And this is why I make my own!

I bake my own bread. I have done for a few years now, even before the arrival of Hermy the Thermy. I love that my whole family LOVES the bread I bake. I either make sourdough white bread or a sourdough home-ground spelt and white bread, depending on whether Thermy has just been washed or not (if he’s wet I have to spend the time to get him bone dry for grinding grains and that depends on available time and motivation at the given moment. πŸ˜‰ ) but either way I know EXACTLY what goes into each and every loaf I bake. Even before I made sourdough bread I baked at home, firstly using my mixmaster to help with at least some of the kneading and then usually putting in some time to hand knead too and then after the arrival of Hermy I’d get him to do the hard yards, both grinding and kneading. Now I still use his skills for mixing and kneading but the dough itself does the work for me as I use a no-knead technique which works beautifully as it also allows for souring time. Win all round.

I bake my own bread for several reasons. Firstly, with a history of gluten/wheat intolerance in my family and finding I have my own issues with eating plain wheat breads it is cheaper and tastier to bake my own sourdough than buy traditional supermarket gluten free breads.

Secondly, I enjoy it. Some days I can’t necessarily be bothered making the dough for the fridge (that’s where the no-knead dough lives whilst it kneads itself) but then I think of the wonderful benefits and taste of my bread and that never fails to motivate me, which brings about the third reason.

My bread, or any home-made, non commercially baked bread in my opinion, tastes far superior to supermarket bread or even bakery bread. That’s just my opinion though but one that my family shares. My bread is deep, rich, heavy (no light fluffy nothingness bread here), nutty when made with spelt flour included and completely filling. A cheese sandwich here is a filling meal! πŸ™‚

Fourthly, my bread is healthy. Aside from the argument that grain products aren’t good for us (read into the paleo diet if you’re interested) or the arguments about excess salt, my bread is healthy. It contains filtered water (no chlorine), rye sourdough starter which is full of all sorts of wonderful beneficial wild yeasts harvested if you like from the air we breathe and made with filtered water and freshly ground rye flour, some salt and I use Himalayan crystal salt, not refined table salt crap (read here for an interesting article on salt) and then of course, the flour. I use organic Lauke white flour and sometimes, as mentioned home ground biodynamic spelt flour. Flour begins to lose its nutrients after grinding so many of the flours in the supermarkets may well be nutrient-devoid or dead by the time we see them on the shelf. Grinding your own is the best way to guarantee it’s fresh. Some flours begin to turn rancid soon after grinding too, spelt is one of them and given the bread I bake I like to buy large quantities, not something I can do with spelt flour. With only 4 ingredients I can’t really go wrong! πŸ™‚

Fifthly, I bake it because I can. I don’t like to buy things that I can make myself. Call me a rebel but if I can “damn the man” in anyway possible, I do. πŸ˜€ As soon as I find something I think I have to buy I will have a good go at making my own just so I don’t have to give any more month than absolutely necessary to the big supermarket chains or large companies.

And sixthly, because I don’t trust the big companies, or even many of the smaller ones. At risk of sounding like some crazy conspiracy theorist (which I probably am to be honest πŸ˜‰ ) I don’t trust their ingredients or intentions (beyond making as much money as they can) as far as I can spit! THEY don’t care about the health of my family beyond the level that means I can’t sue them. If they can get away with it and it’s not illegal then they will do what they can if it makes them or saves them money. (Read this as a perfect example).

Anyway, this morning as I was acquainting myself with the flood and fire news of our country I came across this clanger! Now, bread, even homemade bread is at least vegetarian (some recipes use milk, butter or buttermilk) and I know mine is vegan (discounting harnessing and using the yeasts) but these articles, this one that I read some time back and this one I read this morning Β share that bread is not even vegetarian and in some cases, somewhat cannibalistic! YUK! If I want to eat hair I have plenty of my own thanks and I KNOW what products and chemicals have been used on it. As for chicken, if I want chicken I prefer it without the feathers and again, from sources I know! And NOT in my bread thanks.

