Sunday afternoon, for those of us who don't work retail or sing in the choir, is a time of rest and peaceful noding. But what if you could utilize just a bit of that time, between studiously refurbishing your home node, or flipping between E! and the Cartoon Network, to nourish that flacid body of yours? What if you had something to do that required you to laze about?
For hundreds of thousands of years, people of all skull shapes and sizes have known the joy of Bread. They don't just call it the Bread of Life for nothing. No. Bread is a historical object. It's something that's been around. It's both timeless and timely, and it's not that complicated to make!
First, you will knead the following:
5 or so cups of Whole Wheat Flour
2 or so cups of Powdered Milk
3 to 4 cups Rolled Oats
About a half a cup of Honey
About a half a cup of Oil
About two cups of Wheat Germ
3 and one half cups Boiling Water
About a table spoon of Dry Active Yeast
About one half a cup of Lukewarm Water
This is what you knead to do:
Step One: In one bowl, mix Rolled Oats, Wheat Germ, Oil, Honey and Salt together, and pour the Boiling Water over them.
Step Two: In a small cup, pour about a half a cup of lukewarm Water (a little warmer than your body temperature), then add the Yeast. Mix it in a little bit. Then let it sit until the water looks kinda cloudy, and some foam is on top. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU WILL DO ALL DAY. Atleast as far as the bread is concerned.
Step Three: Let the boiling water cool off a bit more, then add the Yeast mixture, which is now a LIVING BEING! How fucking cool is that?
Step Four: Mix the Flour and Dried Milk in a bowl, then add it to the wet mixture slowly, a little at a time, kneading it in with your hands.
Step Five: Knead. And knead. And knead some more. Knead for twenty minutes. Half an hour, if you feel like it. When you're done, set the lump of dough in a bowl, and cover it with a warm, wet towel. Set this bowl on the Oven, and make sure the oven is warm. The warmth stimulates the Yeast, so it makes gas. Good gas. Carbon dioxide gas. Let it rise.
Step Six: Take a break! Watch some tv, rip out a node, talk to your ex on the phone. Forget about the bread for about an hour. Then go back.
Step Seven: I'm getting long winded, so I'll cut this short. Anything more than seven steps is liable to loose any potential following, no matter how witty the introduction. So this is all you have to do: Take the dough from the bowl, and knead it again, for about ten minutes or so. Then split it in half, and put it into two bread pans. Cover the pans with the wet towel, and let it sit in a warm place for another hour. At the end of this hour you can either throw it in the oven, or punch it down and let it rise. The more often you knead it, the more consistent and fluffy will be the outcome. The oven should be about 400 degree's, give or take. Cooking time: 45 minutes or so.
So there you have it. A great, and edible, diversion. If you have never made bread before (like me, about two weeks ago) -- don't worry! You'll be surprized how well you'll do. There's a reason why sliced bread has it's own cliche. A very good reason.