Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


French Bread

French bread
Originally uploaded by Nikchick.
This is Hunger Action Week in King County. In 2007 I shared my thoughts on the Oregon governor's Food Stamp Challenge. Everything I said then is true now. If anything I feel even more strongly , considering the way the country has changed in the last three years.

In theory I'm up for this challenge but having felt plenty of food insecurity not only do I have no desire to relive the experience but keeping my pantry stocked "just in case" is, hmm, obsession is too strong but let's say it's a high priority. So instead of tracking my spending and trying to cook from only what I bought for the week I've been trying to honor the spirit of the challenge by using what I have on hand in my newly reorganized pantry and my freezer. In a case of handy timing, our "junk food" cupboard is bare so there are no chips, pretzels, sodas or other prepackaged snacks in the house at the moment.

Despite all of my food-loving ways I've never had good luck with breads. I can whip up a quick bread, muffins, cakes, cookies, or bars with good results. Yeast breads, dinner rolls, even biscuits have been another story though. Even using a bread maker has been 50% disappointment. Seattle has many lovely local bakeries supplying the local markets with an array of fresh breads but at $3.00 to $4.50 per loaf (and with a daughter who loves bread just slightly less than potatoes and slightly more than rice in her largely white food diet) that can get spendy, especially when I know full well how inexpensive the base ingredients for bread are in comparison.

With the Hunger Awareness Challenge in mind and bread in the house running low, I decided to try again yesterday. I decided to shy away from the bread machine and try going with the Kitchen Aid and my plain ol' oven. I couldn't find my Kitchen Aid recipe booklet I had to rely on the handy Internet. Google helpfully turned up an entry from someone else who didn't want to misplace their Kitchen Aid recipe again and so put it up on RecipeZaar under the name "Old Reliable" French Bread (for Kitchen Aid Mixers). How could I resist a recipe called "Old Reliable"? I couldn't!

What do you know, it worked, too. To my shock and my family's delight, I have successfully made two good loaves of French bread for about $1 in flour. Not quite as excellent as the $4.00 loaves from our local bakery but certainly at least as good as if not better than the $2.00 loaves from the grocery store. If not spurred on by the Hunger Awareness Challenge I wouldn't have made this breakthrough.

Labels: , , ,