Bread, soy milk, and finding your roots

After a long absence of bread in my diet, I missed the taste of fresh bread straight from the oven.  It’s been out of my diet for nearly 10 years because my ex-wife acted like making bread was a meditation exercise and stupid.  After my divorce, I spent lots of time doing other things than cooking because let’s be honest… cooking for one isn’t exactly a gourmet experience without lots of imagination.

Now, I’m trying to go back to what I want to do foodwise (about time after 6 years huh?) so I decided to get a breadmaker.  It’s actually nice for me, since it saves so much time by being an extra set of hands.  All I need to do is get 100-110 degree water, plop some yeast & sugar into it, toss it into the breadmaker to sit for 10 minutes (for proofing), then toss in the rest.  I’m simple, so it’s 3 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 tsp salt, & 1/4 cup of vegetable oil (or olive oil, depending on how wild and frisky I am).  I close the lid, set it to whole wheat bread, then hit start.  So far after 2-3 loaves, it’s been beautiful.  It’s nice to know that 3-4 hours later a loaf of fresh bread will be available at the cost of 3 cups of flour and a little yeast, oil, and salt.  I made a panini with the first 2 slices of the first loaf I made and it was wonderfully non-fluffy and tasty.  The only unfortunate part is the hole that is imbedded onto the bottom of the loaf from the dough beater in the breadmaker.  This can be remedied by simply setting the breadmaker to “dough” and after it’s done putting the dough into a breadpan and cooking it at 325 degrees for half an hour… but that bypasses the whole time thing 😦

Adding bread making to soy milk making makes me want to see what else is able to be hit with the same equipment… I think it’s time to run the whole soy arena, and the next thing (aside from tofu – that’s simply boil soy milk, coagulate, and press) is tempeh.  Something neat about having a taste absorbing soy material that has a meat kind of texture… a lot like some mushrooms do.  Once I get some tempeh starter, I’ll go down that road and maybe I’ll be able to kick the whole burger thing.  (I was close to it with portobello but they’re kinda pricey for daily use)

Never thought food and science would come together so nicely 🙂  My next step: Kitchenaid stand mixer, so I can close the gap and make just about anything.  Anything that has a planetary gear arrangement for mixing/kneading/spinning along with a front-attachment mechanism for pasta creation and god knows what else, is perfect in my book.

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