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“Beginner bread-making strategy:

First, stock up on flour and yeast. You’re not just baking a loaf of bread, you are developing a life-habit that will replace pizza-purchases and other bread-waste.

5 lbs of flour will fill one glass gallon jar. Have several jars full at all times. (save the empty paper flour-bags to use when de-greasing fried foods, etc. before shredding & composting them)

Have a jar of dry yeast handy. Also a jar of molasses and some salt and oil.

Also stock up on a few other grains like corn meal, masa (corn flour), rolled oats, and whole-wheat.

Now to develop your practice:

Start by putting a teaspoon of molasses in a mug or small bowl, fill with a cup and a half to two cups of hot (not boiling water) then sprinkle a teaspoon of yeast over the surface a set it aside until it foams. While waiting for that, put about two cups of flour in a large bowl with a handful of cornmeal and a teaspoon or two of salt, and toss together. (a little cornmeal adds a nice texture, but you don’t need it)

Mix the foamy yeast water while it’s still warm into the flour, using a wooden spoon and then your hands. Have the open jar of flour handy so you can add more as needed while you handle the dough. Don’t knead it, just get it to uniform texture. Then coat another bowl with oil, plop the dough into it, cover with a damp cloth and leave it in a warm place for a few hours, even all day.

This step of getting started doesn’t take long and easily becomes second-nature. You start with inexpensive supermarket basics like this, then start varying your dough with better grains etc as you gain experience. Notice you’re not using a machine. Thus, after the few minutes of tossing the dough together, you just wipe the large bowl and the wooden spoon and you’re done.

Later, when the dough has risen, you dump it out on a floured surface and cut it in half. Press one half into a 10″ circle on a pizza pan or cookie sheet. The other half can be made into a loaf of bread or cut into breadsticks or cinnamon rolls.” Denise


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