Getting to the roots: Making Bread

European style bread is one of the most commonly consumed food item however  among the most rare tobe made at home. There is a contrast though: Indian Bread (we prefer to call it Roti) is almost always made at home. So why the discrepancy? We try to find out. Our experiment – making  European  style bread at home and analyzing what might be the reason, people are averse to the process.

From an algorithmic point of view making bread is very simple.

  • Get some wheat flour, bakers yeast, salt, water and oil (we also used honey and milk)
  • Mix bakers yeast in some warm water. Add oil to it.
  • Use the mixture for kneading the wheat flour.  Ad some salt while kneading.
  • Leave the dough to rise for about 30 mins.
  • ‘Punch’ the dough, roll it in desired shape. Leave it to rise for another 30 mins.
  • Bake it. Eat it.

That is what we did. And guess what, the result was pretty awesome. Freshly baked bread in about two hours. These pictures might do some justice,

However, that one part of the story. Based on the above data it might seem easy to make bread at home, however there are some subtleties

  • We made two breads, one using bread flour brought from market which was enriched wheat flour, and other using a mixture of regular whole wheat and the enriched wheat (50-50). It turns out that the 50-50 mixture bread was a flop. Literally
  • It turn out, yeast is a tricky being to handle. A little cold or hot water and it does not turn on. Handle with care.
  • The time required to make a loaf of bread, is little unrewarding.
  • The cost of bread we made is more than what we can buy from the stores.
  • The bread had a little unpleasant smell of yeast.

In short, although quite a exhilarating experience to make and eat your own bread, the effort and costs involved are a deterrent.  Add to that the experience required to make a quality product, it seems reasonable to buy it from the stores. The world is somewhat sane.

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