Saturday, September 29, 2007

My Quest

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.


Jess said...

Kevin has issues with powdered milk too. I would never use it to drink but I do use it for one of my roll recipes. Kevin saw it in the pantry and was pretty concerned. But once he tasted the rolls, it was all better.
So, if you feel up to it. Go buy the powdered milk and give your bread recipe a try. Or make someone else buy the milk for you. :)

Arizona Hillbillies said...

Ok, first of have been keeping another fun blog to read away from me, how dare you! Secondly, I have not mastered ANY of the breads yet, so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE post the recipe to your banana and white bread so that I can tempt it. I LOVE homemade bread and don't have a breadmaker, so it's all from scratch around here!

Sue said...

hee hee Lee can't believe we drank powdered milk. It made me mad that later Mom would buy real milk and mix it half and half with the powdered milk. You younger kids were pansies. PANSIES.

Ugh. I couldn't do it either.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry we created such trauma in your lives. I don't know why your dad insisted on powdered milk. I think he thought it was healthier. We can see where his "health food" ideas got him. Mixing it half and half with regular milk was my way of trying to ease the pain. Did you notice I never drank the milk? I still seldom drink milk, which is probably why my bones aren't all that great. Wendy, I am delighted to see you being so creative in your cooking!

Mary Brinkerhoff said...

I've got a bread recipie for you. You have to have a bread machine which you didn't mention if you did or not.
Place ingredients in the breadmachine in the following order:
2 tsp yeast (or one packet)
1.5 c. white flour
1.5 c. Wheat flour (or any combination of the two, Sometimes I do all wheat)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil or yogurt
3 tbsp honey or sugar
1.2 c. lukewarm water
If you use oil you have to use honey. If you use yogurt you have to use sugar. (Are you following me?)
Put full pan in bread machine and set on normal setting for whichever loaf size is three cups of flour. I like my crust light.
It can be ecomnomical to make bread if you buy yeast and flour at sams club or costco. I'm saying cheaper than $2.50 a loaf if you spend less than that then you should just buy it. But this is a treat. It makes the house smell amazing!