C61: Baking Bread

Baking bread is the current trend in our settlement.
We’ve been trying to bake it ever since we harvested wheat.
We already have a big oven in the kitchen, and as a matter of fact, we have everything else we need.

As a Japanese otherworlder, it’s a shame that I’m making bread first since rice is our staple food. I really want to grow rice as soon as possible.
Nonetheless, bread is still delicious.
That’s why all the residents are trying their hands at baking bread.

“Kneaaaaad.”
“Kneaaaaad.”
“Knead the bread dough.”
“Add a little water and kneaaaad.”

The ladies are all doing it rhythmically.

It seems bread also exists in this world because even Batemy and Belena, who both come from ordinary families, kneaded the dough as if they were used to it.
The merprincess, Platy, on the other hand, is struggling. Her entire face is white with wheat flour.

“Nghhhhh!”

I can’t even bear to look at Veil’s situation.
Her entire body is completely white, and the wheat flour she used is less than required, so the bread dough is wobbly.

“Gaaaaah! A dragon like me can’t be bothered to do this trivial thing! Give me the finished product instead! I’ll just eat it!!!”

There’s no way I can allow you to do that.
If you know how much effort goes into every dish, it will taste even better.

“Everyone, the softness of the dough should be similar to an earlobe! Touch your earlobes and see how it compares.”

Squish, squish.
Squish, squish.
Squish, squish.
Squish, squish.

“Why is everyone touching my earlobe?!”
You’ve got your own pair; touch those instead!!!
Thanks to everyone’s flour-y hands, my earlobes are white as snow now!!!

“Maybe we can use our chests to compare the softness. Oh wait, Veil can’t do that.”
“Youuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!”

Busty Platy teases flat-chested Veil.
After kneading, the dough underwent several more steps before putting it in the oven to bake.
Soft and fluffy bread, complete!

Everyone gives the freshly baked bread a try.

“Good! So good!!!”
“The outside is crusty, but the inside is so soft and fluffy!!!”
“Why is the bread made here taste so good?! We can’t even call this bread anymore! It’s something beyond it!!!”

It’s best eaten fresh out of the oven, after all.
You can eat it as it is without adding jam or butter.

It’s a hit with the ladies as well.
They say it’s completely different from the bread in this world as they devour it, but is it really that different?
Maybe it is.

Even I had the experience of buying and eating the bread of this world as emergency food on my way to this settlement, so I can understand.

The bread in this world can’t be called bread.
It’s more like hard-baked wheat flour.
I think it uses a different type of flour as one of its ingredients.

Along with the progression of history, various ingredients were tested with each other back in my world. Ultimately, it was established that wheat flour is the most suitable ingredient. But people here never bothered going through trial-and-error, and thus have always used the very first method they discovered, which explains why cooking here doesn’t evolve.
By the way, they also don’t use yeast to raise the dough, so it seems they simply toss the flour they kneaded with water into the oven.

Since we have Platy, a specialist in potion compounding, my knowledge, The Hand of Supremacy, and prior experience producing miso, soy sauce, and malt, we were able to create yeast with much more ease.
That’s how the wheat bread fermented with yeast became an instant hit.
We made a lot so we can have it for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Even if it gets cold over time, we can turn it into toast.
Since we still haven’t made jam or butter, we garnished it with some leek miso. Surprisingly enough, it was also delicious.

While bread is nice, as Japanese, I’d still love to have some rice.

Rice.

I haven’t forgotten to offer rice balls to the god Hephaestus who blessed me with The Hand of Supremacy.

Food stocks have increased, a house has been built, and there are also a lot of people who will cooperate.
Is it time we start acting toward long-awaited rice cultivation?

Growing rice is unlike any other plant because you need to irrigate water in the fields and watch over it as it grows.
And for that, we’d need a large amount of water.
At present, the water here is completely dependent on The Hand of Supremacy by turning saltwater into freshwater upon me touching it.

Because of this, we can replenish our water supply as often as needed while simultaneously getting salt as a by-product. However, now that the residents have increased and the lands that need sprinkling have expanded, relying on my ability alone is no longer practical.

Whether we will make paddy fields does not matter. We still need other ways to obtain water in large amounts. So, we’re creating a waterway that draws clean water into the settlement that can also be suitable for drinking. Then, we’ll be making paddy fields from that water.

I set my eyes on a new goal.

I’ve already selected the finest river to draw water from: An affluent two hours away from the settlement and opposite to Sensei’s dungeon.
Let’s dig a branched waterway from here and lead it back to the settlement!

We’ll make civil engineering pros out of the orc team, who already excel in construction work as our land enters a new stage!

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10 thoughts on “C61: Baking Bread

  1. jorgelotr

    Thanks for the chapter.

    I’m going to leave aside his misconceptions about the world outside and only point at something he should know:

    Growing rice is not like any other plant because you need to irrigate water in the fields and watch over it as it grows.
    ^-while rice is indeed the crop most cultivated in paddies, 1) there are more crops that need wet cultivation or could use it, and 2) rice can be cultivated dry (it’s just less efficient, but it may be preferred depending on water and time availability). There are even crops cultivated in “semi-paddies” (patches of land that alternate between pool-like paddies and regular dry fields), like Valencian oranges (especifically those).

