exponentiation ezine
exponentiation en ezine

exponentiation ezine: issue [7.0:self-sufficiency]

[self-sufficiency | food]


Not so long ago, shop bought bread was made using traditional methods, albeit by machines. It tasted much better than the bread currently available, and was also more nutritious. Standards since have slipped shockingly - an indication of the general commercial attitude that the consumer should be exploited without any shame, and that money means more than any other consideration. Where money is concerned, principles fly out of the window.

Bread is considered a staple food, and is very convenient for making nutritious snacks at a low cost. Although brown - eg whole meal - bread is preferable to white (white flour is so lacking nutritionally that insects even die in it!) any non-organic whole meal flour has a large amount of pesticide residue. The chemicals stick to the husk of the wheat. Always choose organic, given the chance.

Bread contains fiber, carbohydrates, protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals. Some bread recipes are more time consuming than others, involving a lot of kneading of dough (can be therapeutic pounding out your frustrations) and this takes some skill. Bread-making machines costing around $200 are not a bad idea if you are short of time. The cheaper models are less reliable, cook too small loaves, and are more like the sort of thing people use one or twice and then never again. I had a Panasonic bread maker that served me for a few years or so. But making your own bread by hand is very satisfying. Few smells are more appetizing than that of freshly baked bread. People trying to sell their houses are even recommended to fill their home with the scent of baked bread or freshly brewed coffee, to entice potential buyers. Supermarkets also know that the scent encourages customers.

The modern industrial method of bread-making now produces bland tasting, overly-yeasted bread with added hard fat. Look at the ingredients. There are a number of additives to make the loaf hold much more water, stay together and preserve it from mould. Extra salt is added to give flavor, increasing heart risks. There is two to three times as much yeast in industrially produced loaves as home-baked. This could explain increasing: yeast intolerance, thrush/candida infections and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). An itchy rash is a symptom of yeast allergy.

The added fat, which makes the bread texture appear more pleasing to eat, contains a high amount of omega 6 fatty acids. This is associated with a number of serious health concerns.

Quick and Easy Whole-meal Loaf

There are a lot of instructions - but this really is a simple recipe!


1lb5oz (600g) Organic whole wheat flour
2 level teaspoons salt
2 level teaspoons easy-blend dried yeast
1 level teaspoon soft light brown sugar
A good 14fl oz (400ml) very warm water (but not burning hot)

Two 1lb loaf tins or one 2lb tin.

Method Grease the tins thoroughly using some butter or margarine. Pre-heat the oven on lowest setting and warm the flour for about ten minutes.

Put flour and all other dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix well together. Make a gap in the center and pour the warm water in gradually, while mixing with a wooden spoon. You may not need all the water - go carefully - but dough is better off on the wet side, unlike pastry. You will have to finish the mixing by hand. There should be one smooth lump of dough with the bowl clean.

Plonk the dough down onto a flat surface like a clean wooden chopping board, dividing it into two for two loaves. Now stretch it into a rectangular shape. Next fold one edge into the center and the other edge right over that. Fit this into a tin, pressing firmly around the edges so that it looks rounded. Sprinkle a good dusting of flour and cover with a clean, damp, cloth such as a tea-towel. Leave to rise at room temperature for about an hour (30 to 40 minutes if warmer).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees centigrade or gas mark 6) before putting the loaves in to bake. It will be ready to bake provided the dough has successfully risen to the top of the tin.

The cooking time is 30 minutes approx for two loaves, and ten minutes more if baking a single loaf. When turned out of the tin, the underside of the bread should sound hollow when tapped with your knuckles. If not, put it back in the tin and bake a little longer. To finish off - put the bread back into the oven without a tin, to improve crustiness. Cool it on a wire rack before storing. - Victoria McMagnus

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