Fact: I can’t buy bread from the market anymore. Specifically, I can’t buy bread from the bread aisle. If it’s from the bakery section of the market, that’s ok. But manufactured bread? I just can’t! Even the smell of the bread aisle has become unappealing to me.
I’ve been making my own bread fairly consistently for the last four years. Manufactured bread just doesn’t measure up in fragrance and flavor. I used to post about my bread attempts but eventually stopped because I only make the same two recipes nowadays. First and foremost is a spelt version of Richard Bertinet’s basic bread recipe. I’m very capable of making this. I don’t even need the recipe on hand anymore. Mix four ingredients together, work the dough for about 10 minutes, let it rest and rise until doubled in volume, shape, let rise again, and bake. Simple.
I am still bad at shaping this dough, but that’s another story.
The second bread recipe I use a lot is a white batter bread from Bread Made Easy by Beth Hensperger. What makes a batter bread recipe different from a basic bread recipe?
Laziness Time. A batter bread is just that – you mix everything into a batter. There’s no kneading. There’s no working the dough for 10 minutes. You just mix it until it’s a shaggy thing (like dough with a bad hair day? or like oatmeal gone very wrong?), plop it in a loaf pan, let it rise just the one time, and then bake.
Batter breads lack complex flavor without help. Basic bread recipes can attribute part of its flavor from the double rise. I’ve read that three or four rises total taste even better, but who has the time for that? Beth Hensperger’s version adds a touch of ground ginger which is deliciously amazing and you might not know it was there if you hadn’t been told.
But… I only like it in the white bread version. I’ve tried making a whole wheat version, a spelt version, and a spelt version without ginger. The variations didn’t satisfy me much.
And then I came across Home Baked by Hanne Risgaard.