We used to be surrounded by good bread shops. By surrounded I mean there was a couple of little bakeries that sold great bread, so you could choose what you felt like eating on any given day. But it’s changed at lot and now bread is a commodity that is hard to find if you don’t want to pay $9 a loaf for it, and you’re not particularly fond of the light spongy variety that comes in a plastic bag.
The common sense approach would be to make your own, but I don’t often make bread and that’s mainly because it takes so much effort. I used to (actually, I still do) make a fine focaccia, as the perfect accompaniment to pumpkin soup. It never seemed to take that long, and there was always someone who wanted to help. But bread bread seems so much more intense. It’s the process: blend, knead, rise, knead, then rise again. A good three hours if you’re lucky.
But then I went to the library…and found The Australian Women’s Weekly Made from Scratch. I’m a huge fan of hanging out in the library because you can find so many books that you get to take home for free. Books that you may never read, books that have amazing photographs, and just books about stuff you can’t believe a publisher was on board with. I’m the first to admit I poo-pooed anything under the mantle of The Australian Women’s Weekly. I think it was the association with the magazine, or the slender cardboard covered cookbooks that you found in the magazine section of the supermarket, that were just a bit boring. But I have to take back every disparaging comment I’ve ever made.