No turning back
Bread-making worth the time

Glen Korstrom
Northern News Services

INUVIK (Jul 31/98) - Up until 10 years ago Les Kutny primarily baked tea biscuits. Then he started making home-made bread.

And once he started baking the yeasty staple, there was no turning back.

"It's because I do know what's in (home-made bread)," he says in his kitchen standing next to a large aluminum bowl brimming with gooey bread dough.

"The commercial stuff just doesn't have the texture and I don't really care for it."

During the week, Kutny works as a technician at the Aurora Research Institute. That means he works out "logistical nightmares," and firms the groundwork for government and companies coming North to do research. So after a long week, in the silence of his kitchen, he enjoys spending two and a half hours stirring honey, lemon juice and molasses into a basic wheat base.

"Sometimes I ground my own flour," the former prairie resident says. He stresses the difference fresh flour makes.

Most Northerners buy their bread pre-made in stores and many others carefully measure ingredients before pressing a button on their bread machines.

It is the action of mixing everything in a bowl and basically your getting hands dirty which is increasingly becoming an anomaly.

But Kutny prefers making his batches by hand because he can make a few weeks worth if he wants to. His base recipe is for four loaves. That is something a bread machine cannot do.

"If you consider four loaves at $2 each taking two hours of your time, that's $8. So home-made bread is pretty expensive," the 13-year Inuvikmiut says.

After a decade of bread-making, is Kutny set for another transition by experimenting with bagels?

No, the photo-shy and age-vague resident says.

"I looked at a recipe for bagels and I just thought, 'No, I'm not going to do that much work.'"

But as a zucchini rests on his kitchen window sill, he admits a continuing weakness for zucchini- chocolate cake.