Back to Baking Bread

You know how when you change cars you start to see the same type of car everywhere when you never noticed them before.  Or you see a movie with an actor you decide you like and suddenly they are in every movie, TV show and voice over…I’m finding the plastic things is the same.  I am now seeing plastic everywhere I didnt notice it before.

 So when I started looking at rows and rows of bags of bread in the grocery store and thinking about how I could buy bread without the plastic I had a flash back.

 Years ago I got into bread making in a big way.  To the point of taking three weeks (and probably $25) to make the starter for the foccaccia I wanted to make for a dinner party (remember when foccaccia was REALLY popular… what happened).

Then I got a breakmaker (didn’t everyone…) and used to put it on in the evenings with  a timer so that at 6am I would wake to the delicious smell of fresh bread wafting into my bedroom.  It would still be warm when I cut it for breakfast and the butter and honey would melt into it before I could take the first mouthful… sooo good.  

Surely it would be easy to find a bread maker at the op shop, everyone had one and most seemed to use it twice and put it in the cupboard for years.  Also I remembered I had bought a box (cardboard, tick) of break mix ages ago that I had yet to use. Maybe I could hand knead the dough….ok, reality check… thats not going to happen. 

I started searching for bread makers, but the op-shop, unusually, did not provide. Which was a bit surprising, I usually have very good op-shop karma.

Aldi did instead though, with a shiny new one with an automatic dispensor for dumping fruit or nuts or other yummy things directly into the dough at 2am without me having to wake up for that.  This seemed a genius idea and a good justification for the purchase of new over second hand, now rather than later, despite the fact I can assure you I never got up to do that in the good old days. 

When I was opening the box and throwing away the polystyrene and  plastic packing I realised there was a fatal flaw in my plan…

This is not the kind of blog that makes everything look perfect. You are definitely going to see the other side, when I dont get things right, because this is the real world we live in. Lets embrace the not quite perfect, after all, nobody is. We are all going to make mistakes. In fact you dont learn anything if you dont. Hopefully mine will be useful, either as a lesson for myself or others or at least a giggle.

That night, having waited all day to play with my new toy, I am feeling very nostalgic about being able to recreate that early morning hot bread smell. Its late… I gather the incredients… mistake no. 2.. the box of breadmix was cardboard, but with 4 packets of plastic wrapped flour.

Pressing on, I combine the ingredients as instructed, work out the timing for 6am hot bread, hit go and head to bed.

Problem no. 3… at 3am I am woken to what sounds like one of those giant drills they use to bore holes through mountains to make tunnels, coming down my hallway. The dog is trembling and trying to hide under my bedside table (he is a labrador…. he does NOT fit under my bedside table). I’m just lucky the place next door is currently vacant or I am sure the police would have been called.

Needless to say I am feeling a little less nostalgic at this point.

After spending the rest of the night with my head under the pillow (and the dog trying to get his head under there too, at 6am I blearily stagger down the hallway. I make fresh coffee and I open the breadmaker, and encounter this amazing, perfect, instagram worthy loaf of golden goodness……

Burnt, mangled, with the fruit dispensor baked into the top. Clearly a little more practice required. Tasted good though.

So I have practiced. During the day.

After a couple more tries I manage to create the loaf at the top of this post. It is almost the instagram worthy loaf, but to put things in perspective, here it is in comparison to the breadmaker.

So cute!!! Soft and warm and mouth-watering and actually probably the perfect size.

I feel good about the unexpected plastic bags of bread mix lasting me far longer than the equivalent amount of supermarket bread I would have bought with significantly less plastic wrapping. I will work on reducing that further next time

Better but not perfect, though I never expect to be. A smart man once told me that done is better than perfect and there is an 80/20 rule that I am applying here. Will tell you all about that in another post.

3 thoughts on “Back to Baking Bread

  1. Really interested to read this one, I also looked at the bread maker at aldi, thinking that might be the way to go, might give it a bit more thought. Enjoying the posts especially the way you focus on the effort not perfection, really refreshing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sharon,
      I really appreciate your comments.
      I used to have another bread maker and dont remember it making so much noise. Maybe try checking out the op shops, buy one cheap and donate it back if you dont like it! Or see if a friend has one they don’t use and “borrow” it for a while! I think there are probably lots of bread makers in the back of peoples cupboards not being used.
      Let me know what you end up doing.


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