Bread-baking for busy people

I am far from an expert when it comes to bread-baking, I leave that to my mum. But I am passionate about home-made bread, even more so after just having watched a documentary on German TV about the disappearance of old-fashioned neighbourhood bakers that still bake their own fresh loaves and pastries every morning and that are being replaced by big chains and bakeries within big supermarkets which simply bake half-baked frozen breads and pastries. Although that by itself is alarming enough, what really shocked me is the kind of bread these new and modern bakeries churn out. The message that was reinforced by the documentary is that bread-baking is not for the faint-hearted and requires a certain amount of flexibility and finesse as no batch of dough will be alike. While frustrating for the home baker, the fluctuations in the essential characteristics of a flour (how “thirsty” it is, how much gluten it contains etc) are a nightmare for

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