About six months ago, I decided we should stop buying bread so that it would force me to learn the art and science of bread making. Since then, I think I’ve perfected making a lovely wholegrain loaf in our bread maker and mixing it up with different seeds and grains. I’ve experimented a little with focaccia with decent results – doing the mixing in a bread maker, then shaping, rise and bake in our oven. I’ve made doughnuts with my husband (twice, they were so nice).

I wanted to give bread making from scratch a go and got The Bread Baker’s Apprentice out from the library. It’s rated as one of the best books out there for amateurs wanting to learn how to make artisan breads. The book is a little daunting to read but it’s far more than a cook book of recipes: it’s really as if you’re a student in a class learning everything there is to know about bread so you can understand what’s going on at each step.

Last night I created a biga (starter) and tonight cooked two loaves of Italian bread, here’s one of them:

The loaves are still cooling so I’m patiently waiting to give it a try. The process was quite involved (Smitten Kitchen blogs about the same recipe/process) but enjoyable. There’s something so rewarding about creating something from scratch for yourself and seeing it come together, almost like magic. It’s the first time I’ve done kneading – I thought it would be too time consuming (it’s not), tiring (it is a little, but in a good way) and boring (it is actually nice to have space to think while doing manual work).

Bread is something we just take for granted: we consume it and enjoy it but going through the whole process makes you realise that even seemingly simple everyday things can be deceptive!

That’s what I love about blog design: the entire creation process, all the little seen and unseen details that makes the end result just work.

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