Wouldn’t it be nice to come into work every monday to a lovely, fresh loaf of bread sitting on your desk? That’s right, this post is about how you can have fresh, bready goodness once a week without raising a finger (well, almost) or creating any landfill waste.
I have to give full credit for this idea to my sister who started a bread exchange with 3 of her friends back in Ottawa. The concept is this: you get 4 people together who each agree to bake 4 loaves one week a month and give them to the others. You make it one week and receive it for 3.
In true energy-efficient style, I figure you might as well fill up your oven while you are baking, so what’s another couple loaves?
I suggested it at work and two of us were really gung-ho (thanks Emilie) and managed to rope 2 more people into it (ie. we left bread on their desks and they felt obligated to join), so for the past month we’ve each been getting a loaf a week.
Sure, I had to spend one Sunday evening making 4 loaves, but it’s mostly rising time, and it’s a small price to pay for that weekly, waste-free delicacy. We figure 4 people is ideal because if you have more than that you might have to do two baking batches
And if you’re intimidated by yeast, don’t be. I always thought yeast was highly technical what with things rising too much or falling disastrously; I was terrified the water would be at the wrong temperature and kill the yeast; I was discouraged by the premise that you had to stick around all day waiting to punch the dough down.
But last year I realized that recipes have usually been tested and usually work out if you follow the directions, so I invited yeast into my kitchen.
I probably do eat too much bread in general (if there is such a thing), but the bread exchange lets us try a variety of flavors and keeps me from buying the packaged kind in the supermarket, so it’s well worth the effort.
So, now that I’m in the bread-making swing of things, I’m calling out to all you fabulous bakers. I’d love a few new recipes to add to my repertoire.