Give Us Our Bread Daily…

I am a bread snob. Why? Because I grew up in a country where you can survive on bread alone for months at a time, and not get sick of it.  Because our local bread store had freshly baked, still steamy and hot bread delivered twice a day.  Because our bread varieties were many, flavors were plenty, and freshness was the first and foremost priority.

47% Rye Bread from Wild Yeast Blog

We were buying bread every day. If we were lucky enough to score ‘just-off-the-bread-truck-fresh’ loaves, we’d always purchase extra, because walking one-and-a-half blocks from the bakery to the house were enough to devour that extra, or at least pinch the delectable crust off of it. We had white, sourdough white, rye, gray, black, and everything in between. The loaves had names.  Our bread stores were self-serve, and special long neck forks were provided for customers to probe the loaves for freshness and crustiness.  No one ever thought of packing the bread in plastic “to lock in the freshness” for long term storage.  Even now, after fifteen years of living in the States, the idea of packaged long-shelf-life bread makes me chuckle: those bleak looking pre-cut loaves with a texture of a cotton ball and no taste, no matter how much corn syrup you put in them, are a disgrace to the very essence of what bread really is — a living bold spirited yet peaceful creature, a product of miraculous transformation of powdered grain consumed by yeast.

A grainy picture of my very first sourdough bread

Since I’ve started my all-things-fermentation streak, making wild yeast sourdough has been on my mind.  I did some sourdough experimentation last year, when a friend shared a “secret” of rye bread starter with me.  I learned early on that bread requires patience and persistence, just like gardening — you do your job, and the nature will take care of the rest.  Things should not be rushed if you want truly good results.  And of course, if you want the nature to do its job, you need ingredients that are as close as possible to nature — unbleached unenriched organic flour, chlorine free water, unrefined salt, whole grains and freshly ground seeds and spices.  And of course, wild yeast, naturally occurring … well, everywhere really.

Some wild fermented Challah breads I baked last year

The purpose of this article is not posting a recipe, but rather make the home made bread noticed.  It’s very well worth the effort and is far superior to whatever you find in stores.  If you are lucky to have a good traditional bakery nearby, this may be not for you, but if you are like me, a fan of making things from scratch and learning about traditional methods of food preparation, making a loaf at home should be on your list of things to try.

A close up of a roasted pumpkin sourdough with cranberries and pumpkin seed

A couple of websites I found which may be helpful:

Wild Yeast Blog — http://www.wildyeastblog.com

The Fresh Loaf — http://www.thefreshloaf.com

Food Wishes – http://foodwishes.blogspot.com – make a search for bread, this guy has lots of instructional videos.

A very nice write up on wild yeast bread in Russian — http://forum.say7.info/topic3949.html — this lady definitely knows her stuff.

And of course, more bread photos of mine, right here: More Bread Photos, Please!

Rye sourdough with home made butter

Sourdough English Muffins with home made butter and raw honey

Beautiful rye sourdough is cooling down

Tags: , , ,

Categories: Baking, Batch Cooking, Better Than Storebought, Bread, Fermentation, Nostalgia, Traditional Nutrition, Well Worth The Effort

Author:Eat Already!

I am a cooking and writing addict born and raised in a cosmopolitan city on the Black Sea coast. Currently my interests include, but not limited to gardening, traditional nutrition, raw milk, fermentation techniques, books by Sitchin, Weston A. Price ideas, artisan bread making, anything handcraft, and many other, quite random, things. I believe in making things from scratch, in unpretentious dishes, visually un-altered food esthetics. I believe in reporting on daily cooking endeavors, not just on special occasion dishes. I believe everyone should learn how to cook at home because it's a great way to connect with your loved ones without saying too much, with your heritage without becoming an archivist, and with the world without learning languages...

78 Comments on “Give Us Our Bread Daily…”

  1. August 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    Bread, buns, bagels, they are all so easy to make and you can find your favorite recipe and tweak it a little differently each time. We found that store bought bread is blah now. You can have so much fun experimenting… and it smells so wonderful.

  2. August 16, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    I stumbled on this thinking it was a post about The Lord’s Prayer; what a happy accident! Anyone making food from scratch with ingredients that can be pronounced is to be commended. Like manna from heaven, may God give us (good) bread each day!

    • August 16, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

      Thanks for your kind words!

  3. August 16, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    I have had my own starter for over a year now and I use it for everything from Pizza Dough to pretzels. Once you have a good starter everything else is easy, it just takes time. Everything mixes quick and easy, you just need patience to let it rise.

    I love my homemade bread and the reactions it gets

  4. August 16, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    Looks oh so good…now I am inspired to get my starter….started!

  5. August 17, 2012 at 12:17 am #

    Loved the photos :)

  6. August 17, 2012 at 12:37 am #

    Here here! I have hated ‘sliced bread’ (i.e. the pre-packed, uniform in size, bland variety) for so long but it is accepted as the status-quo. My sourdough starter is abouy 6 months old now and I simply can’t believe the taste difference between this verus some of the so-called ‘sourdough’ on the market. A real revelation!

