These are difficult times we are living in and one of the things Star’s teacher recommended to relieve stress was to bake some bread. So last weekend that’s what we did. Mixing the bread and kneading it is very stress relieving. Then you have to wait for it prove, knead again and prove again. Then it’s time for baking. It’s time consuming but there is nothing like freshly baked bread. It doesn’t last five minutes in our house.
Here is Star’s bread that she baked last weekend. We followed the instructions on the packet of bread flour.
Can a Bread Maker Relieve Stress?
A few years ago I invested in a bread maker and I love how I can throw the ingredients in and forget about it until the bread is cooked. It fills my kitchen with the most delicious aroma. You don’t get the stress relief from the kneading, but the smell is worth it. I haven’t been very adventurous with it though and I’ve only made a basic loaf.
I think you can get much more inventive with hand made bread and I’ve made a lot over the years.
Here is my Chocolate Plait that I made after watching an episode of The Great British Bake Off. (A lot of my baking occurs after watching GBBO)
Soda Bread For Those That Can’t Wait
If you want to make bread but don’t want to wait around for hours. Or maybe the kids want to make bread and we know how impatient they can be. Then Soda bread is the answer. It’s just as satisfying to make, but it’s so much quicker. I don’t love it as much as regular fresh bread but it’s a really good alternative. Here is our recipe.
- 250g plain flour
- 250g wholemeal flour
- 1tsp salt
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- about 400ml of buttermilk (If you don’t have buttermilk you can add a tsp of lemon juice to milk and leave it at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.)
Into a large bowl put all the dry ingredients and mix together
Make a well in the middle and add the butter milk, mixing it until you have a sticky dough and all the flour has been absorbed.
Tip the dough out and shape into a dome shape.
Put dough on a greased baking tray and cut a deep cross into the loaf.
Bake for about 30 minutes until golden and sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom.
Tips: Only add as much of the buttermilk as you need, as soon as all the flour is absorbed you have enough, don’t make the dough too wet and sticky. If you really don’t like the soda taste you could use just half tsp soda. This dough does not really need much kneading, just enough to bring it all together and shape the loaf.
Do you like making bread? Would you consider it to be a stress reliever?