The smell of fresh-baked bread

Ummm. I’m smelling the fruits of my labors, the first loaf of home-made bread I have baked in over 25 years. I used to bake bread all the time, but after a job change, and a new daughter that required moving an additional 12 miles from where I worked I no longer had the time to bake bread.

Well, now I do have the time, as baking and blogging can be multi-tasked. I can mix up the dough and let it do a first rise while I’m getting set up, then punch it down and form loaves for the second rise as I read the Feed. This gives the loaves time to get nice and fluffy, then I put them in to bake while I’m composing the post for the blog, and I’m usually half way through the post when it’s time to pull the loaves from the oven and let them cool. Of course that makes it hard to concentrate on the nastiness of dead and injured cyclists with that delicious smell wafting through the house.

As an additional cost-cutting move I’m doing a starter culture for sourdough so I don’t have to keep buying yeast every week. My expenses other than electricity for the oven are minimal, a little salt, a little sugar, a tiny amount of vegetable shortening, water from the tap, flour, and for the first batch active yeast. My biggest ongoing expense is the flour. My son insists on buying organic whole-wheat flour, and to be honest it seems to make a really good loaf of bread, and is supposed to have more nutrients than white flour, along with beneficial fiber. Also the organic is supposed to be free of harmful chemicals from pesticides and herbicides. Whatever, it makes a tasty loaf of bread.

Billed @$.02, Opus

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