No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Numeracy and literacy in breadmaking

This is a handout I was asked to prepare for a session bringing numeracy into breadmaking. Following this is a handout concentrating on literacy in breadmaking.

Numeracy in breadmaking
(I use mugs to measure how much flour and water to use in breadmaking – and I also use scales and jugs. You’ll find both amounts given in my recipes.)

Ratios in breadmaking:

Flour and water:
3 mugs of flour needs 1 mug of water – a ratio of 3:1
2 mugs of flour needs 2/3 mug of water
1 mug of flour needs 1/3 mug of water

Lukewarm water.
2:1 (2 to 1) cold water to hot will give you lukewarm water – or two parts from the cold tap to one part from the kettle.

Proportions using scales:
200g flour needs 125ml liquid (or 125g) liquid (1g of water is the same weight as 1ml of water, so one litre of water  - 1000ml - weighs one kilogram - 1000g)
400g needs 250ml
800g needs 500ml

Dividing the dough into 8 pieces (to make rolls for instance). This means cutting the dough into two pieces (2 halves), each half into two (4 quarters) and each quarter into two again (8 eighths).
This also applies when cutting Chelsea buns (and it’s perhaps a bit clearer).
1/3rd or 2/3rds of a mug of water

Multiplying and adding:
Place the rolls on the baking sheet in two rows of four – because we know that 2 x 4 = 8 (or 4 plus 4 = 8)

Roughly speaking, you should knead the dough about 20 times before it becomes smooth and ready for the next step. Count each time you press the dough flat. It may need another 5 or 10 flattenings.
Whisking the sugar and water to dissolve the sugar needs about 100 ‘stirs’ before the sugar disappears.

1 bag of flour weighing 1.5kg (1500g) costs - at the moment - 69p at Lidl, and £1.29 at Morrison’s or Sainsbury’s. [Note: It's difficult to keep up - yesterday (23/3/11) bread flour at Morrison's had gone down to 50p!]

Using 500g of flour (which will make a loaf weighing a bit less than 800g), a bag of flour will make 3 loaves – so each loaf will cost roughly 23p with flour from Lidl, and 43p using flour from the other two supermarkets. (69 divided by 3 – or 129 divided by 3.)

Literacy in breadmaking.

Planning to make bread at home.
  • Looking at cookery books and on line, then choosing which bread to make – finding the right recipe(s).
  • Referring to the recipes to decide what ingredients are needed.
  • Making a shopping list. Arranging a trip to the shops and finding and buying the ingredients. (Always stock the basic ingredients - flour, yeast, salt, sugar)
  • Collecting the equipment together. (Keep it all in one place.)

A recipe generally has 2 sections – ingredients, a list of what goes to make up the bread, usually one or two words and amounts; and method – often step by step instructions on how to make the recipe. (Imperative verbs)

(In all cooking, it’s a good idea to read the recipe all the way through before beginning.)

Terms. (Some of the words used in breadmaking)            Ingredients:
Measuring                                                                    Strong bread flour
Lukewarm water                                                          Yeast  
Mixing                                                                          Salt                                                     
Kneading (flattening and folding)                                 Sugar                          
Proving, or rising                                                          Dried fruit     
Baking                                                                          Spices                                                 

Apron (both to protect you from the food – and the food from you), mixing bowl, jug, mug, teaspoon, rolling pin, baking paper,  baking tray, oven, pastry brush

And also:
Soaking (the mixing bowl)
Clearing (the table)
Wiping (the table)
Washing the equipment
Wiping it dry
Putting away

Suggested activities:
Write a couple of sentences about how you feel when you’re making bread.
Write a poem about making bread – how it feels, how you feel when you’re making it, or when you’re eating it!

There are different words for bread in other countries – the German word for bread is ‘brot’, which is quite similar to our word. In Italy bread is called ‘pane’, which is close to the French, ‘pain’.

No comments:

Post a Comment