my precious students committed suicide just five years ago. The sweetest boy you ever met.
    Something you never recover from.

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  5. I love bread, the smell of freshly baked bread

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  6. I have bought dry yeast so many time but always chicken out before I try to use it. I've never made bread in my life but I've always wanted to.

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