Reading the second article this morning simply served to back up my beliefs that you cannot trust corporations in many cases as far as you can spit and the FSANZ is no better. These are the people that okayed BPA after all and didn’t even know that Canada had banned the use of BPA So I’m pretty convinced they aren’t doing their jobs to be honest. It all serves as a warning though that we cannot trust the government nor corporations to do what is best for us personally. They are balancing economics into the equation, just as we all have to do but their economics are in the millions and billions so the inclusion of an amino acid extracted from human hair or chicken feathers in our bread is probably not even a blip on their radar. We need to look and research for ourselves! It can make it a long and tedious (or more tedious) job to do the grocery shopping but if we want to avoid eating foods containing compounds of dubious origin or preservatives and food colourings with questionable research into their effects then research we must or simply, never purchase anything but pure raw ingredients. That’s rather difficult to do (mostly yes but entirely?) so reading and research really is quite necessary in order to avoid ingesting these sort of things.

Anyway, that’s me finished on my soapbox. πŸ˜‰

I will say one thing for conventional and supermarket purchased foods though. They can NEVER be accused of adding to the taste of foods. πŸ˜› We had a friend stay over the weekend and I cooked up a biodynamic corned beef I had (ok, I corned a silverside cut for the pedantic πŸ˜‰ ) and served it with organic green beans, mashed potatoes with parmesan cheese, carrots and organic turnips and I must say ALL the flavour was in the turnips and beans and they beef was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! I have NEVER had corned beef like this before in my life and there is no testament to my cooking there I promise you. I’m capable of cooking good foods and following recipes but I’m no great shakes as a cook I can guarantee. So, ALL the glory goes to the meat. It was mindblowing! We all ate far more than we should have, followed by organic rhubarb and custard which was also delicious. I can highly recommend spending the extra to buy organic and better yet biodynamic meats. Nom nom nom.

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11 thoughts on “And this is why I make my own!

  1. narf77 says:

    Or…if you are sitting out there thinking “Bourgeois” I am here to represent the penniless student hippies who have no disposable income and I back up Rabid…grow your own! Anyone can grow their own veggies and even if you can’t have chooks or animals for meat, you can do a bit of homework and find good meat, eggs and dairy products that while they might be a bit more than supermarket (hairy feathery πŸ˜‰ ) varieties, you don’t need as much for flavour so the cost burdon is evened out…eat a few meatless meals a week and buy good meat folks. (Doesn’t anyone listen to Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall these days? πŸ˜‰ ). When they chuck Julia out, I will vote for you Rabid πŸ™‚

    • Thank you for that HE-UGE compliment Narf BUT… I ain’t running! I have enough to do to run my household of 3 crazy monkeys, 1 husband (these husband types are hard enough on their own πŸ˜‰ ), 27 birds and 2 cats… But on the off chance I DO run, I want you for my deputy.

      • narf77 says:

        I don’t think that the country would know how to deal with us! It would be an amazing duo and one that would leave as much of a mark on Australia as Batman and Robin! (bags I don’t have to wear the tights! πŸ˜‰ ). We could completely ignore the “Sir Humphry’s” (the real powermongers NEVER want to get to the top as the top man is always the first to tumble…) and force through all sorts of legislation to protect the environment…if they started to protest we could flash them! In the stunned silence that followed we could push the motion through (I have thought it through you know πŸ˜‰ ). Lets be honest…Julia aint cutting the mustard…we need a babe with a brain AND her own kids so that she knows what this country needs πŸ™‚

        • I absolutely HATE the idea of Abbott as PM and Julia was sort of a novelty but you’re right, she ain’t cutting the mustard (or any other condiment for that matter). Just like Peter Garrett was someone we all looked to after his passionate Midnight Oil days and yet, again, lacklustre to say the least.
          I get nervous about any political extremists but I also realise that the environment is fast approaching the point (if it isn’t already passed that point) where extremists are needed to protect her. There was an article about shale oil found in Coober Pedy and how wonderful it will be with it’s vast oil reserves. If the comments are to be believed it’s old news with new technology (how wonderfully convenient) but still and all, if they’re raving about the wonders of shale oil, we are indeed in deep deep doggy doo doo and peak oil is nearer than I thought.

  2. I don’t know how people eat that rubbish. The taste of good homemade bread should be enough to win most people over, but would they find precious time in their “crazy busy” lives to make their own?

    • If people realised just how easy no-knead breads are I am convinced more people would give them a go BUT the words “bread” and “knead” are so firmly entrenched that the concept of no-knead just can’t be comprehended. As for sourdough, I believe if everyone understood just how unhealthy yeast breads are (Nourishing Traditions) then sourdough would be far far far more popular.

