Food Moments: 'For the Love of Bread' by Jill Waters

Today I have the pleasure of bringing you the story of a life long love affair with the one of the oldest and most basic of foods, bread. It comes from one of my very best friends, Jill of Land of The Blue Rinse. She and I met back in 2011, and food (as well as grappling with a class of 12 children with various additional needs) was one of the first things we bonded over.  

Over to Jill...


I love bread - I think it’s something to do with childhood memories of my dad smuggling home a hot loaf from the bakery where he worked. We’d hungrily devour doorstep slices dripping with butter, despite the fact that we’d already eaten our tea!

When I visit new towns, I seek out artisan bakeries and drool over their loaves, and firmly believe that fresh bread, butter and cheese is one of the greatest food combinations there is.
Baking bread makes me feel like an earth mother! For me, it’s about nourishing my family with a food that often gets a bad press, but that can be totally delicious. When my children were small, I used to make most of our bread. Not always successfully, and I sometimes resorted to turning my brick like loaves into breadcrumbs, but there was something about the process that I felt a deep affection for.  

Whilst I’ve continued to bake, off and on, over the years it wasn't until I retired that I revisited baking bread ‘properly’. My  husband bought me a bread baking course for Christmas, which I finally enjoyed in June. It was really good fun but, although I made four different types of bread, it didn't really teach me anything I didn't already know - to weigh all the ingredients, including the liquids, to add a tray of water to the bottom of the oven to create steam, to keep the yeast away from the salt, and so on and so forth.

As part of a retirement hamper, my daughter bought me ‘Brilliant Bread’ by James Morton and this book has really changed the way that I bake bread - more time, less kneading. Of course not all my bakes work, but even the failed ones taste delicious! Morton promises that everyone can be a baker, but warns against trying to run before you can walk. Running before I could walk has probably been the cause of the majority of my baking flops, but strangely it hasn't put me off. If anything it makes me more determined!

I recently read an online article about micro mastery, which is the art of becoming really good at one thing and then using this as a building block for additional skills. The example the article gives is making an omelette, but the principles can just as easily be applied to sewing, knitting or breadmaking. 

With this in mind, I aim to become a micro master of a sourdough loaf. It is the ultimate loaf to bake, but can be varied by using different flours/seeds and so on. It is the Holy Grail of loaves and is tricky because it takes time, does not use yeast and can be very temperamental. Sounds like the perfect challenge! 

I’ve had my sourdough starter, Bamber (my starter for 10) since last October, but he’s spent most of that time languishing at the back of the fridge, so it’s time to feed him, get him frothing and become the micro master of my own fate!


Ah bread, such a simple wholesome food that has been so messed about with commercially that the sliced white loaves on the supermarket shelves are barely recognisable as the glorious crusty doorstops Jill's Dad smuggled home from the bakery.  

I too have a sourdough starter (Herbert, est. 2016) cowering stickily in the corner of my fridge, and I think its about time I revived him, especially if, as set out in my year long bucket list I'm going to be self sufficient in bread by this time next year. 

Don't forget, if you have a significant food moment in your life that you'd like to share, please do get in touch - I'd love to read your story.

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