Daily Bread

Years ago I baked all of our bread, all of the time. Then we moved to the country house, and my job demanded my time for almost all my waking hours, and the bread baking just wasn’t possible. Then the job disappeared, and I began taking on a series of truly horrid, very low paying, local jobs with either long hours, or on-call short notice jobs that chopped up my time so that I couldn’t really expect to have open ended hours for bread baking. Bread baking became more and more difficult to undertake, and eventually I just gave it up.

Then we moved to Mist Cottage. Living in the tunnels-through-the-boxes in this tiny house, and working on downsizing, took years. There were also significant renovations going on the whole time. Then, just as the physical environment was stabilizing, Attila had a “midlife crisis”, and life upended in a different way.

Attila’s crisis has eased, 2018 was survived, life at Mist Cottage has stabilized, and I am able to return to baking all of our bread.

Years ago, before we moved to the country house, I purchased 50 pounds of whole wheat flour. If life had not had other plans for me, and my bread baking had continued, the flour would have been easily consumed before its shelf life had expired. But life did have other plans for me. The flour was not consumed. Some of it spent time in the cupboard. Some of it spent time in a 6 gallon bucket. Some of it spent time in the freezer.

The flour that spent time in the cupboard was thrown away a few months ago, when I began to organize the basement and finally checked it, after the garage roof project was completed. It was rancid.

The flour that spend time in the 6 gallon bucket was edible, not fresh exactly, but edible, and it has provided us with bread for the last month. I am glad it is gone, I did not enjoy baking with it.

The flour in the freezer was checked yesterday, it was fresh, not off at all, and so it will be used for bread baking until it is gone.

When all of the old whole wheat flour has been consumed, I will begin to mill my own flour, in small batches, from whole grains. Whole grains keep much longer than milled flour. The whole grains will be kept in the freezer, then thawed in small quantities, to be milled for our daily bread.

I will be experimenting with all kinds of grains, and hope to try Rye, Kamut, Spelt, Red Fife Wheat, and Einkorn Wheat. Currently I am searching for reasonable suppliers. Shipping is the real issue with grains, because they are very heavy, so that the cost of shipping is around the same as the cost of the grain itself. So far I’ve found only a few Ontario suppliers, who cater almost exclusively to the well off, and quite a few fantastic suppliers from the prairies. I”ve even found suppliers from the USA, with free shipping, and their products would be cheaper to import than products purchased locally, or in Canada. Decisions, decisions!

Worldly

Weather

-9°C (-19C last night!)
Date: 9:00 AM EST Friday 8 March 2019
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -8.7°C
Dew point: -14.2°C
Humidity: 65%
Wind: SW 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -13
Visibility: 24 km

Note: The predicted temperatures going forward are getting warmer, so that our Heat Pump will be taking over the heating from the forced air furnace, most of the time. The low humidity and static problems will subside. Heat Pump heating requires a different kind of wardrobe during the day. It circulates room temperature air, so that the thermal mass in the house does not heat to a higher temperature as it does with the heat from the forced air furnace, which blasts warmer than room temperature air. This means that objects, like the chair I sit on, will be room temperature, and cooler to the touch, thus cooling the body on contact. So, my autumn/spring wardrobe will be adopted. I will need slightly heavier clothing to keep comfortable.

Quote

“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”
Walt Whitman
1819 – 1892


Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Daily Bread

  1. WendyNC says:

    Maggie, this sounds like the beginning of a grand adventure. I love the idea of milling your own whole grains, although I don’t see it being a practical part of my near future. Please keep up posted on how it goes.

  2. Teri says:

    Maggie, have you tried this flour mill? I remember it from when I lived in London. It says it has free shipping within Ontario. https://www.arvaflourmill.com

    Looks like our high temp today will be -2.7C/27F. Whoohoo! 😀

  3. Weny, I am really looking forward to building some skills in the realm of milling and bread making. I expect a learning curve, some pretty spectacular failures, but ultimate success and satisfaction! I don’t believe doing things like this is something anyone should do, you can buy very good flour after all, but it is something that sounds like fun to me.

  4. Teri, thank you for the link! I have been buying Arva mill flour for over 25 years. Their prices have skyrocketed though, perhaps relfecting the free delivery. Their flour is wonderful, and well worth the expense. In fact, my hard white flour is from Arva Mill. They don’t sell grain though, mores the pity!
    Whoohoo is right 🙂 The sun was strong enough today to clear some of the ice on the driveway! Spring is on the way!

  5. Bex says:

    I want to comment but I lost my comment to the ethernet air so I don’t have the strength to do it again! Shoot.
    Hoping we get some melting of the white stuff soon, I am so over winter and it wasn’t even really that bad here this year!

  6. Bex, digital writing is like that, gone in an instant! It happens to me all the time. Shoot is right, lol.
    Winter seems to be hanging on, for me it is the ice and freezing rain, lots of that this winter, and it just seems to keep on coming. The white stuff is melting, despite the -14C temperature this morning!