Home bread Bread


by Clare Mansell

We are halfway though our trip to the UK today and there has been a lot of bread making happening at my parents house this week. My family are (nearly) all enthusiastic bakers.

Several years ago my sister and her husband went on a bread making course that transformed all of our approach to bread. The Bertinet method differs significantly from the bread making style that most of us have learned. Instead of kneading bread down, the bread is folded and lifted to catch air in it. The recipes are very simple and most bread is made from just flour, yeast, water and salt – no fat.

And of course it’s all made by hand and without a breadmaker.

My mother now makes bread several times a week (the pizza and olive bread sticks are hers) and Jim has recently joined the family movement with some really great wholemeal and seed loaves.

Having become converts of home baking, we spend a fair bit of time talking bread in our family (that and dogs!) and a favourite topic is the ingredients of a shop bought sliced loaf, there’s a lot of extra preservative stuff in commercial bread, and most factory produced baked products are never given the time for the yeast to mature properly. It’s no wonder really that some people have adverse reactions to it…

But anyway, I did say that we are “nearly” all skilled bakers…. My father and I are the exception! My dad, who can turn his hand at anything practical, enters the kitchen only to repair things, and I am just lucky to have a husband whose culinary skills and enthusiasm eclipses my own – I am however a very appreciative consumer!

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Ninny April 2, 2010 - 4:22 pm

You had me at the first picture! As soon as I saw it, I said “Ummmm.” out loud. In reference to preservatives in commercially made bread, I once had my first graders do an experiment to learn about mold. They each brought a slice of bread from home and placed their slice in a baggie. Observations were made each day on the condition of the slice. The really cheap (inexpensive white bread) never molded! After about a month, we finally threw it out. Isn’t that scary? I think a lot of today’s kids who suffer from ADHD
would fare better on a diet of more natural foods. Oh, well, off the soapbox and on to drooling over your homebaked goodness!

Liz (aka Ninny) from Oklahoma

~Kim~ April 2, 2010 - 8:35 pm

Hello from Lancaster Pennsylvania!! I’m visiting a good friend here, and I think we are on the same wave-length–Today I’ve been looking at the breads and pies made by the Amish people here–They are like the ones you mentioned in your post, simple and without all the additives, and are just as delicious!
I’m again like you, I am much better at “taking care and helping” with the finished project!! 🙂 HAPPY EASTER!!!

KT and Lady April 3, 2010 - 2:29 am

All we can say is – yum a dum dum. Bread making is an ancient art. For that matter, so is bread eating (my particular skill). May I have more please?

Little Island In The Med April 3, 2010 - 7:09 am

Thanks for the comments, it’s nice to know we aren’t the only people to get excited about the most simplest of foods!

Ninny, your experiment really says it all. White bread is dreadful stuff!

Kim, I’ve never had Amish bread, but I have had Hutterite bread in Canada and it was lovely. We did a tour of the colony and got to see them making it too.


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