Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bread Baking Day!

Instead of making my usual pain de mie, today I decided to try a more rustic, although white, bread. This is called Brother's Bread, and it's from the cookbook The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking by Brother Rick Curry. (CLICK HERE to buy it on Amazon.)

Baking bread is so basic and easy and satisfying that it's sad that people don't do it much any more. While I admit to buying traditional baguettes from my local artisan market, I make my own sandwich bread and rolls. (I think it's difficult to achieve the right texture for baguette in a home oven, but I intend to give it a try one of these days!) The scent of rising dough and baking bread is just heavenly!

So, here are the photos of my bread baking today. I forgot to take photos at the start, so you just get to see from after the first rise until the finished product.


After the first rise -- beautiful and puffy!


Ready for the oven (I baked them on parchment and the bottom still came out nice and brown)


Fresh out of the oven!


Ready to eat -- and it is delicious!

If you've never baked bread before, you should give it a try. Even though it's winter where I live, and we keep our house very chilly, I made a nice warm spot for the first rise by turning on my oven to 200 degrees (Fahrenheit), and when it was done preheating, I turned it off. That provided just enough warmth to enable the dough to rise beautifully.

I'm not a great kneader, so I rely on my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer to do both the initial mixing and the kneading of the dough. I know, I know -- I should do the kneading myself, but I'm a real weakling! [Um, hey, that's probably a great way to build those flabby upper arms! I guess next time around I'll do the kneading...]

A challenge: If you've never baked bread before, don't be afraid! Give it a try!

Podcast teaser: Right now I'm writing my project sheet for next podcast's Fiber Arts segment, and I'm having fun!

Later, 'gator!
'thann

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