  3. Linne says:

    I thought that was MY soapbox!! LOL
    Obviously we belong to the same tribe. And I have to say, if you and Narf end up running the place, I may have to emigrate . . .
    I don’t have the link handy, but you might want to check out the artisan bread on Vintage Hearth’s blog. I’ve made it once, but I (being me) messed around with the recipe (I think I’ve followed one without doing that, in my whole life, and that’s cause it was for my sister in hospital, who actually made me SWEAR not to change a thing . . . sisters!)
    Anyway, mine was a bit heavier than it should have been, but I’ve been enjoying it anyway, both plain and toasted. Don’t flinch when she tells you to set your oven to the highest setting (and leave it there!); it works! I did follow the process correctly. I’ll be making some more once this loaf is done. If it works for you, I’d be interested in knowing.

    BTW, what’s a ‘Hermy the Thermy’? I gather it grinds grains and does other things. I must have missed your post on him. I was wondering if he is available here in Canada.

    I have been friends with a woman from Finland for many years; she has an electric grinder. She grinds rye berries, puts the flour in a two and a half gallon bucket, adds water and sourdough starter (she keeps that in the freezer in between baking days, thawing it out the day before and feeding it before she re-freezes it; the frig would work, too, I think). Then she mixes it for quite some time with her hand (she has amazingly strong arms, as you can imagine!). I rarely get to see her, but when I do, I always hope it will be on a baking day. We always have the warm bread with butter and thin white cheese, in summer with salad; in winter with soup. They are vegetarians and her traditional foods are so good!

    My Mum baked all the bread for a family of 2 adults and 9 kids (and all the other baked goods, too, three or four days a week the oven was going and in the early years it was an old wood stove. I think she got her first electric stove shortly before I left home at 19). We used 2 or 3 loaves of bread a day, what with toast for breakfast, sandwiches for Dad and for our school lunches, then bread and butter along with supper. But my best memory is of coming home from school to a house smelling of warm bread; she always made the buns last and we would poke a hole in them with our finger, put in a knob of butter (marg, actually) and a glob of homemade jam and EAT!! Usually we had two or three as our after-school snack. I will remember that for the rest of my days . . .

    Thanks for sparking the memories and I did love your ‘rant’. Wish there were more people with awareness and the will to take action in their daily lives. We need makers like you more than politicians. Bless you. ~ Linne

    • I’m so glad I have sparked some lovely happy memories for you. We go through nearly a loaf a day here, more if we do toast for breakfast so I know what you mean. I anticipate needing more as they get older (school and larger appetites).
      I wasn’t sure that Thermy’s or Thermomixes were available in Canada as I know they aren’t yet in the USA but I am pleased to be able to provide you with this link – http://www.thermomixcanada.ca/thermomix-2.html . They are a wonder machine! Think food processor with so so much more. I highly recommend organising a demonstration which will cost you a few ingredients and see what they can do! πŸ˜€
      Your friend sounds amazing with her hand mixing. I chicken out on that bit with Hermy doing the work but even so, her bread wth soup or cheese etc sounds lovely.
      Thanks for the link suggestions too. I’m looking it up now. πŸ™‚

  4. Michelle says:

    Hi,
    Ive been trying to find the recipe for your sourdough bread in archives but cant seem to find it? This bread sounds perfect for my son with soy and gluten issues, could you please post the link for me? Thanks!

    • Just check it carefully with your son with gluten issues as it does still contain gluten and I believe coeliacs are recommended against it. I haven’t actually linked the recipe as it’s from an online book I purchased through a sale offered in the blogosphere last year but I’ve chased down the link for the single book for you as the bundle deal is closed. It’s the no-knead recipe. πŸ™‚ http://gnowfglins.com/ecourse/sourdough-ebook
      The book is absolutely brilliant and I use several of the recipes from it with frequency now – skillet pancakes, biscuits, cake, and derivatives from the no knead bread recipe like the rustic muffins which we enjoyed this morning for breakfast. I hope this helps.

      • Michelle says:

        Thankyou so much, the gluten issue is an offspring from a soy allergy so now we have the soy under control hoping it should all balance out, Thanks for the link, I love your blog btw, on 30 acres here currently coming up with my ‘grand plan’ so your posts are inspiring!

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