Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Bread That Gives Life

Hello Dear Ones,

Thank you for your patience while I summon up inspiration for posting!  Sometimes I will ask someone what will be a good subject, and then we will get to talking and discover some fairly good subject matter within our discussion.

Today I want to show a tea tray, which is a portable way of having a tea table.

I would prefer a metal tray, of stainless steel, amd am on the lookout for one. It withstands the drips and spills, jams and such, and wipes easily.  
My wood tray is quite chic but I have to line it with a piece of durable plastic. You can get this at Walmart in the sewing section on a set of rollers with different grades and weights and prices of plastic. This is $1.46 a yard. I cut it into useable squares to put on little tables or over delicate linens. I have used a piece of it over my cook book page to protect it from food splatters, and I like a piece of it on my night table since I have vintage furniture. 

Well, now that is said, let me go into the subject of bread.

You have probably read the words of Christ, "I am the bread of life," which was a figure of speech to emphasize His importance in our lives, daily. Bread and leavening were used often in the Bible to teach about life. Christ prayed in the Garden to "Give us this day our daily bread."

Bread was not always the cheap, de-vitaminized, manufactured product we find in stores today. It used to be sold daily fresh, as daily bread. Daily made bread doesn't have deteriorated ingredients.

 One ingredient I was recently alerted to is a product in most commercial  baked goods, an additive called Datem. Apparently it is an additive that can wreak havoc with your health.

Curious, I decided to read bread ingredient labels to find a bread without Datem.  I found two brands: Grandma Saginaw's old fashioned bread, and bakery croissants.  However, even without the Datem, these breads had too many phosphates and other additives.

Note: In Europe, Datem is not allowed to be put in commercial breads, but in the Americas, it is in everything.

Another product found in baked goods is aluminum.  You can solve that by buying non-aluminum baking powder or making your own from cream of tarter and soda bicarbonate, or a recipe you can find online. 

Since making my own bread products with 3 to 5 ingredients, we have felt more clear minded and grounded, and in a way, with less whirling thoughts, fewer mood swings, and generally  more even-keeled, balanced physically and mentally.  (Less insane?) We have no more chronic fatigue, acid indigestion, acid reflux, or any sense of anxiety.

There is always the concern that home made bread can cause weight gain, because it is so very good and so digestible, especially hot, with butter.  However there are ways to alleviate this.

Going for a walk twice a day, (maybe as the bread rises or bakes)  as well as putting only the allotted daily bread supply out for the day (and freezing the rest) will make it easier not to over-eat this delicious goodness. 

Because the ingredients you use will be so fresh and organic and pure, one slice of bread will satisfy you enough, as opposed to commercial baked goods, which can leave you unsatisfied and wanting more.  I use unbromated, unbleached flour, which is light, fine, and fragrant.

As for baking failures, let me tell you, everyone has their bread stories about the colossal mistakes they made when first baking bread, muffins, nut breads, in their album of bad memories. Having a cooking failure used to make me break down in tears. It was just so humiliating.   Don't be discouraged. Keep trying and move ahead with each attempt, getting better each time.

An 18 year old woman asked me what she was supposed to do all day at home.  I suggested taking one day  week for baking, because it takes time and good timing, and it takes you through a process you don't get from the grocery store. Other days can be marked for other things, but in general baking one thing, can take a few hours,  counting the shopping, preparation, serving and cleaning up.

The point I made to her was that making bread, packing her husband's lunches, collecting the ingredients, etc. answers the question about what there is to do all day at home.

The act of mixing and the raising involved in baking, prepares your senses.  It is like walking up a path to a door, entering the parlour, and being admitted into the main part of the house. Every step prepares you for the final destination, and if the architect and the landscaper have done a good job, the journey into the house envelopes the senses: smell, sight, sound, touch, and the anticipation is part of the process.

The baking (or any cooking from scratch) is an entire journey to the final destination. It involves a trip to the market, where you may judge between good, better and best products. It involves preparing the ingredients, stirring, and enjoying the aromas. By the time it is served in a plate, everyone's taste buds are well prepared. The sense of smell, followed by the mouth watering in anticipation, is all part of the digestion process.  

I don't need to go into having pleasant conversation because I have written about that before. Meal time and tea time are not the time for someone to stage a fight, lodge a complaint, aggravate others or make the meal miserable. It upsets the digestion and causes illness.