  7. August 17, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    Kindred spirits. I love “real” bread. I just bought today a fresh loaf of SF sourdough. Not the cheap imitations. My guilty pleasure real Irish butter and sourdough. I do recommend if you are in Berkeley CA, Acme Bread Co. is ridiculously lovely. http://www.acmebread.com/ :)

  8. August 17, 2012 at 1:11 am #

    I don’t eat much bread these days so when I do I want something with a substantial crust that crackles when I rip into it and has lots of texture and yeast formation on the inside. I don’t even bother looking in the isle of the supermarket.

    Funny story: My partner and I were in a Panera Bakery for lunch one day. A mid-western man who was sitting a table over ordered Roast Beef on a french Baguette. When the sandwhich arrived, he studied it for a moment then complained, “How do you eat it, it’s all crust!?”.

    I love your blog!

  9. August 17, 2012 at 1:26 am #

    “those bleak looking pre-cut loaves with a texture of a cotton ball and no taste, no matter how much corn syrup you put in them, are a disgrace to the very essence of what bread really is” – I chuckled. Brilliant! And what beautiful bread!

  10. August 17, 2012 at 1:33 am #

    Oooh, I’m a such a sucker for breads. Carbs! Your creations look good enough to pluck off the screen and devour :)

  11. GreedyFrog
    August 17, 2012 at 2:03 am #

    Hi!
    As a fellow bread-maker I am delighted that you have written such a lovely post about bread!
    I, too, have moved from a country where fresh, crusty bread is the norm, to one where the sponge-like, long-life “bread” reigns.
    I started baking my own about 2 years ago, and have been experimenting with sourdough for a few months now.
    I would never go back to shop-bought, especially as making your own is so much fun!
    :-)

  12. August 17, 2012 at 2:15 am #

    Lovely pictures, and yo! for sourdough breads… About ten years ago I read the ingredients on a packaged loaf of bread, quickly put it back on the shelf and have not looked back (though I did have hiccup when my six-year old starter died). It takes time to get your bread making as good as yours evidently is, but boy is it worth it!

  13. August 17, 2012 at 2:21 am #

    PLEASE…check out THE WHOLE LOAF and QUICK BREAD MASTER (Not me, if you may guess!)…at ourpoetrycorner.wordpress.com!

  14. August 17, 2012 at 2:41 am #

    Beautiful post – thanks for causing a craving of huge proportions for a really nice piece of bread! Do share some of the recipes though – i can make the normal oven loaf but would like to try sophisticated ones for a change :) I’ll be checking in to see what other recipes you have here on offer :)

  15. August 17, 2012 at 3:07 am #

    I started baking bread 25 years ago, having thrown up my hands at the revolting mass-market kitchen sponges the local supermarkets were trying to pass off as “bread”. I was determined not to feed that slop to my children so started on a mission to bake bread with flavour, texture and a good crust.
    Now I pass the bread aisle in the supermarket with a careless glance and pride in my heart, knowing I’ve got the “good stuff” at home.
    Thanks for sharing your photos and advice, and congratulations on being FP!
    Wendy

  16. August 17, 2012 at 3:57 am #

    delectable! I’d love to try those bread! :D

  17. Halo Halo Designs
    August 17, 2012 at 3:59 am #

    Great post! I love the way baking fresh bread fills the house with its delicious aroma. Best part aside from eating it all up afterwards ;) I’ve been wanting to make my own starter for a while now but have been putting it off until now. Thanks for the resources, will definitely check them out and give the starter a go.

  18. August 17, 2012 at 4:55 am #

    I have had a starter for years and most always make our bread. Next step–wood-fired bread oven. :-)

  19. August 17, 2012 at 5:23 am #

    Great post. I agree, there is nothing nicer than fresh, warm, homemade bread. I recently started making it myself rather than buying it from a supermarket. I will keep doing so too as I can definately tell the difference.

  20. August 17, 2012 at 5:54 am #

    wow ….. certainly delicious and hopefully, I’ll be able to try baking one, one day.

  21. August 17, 2012 at 6:11 am #

    mummmmmmmmm…. delicious! want to know recipies.

  22. gingerbreadcafe
    August 17, 2012 at 6:31 am #

    I haven’t quite got to the making my own bread but we like making our own Pizza bases at home, I do a plain flour and spelt flour mix. Sometimes you can get pre-wieghed packets for bread making here with the yeast in that you just add water/ olive oil to and the raising time is less.

  23. August 17, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    I lived in Romania for a Year, after growing up on what the call bread here in the states I was released into this whole new world, with fresh bread bought daily. It spoiled me and now that I am back in the states I miss the daily indulgence of fresh bread. You have inspired me to perhaps learn to make bread, maybe not everyday because time for it isn’t available but an occasional foray it seems would be more than worth it :-)

  24. August 17, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    Drooling here over your pictures, mmmmmmm.

  25. August 17, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    oh man. i have all the same feelings about bread. i used to work at a bakery when i was in high school, and i have never looked at bread the same way. bread snobs unite! x

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