In our health conscious society, bread and its abundance of carbohydrates has almost become a bad word. Many dietitians advise shoppers to avoid the “carb canyon” in the middle of the grocery store; popular diet books warn consumers to skip the bread. Yet like most everything else that we crave, everything in moderation is the best rule for long-term health and skipping bread all together often leads to craving and binges. Over many cultures bread had been an important part of or diets. Think of the French baker dressed primly in a white apron. Let’s take a look at how the average person can enjoy bread in moderation and focus on freshness and whole-grain breads.
Whether you are a professional baker in your uniform polo just a bread lover that wants to have some fun in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, the secret to good break making is starting with the right ingredients. Some bread staples for your pantry include: flour, special meals (coarsely ground grains) and additives, such as oatmeal rye meal or bran, yeast and eggs.
In large restaurants and hotel kitchens, it is not uncommon to find staff in hotel uniforms using professional grade mixers. For the home baker, a simple electric mixer, like a Kitchen Aid, can greatly assist with the more laborious tasks of mixing and kneading. Some professional bakers advise first-times bakers to knead by hand at the end of the process for a more homemade taste and texture. Bread pans are another staple of the baker’s kitchen. A good loaf pan is a good way to get you started making great breads, after which you can move onto more ornate, specialty pans as you fine-tune your baking skills.
Ready to get started? Why not start with a classic loaf of French bread. With its signature crumb and crispy crust, this bread is best on its own, perhaps, with fresh jam or a slice of cheese. It is also compliments almost any dinner. This bread should be eaten immediately, as it generally has a shelf life of about half a day before it begins to harden. There is no shortage of French bread recipes on the market, so do some research and let the baking begin.
The overall message remains make your own fresh bread (when time permits), or buy your bread locally. These tips, combined with the golden rule of moderation, will allow you to experience the full range of sensory pleasures that a good loaf of bread has been offering families across the globe for centuries.