    1. v-rus

      honestly, i never knew about any of these myself, thanks for sharing!
      i only know a little bit about how they’re grown traditionally (thanks to a game called “sakuna” lol)

      1. fritzr

        There is a wide variety, but the common thread is they were originally marsh plants. Flooding is normal and marsh plants grow better with controlled flooding and do poorly in dry fields (drought condition for a marsh plant)

    2. lecora alzuras

      Why should he know how to grow Valencian oranges? Those aren’t native to where he grew up. That’s just a difference in culture.

      Reminds me of someone’s comment on another LN I was reading that the MC should know about coconuts because the whole coconut can be used. Just knowing about coconuts vs how to process all its parts are not the same.

      I only know about rice paddies from my readings but never knew about Valencian oranges. I do know in another LN I read it goes into more details regarding why they use paddies for rice is because it doesn’t use all the nutrients of the fields that it would need rotation.

      The issue with farming is that dry land cultivation requires crop rotation because you’ll eventually use all the nutrients and need to let the soil recover. There are ways to provide nutrients but from a bulk crop perspective is not cost efficient since there’s the chance of having a poor yield which means loss of money.

      1. jorgelotr

        Why do you pick the thing as said as just an example of wet crops in places that are not Japan (with a plant that’s not rice) and take it as if it not only was the sole example, but as if I said he should know it?
        I’m just noting that japanese web novel authors (and from what I’m told, japanese people in general) tend to take some things as the pinnacle of japanese culture that don’t exist anywhere else in the world without bothering to check. Even if they are in a position to check and it’s quite obviously not the case. Like that japanese exchange student who said “I find your buses weird, since we have buttons to call for a stop and you don’t” despite the fact of having arrived there in a bus with big red buttons with the word “STOP” on them mounted on bright yellow cases scattered all over the place. Or the times where japanese summoned/transported/reincarnated people induct the people from that world on the extremely advanced art of putting many ingredients in a container with water and leaving it to boil (practice so ancient remains of it have been discovered in Stone Age sites).

      2. jorgelotr

        Also, about the “dry farming” thing, I mentioned it because he said that rice NEEDS wet farming, and is the only plant that can (and has to) be cultivated like that. The only thing I said is that rice can be dry farmed; it’s only wet farmed due to differences in yields (it produces more per harvest and it produces annually, while the dry method produces less and you have to fallow/rotate the field).

        1. lecora alzuras

          I already mentioned crop rotation and considered that rice seems to be a main staple of their diet, makes sense for them to do it that way if that’s the most efficient method they’ve learned over the years. It wasn’t something learned overnight.

          Also, while I used your oranges as an example, I did also point out about coconuts mentioned by another person in another novel I read unless that was you, too. And, it’s not just the Japanese that are like that when it comes to their culture since other’s do that as well. I know for sure that the US definitely will proclaim the 2nd amendment as the best thing about the US and how every other country is weaker for not having it.

          My thing I was mostly commenting about is how you said the MC should know there are other crops that can be done in a paddie field. I just pointed out just because you know about it doesn’t mean the MC should know about it just because the MC knows about paddie fields. That’s why I also mentioned the coconut comment. Just because coconuts exists and you can use them for a variety of things does not mean that everyone will know about coconuts just because it’s very diverse in its usage.

          Just our basic conversation on farming and crop rotation is probably more than some people know because it doesn’t affect them nor knowing be of any use (since both the oranges and coconuts can only grow in certain climates anyways).

          Just because the knowledge exists doesn’t mean everyone will know it. Maybe if it was taught in school as common knowledge, I could agree on that point but that isn’t taught in school.

          1. jorgelotr

            First, I didn’t say you didn’t mention it. I was acknowledging your mention and saying that it was included among the reason it’s seldomly used. I’m only saying that that’s a far cry from “necessary”, as depicted, and is only “way preferrable”.

            Second, no, I’m not the coconut person. Yes, I know many other countries try to pass themselves as “the best” and even distort reality trying to prove it. On one hand, that doesn’t exonerate them, and on the other hand, the examples I pinted on those lines are not so much the typical fact denial (like the example you say about the US and their beloved amendment or japanese layman certainty that iron sand is the best iron source) as they are total blindness to what they temselves are witnessing at that very moment (the example I mentioned about the bus stop buttons fits the bill). Also, the exaple given was NOT for the character or the author, it was NOT something shared as if it were common knowledge, it was an example given to the readers of my post.

            Third, mostly my complain was that while japanese people pride themselves in perfect knowledge about rice, to the point of even dissing the knowledge from other rice-dependent regions with a longest agricultural history, they have many base misconceptions. And given the importance japanese people place on rice knowledge, with entire stores dedicated to rice in its many varieties, regular school outings to rice-producing regions where farmers from old farmer families share their knowledge about the trade, and more (some households even have their own rice blends), such gross error is way less forgiveable than if it were someone else, even from another rice-dependent region.

            To end this post, let’s just say that I’ve seen these misconceptions in other works that contradicted themselves in other parts of the writing, and that it’s quite common for WN authors to do at least some cursory research on the subject they are broaching (often coming out with very obscure knowledge in the process), which would have clearly identified those mistakes UNLESS the sources they are checking also made those misconceptions, which would indicate that they are so sure they are right, not even the sourcemakers bother factchecking.

        2. fritzr

          Wild rice (North American marsh grass) is not cultivated. The commercial harvest is done in shallow water marshes. There is no dry land production of this traditional American Indian food

          Wild rice is not rice, it is a relative though.

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