Get Real: Tackling the Fear of Bread Grains
**This post is part of the Get Real series. Please remember that this is meant as a learning community. We know that many of you are passionate about what you do and we want you to express that, just please do so in a way that will be an encouragement and aid to others making a transition. We want this to be a “safe space” for participants to learn. For that reason, we reserve the right to delete any comments that are not handled in this manner.
Kelly is still off snuggling her newborn so I told her to be confident in letting me take the reigns this week as we get started with grains/breads. I am not the keeper of the knowledge but I am a newbie to this process like many of you. I am learning, learning, learning and sometimes that is the best place to be to “teach” and encourage.
You may or may not be like me. You might be like me if the mere mention of using yeast in culinary pursuits causes you to break out in a cold sweat. Yeast? Oh no, I can’t do that! I mean, it doesn’t like me. In fact, it hates me. It just plain scares me. Yeast is the one ingredient in my kitchen that gives me nightmares. A baker I am not.
But a few months ago when we decided to take this journey for Get Real I realized I was going to face my fear. But what should I start with? Nothing too complicated and nothing that was going to cause me to take the fetal position in tears if it didn’t work out too well. Kelly suggested pizza dough. I thought, I *might* be able to handle that. So I went for it.
Turns out, it was a SUCCESS! Score! I actually was able to make yeast rise! And the dough? The dough and the pizza were amazing. I was ready to conquer the world of bread baking. Okay, maybe not, but it did give me the confidence I needed to continue trying out increasingly more difficult breads.
And that is what you need to! If you are nervous about your bread making abilities it is time to tackle them head on. And think outside the loaf to begin with. There are so many variables in creating a loaf bread that I think it is best to tackle something easier to start. Let me first mention, that if you have older ingredients, several months or more, you should go buy NEW! If there is one thing that I have learned it is that I can not find success with stale ingredients. And most of the ingredients needed in these recipes are dependent on being FRESH!
Here are a few suggestions on items to get under your
- Homemade Pizza Dough -
- Tortillas -
- Sweet Bread -
Now, some of you have likely already conquered your inner bread baker. Congrats! That means that you get a little bit of a break this week as we ease ourselves into bread making. Perhaps you would like to get ahead a little and start tackling some of the resources that our blog partners have available for you to discover. A little later this week we will begin discussing the nutrient differences in already milled flours versus fresh milled flour, the different types of whole grains that can make up bread grains (and how not to pull your hair out in confusion), we will talk about gluten-free breads, and we will dabble a bit in sprouting and soaking and all that jazz. It is an action-packed month!
Some other resources you might enjoy. (Just be careful not to overwhelm yourself with information. Be comfortable in knowing where you are at and moving up 1 level for right now. You will experience more confidence and more sustained learning in doing so. When you are confident at that level you can begin learning and start moving to the next).
- Is Your Flour Wet? Soaked, Sprouted and Soured guide from Kitchen Stewardship
- Sourdough A to Z eCourse from GNOWFLINS
- Identify where you are at on the bread baking spectrum:
- Virgin Bread Baker: Never baked my own breads.
- Newbie Bread Baker: Baked breads on my own sometimes but still intimidated.
- Accomplished Bread Baker: Confident baking breads but only with already ground flour.
- Aspiring Bread Baker: Milling my own flour to bake breads.
- Master Bread Baker: Sprouting or soaking before milling and baking my own flour.
- Based on your identified “level” above, tackle a task below this week to continue building your confidence:
- Virgin Bread Baker: Choose one of the recipes outlined above and make a bread.
- Newbie Bread Baker: Choose one of the recipes outlined above that you have never made and rarely made.
- Accomplished Bread Baker: Watch one of the Bread Beckers videos – Bread Baking 101 or Basics of Healthy Eating or Gluten Free 101
- Aspiring Bread Baker: Watch one of the videos on sprouting your own grain AND/OR encourage an identified reader to encourage in their journey.
- Master Bread Baker: Pat yourself on the back and encourage an identified reader to encourage in their journey.
February Get Real:
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