Moving on to the well set table with the nice plate and glass (even if only one or two of you there) you get a visual sense of the food that prepares your mind, which activates other parts of the digestion. Add to that the taste buds slowly awakening as you eat carefully with good manners, and you will find the meal process, beginning with the preparation (even if it is only a sandwich) can be more than satisfying.

If you are daunted by yeast breads, and are afraid to bake, there are quick breads you can try. Children are sometimes very good at yeast breads so allow them to try it. If you have several children, they can each have a bread recipe they specialize in. One can bake French braided bread, another brioches, another croissants....well...that is one I have NEVER been able to master.

In preparing yeast breads, the act of kneading bread is great for preventing tension and stress, which is a chronic suffering of women today, even those who stay home.

There is a book called, BREAD, that might have some recipes that you can be successful with. (You can also find quick bread recipe books). Remember with any recipe to substitute natural and better ingredients. For example, when it calls for salt, I use RealSalt, Australian Sea salt, or Himilayan pink salt. If it calls for oil, I Use light tasting olive oil. Sugar might be substituted with honey or raw sugar or molasses. 

If you think commericial tortillas are natural, read the ingredients on the package. I was surprised at the aluminum and other ingredients, because you can make these with only flour, salt, oil and water. They are practically melt in your mouth and aren't so hard on the teeth and don't take a laborious amount of chewing.

If you are just beginning in the process of making your own bread products, please do a web search on "ingredients you don't need in your bread" to find out more about the harmful additives in commercial bread.  

I am old enough to remember a time WHEN YOU COULDNT GET BREAD IN A GROCERY STORE  unless it was made by someone who baked it in her home and sold it to the store.  It seems like a sabotage of sorts, when our daily bread has been taken out of the hands of the woman of the house.

This was a time in my own history when people rarely if ever, experienced food allergies.

At first, the commercial bread was not so bad, but recently, even the so called health bread has all those chemicals and added things that cause more problems in your digestive system and your brain.

Read more here:!page=post&id=57A345C5-12E9-AC6F-40C8-A9A27BDD8754

In the past and the ancient past, bread was a hand made product, as were many things we buy today.  I don't mind buying commercial products and I welcome the easy way of getting things without the time consuming labor, but a loaf of bread is not a hardship if you learn the process by heart.  

So today, children, we are going to learn about bread and then bake some.  While we are stirring the ingredients I am going to read all the passages I can find from the Bible about bread:

Here are two of them (among hundreds of verses)

2Th 3:8  neither did we eat bread for nought at any man's hand, but in labor and travail, working night and day, that we might not burden any of you:

2Th 3:12  Now them that are such we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

If you are making a study of the word "bread" from the Bible, you can determine when it is used as literal bread and when it is used as a figure of speech or a comparison.


Dawn said...

There's nothing like homemade bread. A slice of fresh homemade bread with butter is better than cake or candy.

I usually make homemade bread and rolls but sometimes when it's all gone and my husband decides he must have a sandwich right now, he'll run to the store and buy a loaf of bread. And that bread will be fresh for over a week where as my homemade stuff gets moldy after about 3 days. That just proves to me the store bread is full of preservatives and who knows what.

Wow, and is bread ever expensive if you want something better than Wonder Bread! I can make a better loaf for less than $1 compared to $3 or $4 dollar bread at the store.

Lady Lydia, you pick such nice pictures to illustrate this post. I especially like the one of the little girl rolling out dough. So sweet.

Mrs.O said...

Oh...this was just full of goodness!! Love this post and I agree with Dawn, your pictures are so sweet!
I appreciate your writings so much.
God bless

anonymous said...

Hi Lydia,
your post today is delightful. Years ago my husband bought me one of those bread baking machines and how wonderful it was to smell fresh baked bread wafting through the house upon rising. Those were the days before allergies hit me. Today I may only eat homemade tortillas if I eat any wheat at all. They are delicious made into wraps.

Your idea of using plastic sheeting to line the bottom of your tray is a great one. A tearoom owner friend of mine uses them on her silver trays when she serves because constant moisture on them can tarnish the silver plating. The plastic prevents that and is easy to wipe clean. It also prevents things from sliding around when picked up. Sometimes she will place a pretty paper doilie under the sheeting for added beauty.

