Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Love Like Bread

I realize this has nothing to do with closets, style or therapy, but I am so dang excited that I had to share! As I mentioned before, we are a one car family and some days I stay in all day to help the budget in gas consumption. That, coupled with looking for new ways to save money and thus buy another car, I decided to do some culinary experimentation. On both counts, they were successful and simple with the goal of cost savings achieved. I found these You Tube videos to be extremely helpful and I hope that Mr. Breadtopia doesn't mind me sharing them with you.

In addition to the lower price and the satisfaction of baking something successfully, I can see how these recipes are going to be a successful way to add more vegetables and be creative with leftovers. We eat pizza once a week and usually buy a frozen pizza from Central Market for $5.00. I thought that was very economical and now I see that it was actually expensive because making a pizza yourself is quite thrifty! Below is the video with excellent step by step instructions on how to do it. Don't be afraid of doing it wrong because I think that the methods are quite forgiving while you are learning.

This is how my first pizza turned out.  I hadn't quite got the knack of making it round yet.

Although I am enamored with the pizza, bread was my first foray into these endeavors.  Last year there was a no-knead bread craze that the video mentions and even before that I've always wanted to try making bread.  There are many sites that explain how to do it and also variations on the recipe from the NY Times. Even I added more salt because of all the helpful reviews.  I also learned that you can use dry active yeast in the same amount instead of instant and it comes out fine.  Substituting flours to vary taste is another way to experiment later. 

This bread came out perfectly for me in my handy Le Creuset dutch oven.  It is earthy and crusty, looking much like the artisan's loaves you will see at a bakery.  I have made one a week and we have no problem eating it all.  I even used the last hard bit as bread crumbs for salmon patties a few days ago.  I'm imagining that french toast is not out of the question either for bread past it's prime.  After all, that is how french toast got started.

Here is my beautiful bounty of bread on my first try.

And here is the second.  You can see the results are consistent.

Gustavo has been more than impressed with this burst of culinary creativity on my part. When I made the bread the first time, I proudly led him into the kitchen and presented him with the crackly, steaming loaf. We both put our ears to the bread so we could listen for the highly anticipated "singing" as the bread settles. After that though I scooted him out to wait for 2 hours until the bread was ready for cutting.  We had pizza again last night and I was more than happy to show him how I make it and let him laboriously knead the dough for 5 minutes.  It is a wonderful way to relieve frustrations and what a joy to create something so delicious!   

Since being on this mission, I've been thinking about adding these labor making activities into my life.  Not working, I have a lot of time, but not a lot of money.  I could easily return to the work force and have plenty of money, but no time.  Am I digressing in function by choosing the simple act of making my own bread?  Of course, a resounding no is my answer, but it does make me ponder what other simple old-fashioned ideas I had never considered, but am finding to be quite satisfying.  

Besides money, I have found making bread to be so comforting and in a way makes me feel like I'm baking love.  There is a reason that we equate bread with life, no?  And being recently married, I have to tell you a funny story.  Growing up, my parents had a trivet on the stove that I would read in passing often.  I knew it by heart but didn't understand it until much, much later.  I'm sure you will understand the meaning faster than I did!  I don't remember how I came to have this trivet, but I hold it dear for what it represents-bread, family and love.  



Jen Kershner said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. That yeast roll dough rises pretty quickly, within a couple of hours. I always tend to leave mine for longer though because I forget it. I cover the bowl with saran wrap and a towel and place in the microwave to keep it safe. I hope you enjoy. I found this post of yours very interesting. Your bread looks de-lish and I must try bread in my dutch oven. I'm looking forward to poking around here some more! Jen

The Closet Therapist said...

Jen-I've started the bread and am waiting for it to rise. I can't wait to see how they will taste. Maybe I'll take some to the neighbors-won't they be impressed! Let me know if you try the bread I posted. They are so easy and you can't go wrong. :)

Senegal Daily said...

Your bread looks great!

I found a modified version of that recipe called 60-minute bread that I love. It's on my recipes blog if you want to try it. There's also a great pizza dough recipe. I tried about 20 of them before finding this one.

La Belette Rouge said...

I try to be a low carb girl. I don't buy or even look at bread very often. But,that makes this post and your pictures even more delicous.

The Closet Therapist said...

Kari-Thank you for your comment! I would love to try your version of bread and pizza. I will take advantage of your trial and error and try them next week. I love your profile photo!

LBR-Hi there! A low carb girl? No!!! I am a carboholic and would you believe since I started eating my breads that I've lost weight. Store bought bread also wasn't usually in our diet, but I am loving it now that I make it. Thanks for coming over to have a peek at my pics! I have that very same Eiffel Tower lamp that you have in your picture-looks like the same shade too. From Target?

La Belette Rouge said...

Losing weight while eating home made bread. Well now you have gone and tempted me.

And, yep, the Eiffel Tower lamp came from Target--the shade did too. So funny that we have the same one.:-)

The Closet Therapist said...

LBR- We're Kindred spirits! (except for the bread thing.)


Hi Hi from Paris

my english is not fluent enough

but for the dog, the delicious bread and the cake i say : miam miam !

i wish you a very nice evening

street style romancer in Paris

The Closet Therapist said...

How nice of you visit! Thank you for the compliments. Tonight I made an onion quiche and have bread rising for morning baking. I love your "miam miam". That must be mmm mmm in French! I love your site too-very stylish French girls always inspire me!

Our Trip to Rosemary Beach, Florida

I'm linking up again with  Erika ,  Andrea  and  Narci  for the Friday Favorites!  I love reading everyone's favorites too! ...