|Getting Better At This Bread Baking Adventure|
Thanks to my positive experience during our “Food Month” experiment, I decided to eliminate processed foods from my diet (at home) as much as possible, in favor of making whole food choices instead. After I consume the processed foods in my pantry, I hope I won’t be tempted to replace them. This too is an experiment, as I venture to adopt this new lifestyle, now that “Food Month” is behind me.
Recently, I decided to pull out my bread machine and I’m experimenting with making my own bread again. I was a bread baker many years ago in my hippie/pioneer days when Sarah was very young. I made my whole wheat bread from scratch, once a week by hand, and would make six loaves at a time. This was short-lived however, since Sarah and her dad only enjoyed eating it on baking day and weren’t interested in it, once it lived in the freezer for a few days.
My first attempt to make 100% whole wheat bread in the bread machine was a disappointing flop with a happy ending. I had taken a chance and used the yeast I had on hand that was two months past expiration. Thankfully, I was keeping an eye on the dough-making process and noticed that the dough had failed to rise. I rescued it from the pending baking cycle and tried an idea to recycle the dough. I cut it into 12 parts, flattened and rolled out each ball as thinly as possible and baked them individually in a dry, cast-iron fry pan on top of the stove. I was thrilled with the outcome! The resulting finished product was similar to a pita bread without the pocket and was very tasty.
My first several bread-making attempts since the flat bread have been less than desirable, making a very short, dry, dense loaf. Since then, my efforts have been much more rewarding as I experiment with different recipes. Now, I let the bread machine do the kneading and I shape the loaf, let it rise in my bread pan and bake in my oven. I like the traditional shape and size much better than the bread machine loaf and I’m enjoying being a bread baker again. I’m looking forward to experimenting with lots of recipes this autumn and winter.
For the most part, I really enjoyed the month long discipline of eating so healthfully and found out that I missed very little of my normal diet. I also had the bonus of losing seven pounds and that got me to my ideal weight again. Since weight loss wasn't a goal or motive, we were permitted to eat however much we wanted of our choices. (Going forward; having homemade bread around all the time, I'll need to be careful if I want to keep off that seven pound winter coat). I was surprised that I ate less and never felt hungry. What’s not to love about that?
The only thing I really missed at first was mayonnaise, but soon enough, I started enjoying all the subtle flavors and decided to challenge myself a little more. I gave up my love affair with the salt shaker, just to see what it would be like. So, I have adopted a post Seven habit of no added salt at the table and now I don’t miss it hardly at all. I never thought I would be able to enjoy foods like eggs or popcorn without it, but I was wrong.
I felt more energetic and better than I had in years. I suppose the no sugar component had a lot to do with that. And I’m certain that all the sunshine helped boost my energy level as I worked the soil and planted my gardens in preparation for “Waste Month”.
In my last post, I listed the foods that comprised our menu for a month. If you were to try this experiment, what seven foods do you think you would choose? I’m curious. More about “Food Month” next time.