I love to make bread. I realize it's not necessarily cheaper than buying it, and it's certainly far more time consuming, but I enjoy doing it, and as far as I'm concerned, few things in the world are as heavenly as a slice of bread hot out of the oven.
I am a whiz at banana bread and I have a very good white bread recipe, but have yet to find that perfect, soft whole wheat bread recipe. I've tried several, but each one seems to be worse than the last. The cookbook that gave me my white bread recipe has a whole wheat bread recipe in it, and everything I've made in this cookbook has been good thus far, but I have a problem with this particular recipe. It calls for powdered milk. I know what you're thinking: so what? I'll tell you what.
When I was a kid, we had to endure the cruel and unusual punishment of drinking powdered milk. When we ran out of milk, we didn't go to the store to pick up another gallon, we pulled out a box of powder, mixed some with water, and voila! Milk... if that's what you want to call it. It is nasty, nasty, nasty stuff. Do you know I didn't know milk came in gallon jugs until I was about eight? I never drank milk at my friends' houses (Kool-Aid was our drink of choice), so I just didn't know. Anyway, when I saw "powdered milk" listed as an ingredient in this recipe, my first thought was, "Do they even make that stuff anymore?" and then I felt my throat begin to close in rebellion to even the mere thought of it. Still, I thought I could probably find milk of the powdered persuasion and try the recipe.
I went to the store, and found it on the baking aisle, where I cleverly thought it would be. After being shocked that it was $3.00 for a box that would make three quarts (is there really that high of a demand for dehydrated milk?), and then being annoyed that I would end up with a bunch of leftover powdered milk, especially if I didn't end up liking the bread, I went to pick up the dreaded box. As I lifted it towards my cart, I had to stop. I couldn't do it. I couldn't buy it. What if someone thought I was making my child drink this? What if someone came to my house and looked in my pantry and saw it? It would be so shameful. If you never had to drink it, year in and year out, you can't possibly understand. There were flashbacks. It's like I have post-traumatic stress from the fake-milk of my developmental years. I have PPMD. Post-powdered-milk disorder. I put the box back. It took a few minutes for the sweat to evaporate and the dizziness to go away, but after a few deep breaths and a quick escape from the baking aisle, I felt much better.
I'm still looking for a good recipe, though.