My first real sandwich bread, in whole wheat

As much as it shames me, I must admit, I have yet to properly study The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, which I had bought months ago. I have browsed through it with the full intention of reading it cover-to-cover, a feeling of electric excitement coursing through me each and every turning of page. But it wasn’t until recently that I realised just how much I absolutely love making yeast breads. I have yet to make one that requires an overnight sponge, but the ones I’ve made so far are making my previous hesitations and fears toward yeast a thing of the nearly-forgotten past.

I have mentioned before that my family has embraced the idea of whole grains in our food. I remember the first time I bought a sack of whole wheat flour from Bob’s Red Mill. I almost did not hear the end of it from my Mother. She told me that my brothers probably wouldn’t like whole wheat in their muffins, and that if it tasted “wrong”, I would have to finish all the muffins myself because we do not toss food out. The first time I used it, I had left my quick breads on the racks to cool, and upon returning, I saw that about two thick slices worth of bread had been hacked off from one of the loaves. And as you might have guessed, the culprit sitting on the breakfast table was my Mum.

“This is one of the best chocolate breads you’ve made,” she says to me.

And then I say to her, “I made it with zucchinis and whole wheat flour.”

Needless to say, she was surprised at the mention of two ingredients that to most people are not things commonly found in scrumptious baked goods. And there began my freedom to buy as much whole wheat flour as I pleased needed. Little by little, I learned about the different types of whole wheat flours, because I was fairly excited to incorporate them into my baking and cooking in an attempt to make healthier fare.

It did not take too long for me to realize that I have a greater affinity for making yeast breads compared to other baked goods– from the dough, the kneading, the lovely smells around the house every time a freshly-baked bread is laid out to cool. But the best part is how I always feel so utterly connected to home when I bake these kinds of breads to share with the family. That’s probably one of the reasons why I love it so much.
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