Unknown said...

Lovely post and pictures. I make No-Knead bread which is just about fool-proof and only uses 4 ingredients. There are lots of recipes on the internet for this kind of bread. But you are right about how good it tastes - warm with butter - could be addictive!

tea&crumpets said...

Great post! I love the Bible verses on bread. You have inspired me to make my own homemade bread!

Lynn said...

So glad you told us about Datem! I just looked at the label on my store-made ...locally right in my store...and low and behold...there it was ...DATEM!!! Today I return the loaf and get my $ back! Thanks Lydia for your good investigative work!!!

Anonymous said...

We have been making bread from scratch here in the cottage, for many years now. I became quite ill from eating store bought bread and decided to teach myself how to make bread. It is a joy to make it, watch it rise and bake it...the smell is just wonderful :)

Thank you for the heads up on the chemical additive...amazing what is in what passes for food nowadays :[


Homemaker's Heart said...

Hi Lydia~ The very last thing in your post is what spoke to me. "Today is a multiple cups of tea day!" Amen! Since I cut out gluten many years ago (before it was the thing to do) I don't do much breads anymore. I am looking forward to discovering how to make gluten free tea treats with honey or maple syrup. Haven't found many ideas, so I enjoy fruit and nuts with my tea.

Thanks for posting.


Unknown said...

What a nice article! A while back I was looking at getting a big mixer to mix my bread dough daily. The price went up as I looked at bigger models that could handle bread dough. I ended up finding videos (mostly French) of people making it by hand from start to finish and learned so much about good bread, totally skipping the fancy machine, and ended up loving making it by hand. I even learned about slow/cold rise bread that you barely knead - just mix ingredients and leave in the fridge overnight. The next morning the dough is ready for a quick knead, and the bread turns out much more tender because of the slow development process. We were all surprised what a difference it made, and it was much easier to mix the night before and have dough ready in the morning!
I loved the picture of the woman carrying the huge loaves!

Lydia said...

Kneading is therapeutic and has been done by people since time began.

The overnight in the fridge rising method and the batter breads are so easy.

When the bread is devalued and poisoned with unnecessary ingredients, it kind of makes the scriptures puzzling. Words like, "I am the bread of life" are harder to understand as something precious and important if the bread is not good. But when we make it ourselves we can load it up with nutrition, and then the bread and the process of making it become kind of sacred. I like batter egg bread, brioches, popovers and walnut loaf.

7:33 PM Delete

Laura Jeanne said...

I really enjoyed this post, Lydia. As always, it is full of good sensible advice.

I had not heard of DATEM before so I looked it up and apparently it stands for diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides. In Canada I have not seen "datem" on an ingredient label but I have seen things like the long version, so I will look out for it in the future.

It is so interesting that you and your husband feel more clear headed after making the switch to homemade bread.

I do try to make homemade bread for my family whenever I can. I have stopped eating wheat myself in an effort to control my fatigue (because it is hard for me to digest), but my family still loves bread and I make it often. My parents got me a bread machine for Christmas last year and I always use it to mix the dough as it really saves a lot of exertion for me. Then I bake the loaves in the oven as usual. Baking in the bread machine doesn't give as nice of a crust, I find.

I also make homemade tortillas. They might be misshapen but my family loves them because they taste so much better than the commercial ones which are filled with preservatives. I use a recipe that I printed from the Hillbilly Housewife website many years ago.

I need to learn to make homemade English muffins, as my husband loves them but the ones from the store are loaded with preservatives. It's disturbing how long they stay fresh in the cupboard without going moldy.

Lydia said...

English muffins are something I would like to learn to make. I have tried them but not successfully, several times.

I did learn to make pikelets, a type of pan fried scone., and like the fact I don't have to hear up the oven (the expense, and the heat in summer)

amulbunny's random thoughts said...

My grandma used to bake bread every other day according to my mom. She had 9 kids, plus grandpa and the field hands to feed. She used to make a sweet dark molasses bread that my mom loved. Orowheat used to make one around the holidays but I can't find it anymore. I may have to break down and do a recipe search and make some for mom. I'm not a baker, I can do brownies and fudge but my daughter can bake like mad.

stephanie said...

please tell us, Lydia, how you make your healthy bread...perhaps in a later blog