The Grain and I
What better title for my first blog than a turn of the phrase from that classic book by Betty MacDonald, The Egg and I? Usually if I want something catchy I have to borrow from someone brighter than myself.
A little introduction, I am Teresa and I live in North Carolina, which is a Southern state in the US. Among the things that I am, I am a bread maker. I'm also a mom, sister, daughter, friend and quilter. I started making bread in earnest about 30 years ago when I used the very basic of tools, a bowl, wooden spoon, measuring cups and spoons, and my hands. I've taught bread classes in my home, to 4H groups, as my job in a retail gourmet store, and I'm not yet tired of making bread.
Through the years I've tried many different kinds of breads from simple daily loaves to challah, hoska, brioche, stollen, focaccia, rolls, English muffins, pizza, sweet breads, and whole grain breads. These days I mostly bake grain breads using the 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10 grain cereals. I guess I want the biggest nutritional bang from my bread. Two years ago I sent off for the Oregon Trail Sourdough Starter maintained by the Carl's Friends group of bakers. Finally, success with Sourdough! Now that my starter has some age on it, it is getting a nice sour twang that I can be proud of.
With the help of the fine people at Pizzamaking.com I am working on perfecting my pizza dough. This past year I practiced on the New York-style and making a sauce that consistently suited my taste. Quarry tiles line my lowest oven rack for baking pizza and I use my wood peel (with the help of parchment paper) to transfer the pizza from the counter to the baking tiles.
I bake bread just about every weekend and other times when I have time off from my job. As an Event Coordinator at a textile company, I have the pleasure to plan business lunches and special events for many people. They know I'll always try to feed them well! Like most bakers, I share the breads I make with many co-workers, my family and my friends. I could not possibly eat all the bread I make - could you?
Bread making is such a satisfying pursuit. While I'm mixing and kneading I think about all those bread makers who came before me, the farm wife on the prairie during the Depression, the housewives in small hometowns during the 50's, hippies in communes during the 60's, and men, women, and children everywhere who have experienced the magic of making a loaf of bread, then shared it, still warm from the oven, with another person.
I will plan to make entries here as I proceed with my bread making. And now, I can post photos of my results as well.