If you've been a Queen of Green reader for a while, you know about the true awesomeness of the soup club.
I've got another one for you: bread club. It's the best thing since sliced bread.
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Here's what you do:
- Recruit two friends who like to bake.
- You'll each bake bread once a week. But instead of baking one loaf, bake three.
- Hand out the other two loaves to your club members.
The benefits are as obvious as they are plentiful.
- You'll always have the pleasure of ripping into a fresh loaf of bread, without the inconvenience of regular baking and at a fraction the cost of store bought artisan breads.
- Bread club's good for the planet too. Homemade bread means you can skip the plastic bag. And by baking loaves for your neighbors, you're minimizing the number of ovens using energy at a given time.
- It's easy to incorporate a selection of local, organic, grains and to make use of seasonal ingredients like fresh herbs and fruits. This week, I'm thinking about pumpkin loaf!
- As if that weren't reason enough, bread club is a fun way to build community. Academics from fields as diverse as economics and sociology are pointing to the link between a strong sense of community and individual happiness as a key component in achieving sustainability.
I liked the idea of fresh bread long before I worked up the courage to bake my first loaf. Fear of flat bread kept me in rooted in my loaves and muffins comfort zone. That is, until I discovered how easy it was to make good flatbread. It's quick and simple — the perfect place to start working with yeast.
Once you've gained a little confidence, experiment with other bread recipes and techniques until you find a routine that works for you. Try traditional loaves or artisan breads. Braid challah or make your own pizza dough. Skip the kneading with the five-minutes-a-day technique or skip the baking with slow cooker loaves.
Whatever bread you choose to bake and share, you'll be creating community around food. It's the most natural pairing. And the results always smell delicious and taste yummy!
What are your favorite homemade breads? Comment for a chance to win...