Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fresh Out of the Oven

One of the best smells to fill a home is bread fresh out of the oven.  I have wanted to make my own bread for a long time.  A couple of years ago my mom bought me a bread machine.  She thought that this would be a great way to get started.  It was ok.  I made many different types of bread but it wasn't right.  Something was missing. 

Last year, my friend Ronna sent me a sourdough starter all the way from Nevada.  She has had this starter for over ten years.  It survived the trip cross country and I was thrilled when I could make bread with my own hands.  I know long ago this was a necessity to me today it is a comfort.  I feel great when I am baking my own bread.  

I made many loaves of bread through the winter and spring this year but then the weather turned warm.  The garden was calling and my starter sat neglected in the back of the refrigerator.  Many times I meant to store it in the freezer to preserve it but would inevitable forget.  Once fall arrived the family was all talking about my bread.  When would I make it again?  I decided one day to bring out my starter and try to revive it.  It did not work.  My first two attempts were total failures.  I felt terrible.  I thought the starter was ruined for sure.  The bread was not rising and it tasted extremely sour.  

Figuring I didn't have anything to lose, I poured most of my batch of starter down the drain.  Saving only about a half a cup.  I poured it into a bowl, washed and sterilized its container and started again.  It worked.  The starter is completely happy and the bread I made last week was fantastic.
Here is the sponge that I started the night before.  It is happy and bubbly.  Just the way it is supposed to be.  When I removed the towel and saw how happy it was I was thrilled.

Here are the loaves after I kneaded the dough and left it to rise.

This is the fresh out of the oven bread.  So wonderful.  
I can't think of anything more comforting than baking your own bread.  To me it is like therapy.  This is a homemaking art that has been lost for a long time.  It is now becoming more popular.  It is a nourishing for body and soul.

I found great tips and recipes here.  This is the artisan sourdough bread.  


Adrienne said...

I love homemade bread. It smells and tastes soooo good. I think I'm going to have to go bake some right now after reading this post!

stitching under oaks said...

I agree, the smell of fresh baked bread is wonderful. Your loaves look delicious. I've not tried to make sourdough before...although I love to eat it!

TOSHeidi said...

Thanks for sharing this, Ruth. The West girls shared their recipes for sourdough starter, but didn't actually post how to make the bread! LOL We've been wanting to try it, but didn't know which recipe to use. Yours looks yummy, so I'm going to check it out. We'll have to try this next week.

Cyndi's Re-Creations said...

Wow this looks Great! And yes there is nothing like homemade bread.

Amanda said...

Oh yum. I can't wait to get our loaf! :)

luci said...

well donw ruth. the loaves look fabulous.
i am loving making my bread - but I am using a breadmaker.... I have made bread from scratch, but lost incentive at the rising part and it was a bit dissappointing, so am loving my breadmaker. especially as it was a gift.
enjoy your bread. x

Bonne said...

I'm right with you!! Ronna's starter was like a life-changing event~isn't that strange, but true? And once you get the hang of it all, it's so EZ. Your bread is a thing of beauty~ :)

gwengoods said...

Looks yummy delicious, at the preschool we make bread every week, and I just have to try it at home too.

aforestfrolic said...

I'm not a huge bread person but that looks really neat it came from far too. We have recently been passing 'friendship' bread back and forth between the girls and their's soooo yummy...cinnamon bread really. Have you ever tried it?

Jamie :)

Melanie said...

I love home baked bread, and it definitley is one of the best smells you can have in your home. xxx

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