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I don't know if this has occurred elsewhere, but for the past two days, the bread shelves and crumpet and muffin shelves at Coles and Woolies have been as bare as the toilet roll shelves at the start of the pandemic.

 

I enquired at the service desk and was told there had been a tier 1 hotspot declared at the bakery, and there were no deliveries. The only bread available was baked inhouse within the store.

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Woolworths Supermarket warehouse in Sydney was closed down by a positive COVID test. My butcher had to shut down for a while because of a close contact (delivery driver). If you see the type of person who is working as a delivery driver in the food distribution business, you'll for an opinion as to how the virus is getting spread all over the place.

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Haven't brought bread for at least 3 decades, before then a couple of times when trying supposed good natural bread, but they still used commercial flours which are overflowing with chemicals. Make my bread from flour grind myself, most of the year, from the small area I grow grains and get about 100kg a year out of that. Rest of the time buy organic wheat and grind it. Use either sourdough, make my own yeast or get some fresh organic yeast when in Hobart.

 

My neighbour who plays drums in our band is an amazing chef and she make many types of bread which are so delicious, friends who drop in always ask if I have some of that lovely rustic bread. I love her rolls, which have wheat and rye flour, banana, sunflower seeds and a dash of peanut butter. Toasted with avocado, tomato and tahini, it's a meal in itself.

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You buy it. Some (good )wineries develop their own.. Not all  bread making uses it but it should. White bread is blotting paper. stone ground flour inevitably has abrasive in it which will wear out your teeth. You will see that wherever it s used universally. The bran is the best part of the grain as the skin is the best part of a potato.. Nev

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7 hours ago, Yenn said:

I have been making all the bread we eat for the last ten plus years and have never made a white loaf. Always a major proportion of wholemeal. How do you make yeast?

As Nev says you can buy dried yeast, but that makes bread similar to bought stuff.  (You can jazz it up with grains & wholemeal flour etc).

 

Sourdough uses a starter that initially takes about 2 weeks to make.  Basically equal amounts flour and water, leave it in a warm place and every day throw out half of it, and add more flour and water.  The natural yeasts in the surrounding environment will find it and start feeding on the mix.  After 2 weeks you can use it in bread. 

It takes about 2 days from start to baking - one evening we'll take the starter out of the fridge (you leave it there between sessions as it'll hibernate and you don't have to feed it every day), let it come up to temp and then feed it.  (150g starter, 300g flour, 300g water).  Mix and leave overnight.  Also mix up the bases for the loaves - 330g water and 460g flour.  Leave those in metal bowls overnight too with a plate over them.  The next morning, each base gets 150g starter + 1 tsp salt added, mixed with a dough hook for 2 minutes, put out into a glass dish and folded once every half hour for 6 times.  Don't forget to feed up some of the remaining starter and put back in the fridge for the next lot.

 

Then it just sits there inflating for the rest of the day.  In the evening we fold each one into a log, coat with flour, wrap in a tea towel and into the fridge in bowls.

The following day (so 2 days after the process starts) the oven is up to 220 with the cast iron oval pots inside, when they're heated the dough comes out of the fridge, few slashes across the top with a razor blade, then into the hot pots and into the oven for an hour.  (35 min with the top on, 25 with it off).

This has never failed and given us delicious sourdough for the last 18 months.  We cook 4 loaves at a time, bung 2 or 3 in the freezer (depending on how much of the previous lot is left), if you take it out and let it thaw overnight it's just as good as a fresh one.

 

So it's a bit of work - but it's worth it.  The only ingredients are flour, water and a bit of salt.  I don't go quite as far as Dax and grind flour - I buy premium baker's flour in 12.5kg bags.  Each loaf uses about 500g so you get 25 loaves per bag, and given it's about $20  that means it's less than a dollar a loaf for the best bread you'll taste!  (If you don't count the labour.)

 

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Making your own bread is a recipe to get fat!  Seen so many people buy bread-makers, and then promptly put on 10 or 15 kgs as they "discover the joys" of various new bread recipes!

 

We have a German bakery a couple of kms away, they make a nice sourdough from spent grain, it's my favourite loaf, and it's the only bread I eat today. I go through about a loaf a week. They call it "Stone Oven" loaf, and it's a big circular loaf.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CTYtvYysee8/

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How some of our parents & grandparents who lived on bread & dripping ever lived beyond 30 is amazing:-)

All things in moderation they say:-) Had a bread maker when they first came out, yummy but the novelty soon wore off.

 

Wonder what's next to be bought up quickly by the low IQ afraid? Mouse traps due being in plague proportion from all that bread?:-)

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It isn't bread that makes you fat.If it was I wouldn't be 70kg and 1.77m tall.

What I make is started in the morning and baked in the evening. 16 rolls and two loaves from 1.5kg of flour, plus starter, plus 1 litre of water, it works well, except in the real cold months, when it goes in the fridge overnight. Only cook it for 30 mins for the rolls and 40 for the loaves at 220 deg C.

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1 hour ago, Yenn said:

It isn't bread that makes you fat.If it was I wouldn't be 70kg and 1.77m tall...

I bet you do enough work to burn off those calories, Yenn!
 

Wish you blokes would stop all these stories about fresh home-made bread; I’m batching at the moment and trying to eat healthy!

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We went back to commercial bread for a while (organic, no added flavourings). But a) it is relatively expensive at £2.50 a loaf (non organic is £1 - £1.20 for generic brands, and about £1.80 - £1.95 for branded stuff - normal white or wholemeal).

 

I put the stuff in the breadmaker overnight and it beeped the next morning at 7am. Let it rest, and cut it, but the inners just fell apart.. It rise OK, so I am sure the yeast was fine. Kids loved it, though and chomped through it. So every night, it is a loaf..

 

We use goats or oat milk instead of water - normally works fine.

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I've been considering making a loaf of simple white bread just for fun. A lot of Ye Olde baked goods, and some modern ones too, are made using yeast as the rising agent. In fact, it wasn't until the introduction of baking soda in 1846. The first product resembling baking powder was created by English chemist Alfred Bird in the late 1840s. Bird combined cream of tartar (an acidic powder composed of potassium bitartrate) and baking soda. In 1856, the need for a viable alternative to expensive cream of tartar drove a young chemist Eben Norton Horsford to create and patent the first modern baking powder. From then on, flour-based baked goods could be made without yeast. Now we can quickly make cakes and such without having to monitor the micro-environment of the yeast so it will do its job properly, nor do we have to wait for the dough to prove before it can be used.

 

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/great-uprising-how-powder-revolutionized-baking-180963772/

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A thread on bread....

So appropriate. It goes with the threads on circuses.....(the antics of politics)

 

 

Most days we are too lazy to make our bread. Besides, when I do make a loaf (in the automated electric breadmaker), it simply doesn't last like shop bought bread does...... I start salivating when the house smells of baking bread and as soon as it's cooled enough to slice, well...... it's all gone that afternoon.... mmmmmmm.

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Bread baked in factory bakeries has to contain things to keep it fresh for more than a day. For some reason - probably for advertising - basic white bread will have some vitamins and minerals added. Any taste that the vitamins might have will be noticeable in the bread. In Australia's warmer that European climate, the bread must contain something to retain its moisture. Nowadays this seems to be vegetable oil. In a cookbook I have from the 50's/60's, the fat source was either butter or lard.  The water you use can also affect taste. We all know that fresh rainwater tastes so much better than urban reticulated water with its added chlorine. I guess that if you boiled the water for your bread dough, then you might drive off the chlorine and improve the purity of the water. 

 

Bread was never supposed to be a foodstuff that was kept for several days. That's why bakers bake daily. 

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