I realized recently that making bread could be more than a hobby. I’ve been bringing bread into work and giving it away to our neighbors, and I always hear how amazing it is to have fresh bread. Looking at the local high-quality bread selection, there’s either the grocery store “gourmet” line, which is okay but not great, and there are the boutique bakeries which justifiably charge a lot. I think my bread falls in the middle. I’m no pro, but it’s good, and way better than store-bought. So I’ve decided to see if I can sell it at work. Hopefully people will see the value in getting good bread right from work.
Americans have gone too long without easily-available and high-quality bread. Always you hear from those recently back from Europe, “Oh, the bakeries! You just can’t get bread like that here.” Well, you can. American bakeries have begun to spring up (pun intended) and are reintroducing good crusty and toothsome bread to this country. Chuck Williams knew that Americans could appreciate high-quality food and kitchenware if only they were introduced to it. In the same very small way, I’m hoping to show people that good bread shouldn’t to be hard to find, and needn’t cost a fortune.
Now I’m entering a new stage of my baking education. Baking to order means creating efficiencies, but it also gives me a chance to tweak the recipes I’ve been using. As with the crusty bread, I may invent my own recipe. For one, I haven’t been totally sold on the Cook’s Illustrated wheat sandwich bread. To truly earn the ‘Heavenly’ moniker and stand side-by-side with the Heavenly Sandwich bread, my wheat needs to take it up a notch.
In the meantime, I’ve uploaded the menu. When I was buying flour this weekend, a woman in line, upon hearing I was making my own bread, asked if I sold it. Well, not just yet to the public. But maybe…