Before I started this blog, I was a home baker, but I didn’t ‘do’ bread. I have come a long way in the last couple of years, experimenting with different, unprocessed flours, feeding sour dough like a precious puppy, and eating more bread than I probably should have done 😦 I console myself by my promise to self that I would not buy bread to eat at home, which I have pretty much adhered to.
Good cook book authors exhude a passion for their craft, but I think those bakers who specialise in bread are more passionate than most! Most of us can throw overripe bananas in a bowl to mix up a bread loaf, but for bread makers there is a love of the ingredients and the science of it all. Several years ago I went on a week’s cordon blue course at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Raymond Blanc’s beautiful hotel/restaurant in Berkshire. One of the highlights was not actually part of the course. I got up extra early and went into the kitchen to watch and talk to (actually quiz!) the young bread chef. I need to tell those of you who have never been fortunate enough to eat at the Manoir that their bread is a little piece of heaven, so to talk about the ingredients and see it going into the oven was a bit special.
All this is leading to the letter K and of course to knead. I guess it’s the length of the process which puts people off making their own bread but if you just add up the hands on time, it isn’t a lengthy process. You can also do the first rest overnight in the fridge – this is proofing or proving.
Since I have used a flour produced from the ancient Khorasan wheat I thought that would give me a double K