Baking bread with Mum – the then and the now

The smell of baking bread can help you sell your house. Or so I’m told anyway. These days it’s easy to do, too – just stick on the Bread Maker and a few minutes later… mmm…

My earliest memories of breadmaking are very different. My mum was a home economics teacher when I was little, and so home cooked food featured heavily in our lives. The scone based pizzas, the intricately baked breads for harvest festival, and – my personal favourite – hot cross buns for Good Friday. As we got older, myself and my siblings would all get stuck in, kneading the dough and sometimes even adding colourings to make ‘disco bread’.

I don’t do that with my own children. Or should I say, I don’t do it in the same way. Since baking with my own mum, the Bread Maker has become a much bigger part of of a lot of family lives, and lovely warm bread can be ready for breakfast, without needing to get up at 3am to prepare it, leave it to prove, and then stick it in the oven.

My kids still have the experience of baking with me, but it’s in a different way. We measure out the ingredients together, they love pressing all of the buttons, and then ninety minutes later they love rolling out the pizza dough we’ve just made to create their own individual pizzas.

panasonic breadmaker setting the timer

 Or, I can put the Bread Maker on, and set the timer so that fresh dough is ready and waiting to be shaped into interesting rolls when they get home from school.

 I can even use the Bread Maker to make my own hot cross buns! In fact, it makes all different kinds of bread – focaccia, sour dough, French bread… just about every bread you can think of… which means that we get to experience a much wider variety of things than we otherwise might.

There is certainly something very satisfying about making your own bread from scratch, and sometimes (usually when on holiday) we do go back to basics and use the old fashioned way. But with three kids, two jobs and all the time that gets sucked away with that, having a breadmaker that can do the kneading and proving whilst we do school or sleep means my own children still get to experience baking bread with me, just like I did with my own mum.

(And she now has a Bread Maker too!)

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